A balanced diet contains a number of multicolored fruits and vegetables, whole grains and starches, healthier fats and lean protein. Healthy eating also means avoiding foods which contain high amounts of salt and sugar. In this article we look at the top 10 benefits of healthy food, as well as the facts behind them.

Reduced Cancer Risk

An unhealthy diet may lead to obesity, which may increase the likelihood that a person can develop cancer. Weighing within a reasonable range will lower the risk.

The American Society of Clinical Oncology also announced in 2014 that obesity was leading to a worse outlook for people with cancer. All the same, fruit and vegetable-rich diets will help protect against cancer.

Researchers also found in a separate 2014 study that a fruit-rich diet decreased the risk of upper gastrointestinal tract cancers. Researchers also found that a diet high in vegetables, fruits, and fiber decreased the risk of colorectal cancer, and a diet low in fat reduced the risk of hepatic cancer.

Many phytochemicals contained in fruits, vegetables, nuts, and legumes act as antioxidants protecting cells from cancer-causing harm. Beta-carotene, lycopene, and vitamins A, C, and E are some of these antioxidants. Human trials were inconclusive but the results of laboratory and animal studies linked some antioxidants to a reduced incidence of free radical cancer-related damage.

Health of the Following Generation

Children learn from the adults around them most of the health-related practices, and parents who model healthy eating and exercise routines appear to pass these on. This is one of the precious benefits of healthy food.

Homemade food can also help. Researchers found in 2018 that children who often had meals with their families consumed more vegetables and less sucrose foods than their peers who consumed less frequently at home. Additionally, children who engage in home gardening and cooking may be more likely to make healthier decisions about their diet and lifestyle.

Weight loss

Losing weight can reduce the risk of developing chronic conditions.  If a person is overweight or obese they are more likely to develop many conditions, encompassing:

  • Heart disease
  • Some cancers
  • Poor bone density

Non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus Whole fruits and vegetables are lower in calories than most processed foods. An individual who wants to lose weight should reduce their calorie intake to no more than is needed every day.

Maintaining a balanced diet free of processed foods will help a person remain within their daily limits without calorie counting.

Fiber is one of the elements of a healthy diet which is especially essential for weight loss. Plant-based diets contain plenty of dietary fiber, helping to control appetite and making people feel more comfortable for longer. Researchers found in 2018 that a diet high in fiber and lean proteins contributed to weight loss without the need for calorie counting.

Diabetes Management

Eating a healthful diet can assist an individual with diabetes to:

  • Lose weight, if required
  • Manage blood glucose levels
  • Prevent or delay complications of diabetes
  • Keep blood pressure and cholesterol within target ranges

Limiting the consumption of foods with added sugar and salt is important for people with diabetes. Particularly fried foods rich in saturated and trans fats are better avoided.

Heart Attack and Stroke Prevention

As many as 92.1 million people in the U.S. have at least one form of cardiovascular disease according to estimates published in 2017. Such disorders affect mainly the vessels of the heart or blood.

According to Canada’s Heart and Stroke Foundation, up to 80 percent of cases of premature heart disease and stroke can be avoided by making improvements in lifestyle, such as rising physical activity rates and eating healthily. There is some evidence that vitamin E can prevent blood clots which can result in heart attacks. The following foods contain the high vitamin E levels:

  • Peanuts
  • Almonds
  • Hazelnuts
  • Green vegetables
  • Sunflower seeds

The medical community has long recognized the link between trans fats and cardiac disorders, such as coronary heart disease. If a person excludes trans fats from the diet, this will lower their low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels. This type of cholesterol causes plaque to gather in the arteries, which increases the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Reducing blood pressure can also be important for cardiac safety, and it can help to restrict salt consumption to 1,500 milligrams a day. Salt is added to many refined and fast foods and those should be avoided by a person who wants to lower their blood pressure.

Strong Bones and Teeth

For strong bones and teeth a diet with adequate calcium and magnesium is needed. It is important to keep the bones safe to avoid osteoporosis and osteoarthritis later in life. The following foods are rich in calcium:

  • Tofu
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Legumes
  • Cauliflower
  • Canned fish with bones
  • Low-fat dairy products

However, the calcium fortifies many cereals and plant-based milks. In many foods magnesium is plentiful and the best sources are leafy green vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grains.

Improved Memory

A healthy food can help prevent cognitive decline and dementia. A 2015 study identified nutrients and foods that defend themselves against these adverse effects. They found the following to be fruitful:

  • Fish
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Vitamin D, C, and E
  • Flavonoids and polyphenols

The Mediterranean diet contains many of these nutrients and other diets.

Improved Gut Health

The colon is full of naturally occurring bacteria which play significant metabolism and digestion roles. Some bacterial strains also produce vitamins K and B which benefit the colon. Such strains also help in the fight against harmful bacteria and viruses.

A diet low in fiber and high in sugar and fat changes the gut microbiome, resulting in increased inflammation in the area. A diet rich in vegetables, nuts, legumes, and whole grains, however, offers a mix of prebiotics and probiotics that will help healthy colon bacteria grow.

Fermented foods are rich in probiotics, such as tofu, kimchi, sauerkraut, miso and kefir. That can help avoid diverticulitis and bowel cancer. Fiber is a prebiotic that is readily available, and abundant in legumes, beans, fruits and vegetables. Fiber also encourages frequent bowel movements, which can help avoid diverticulitis and bowel cancer.

Improved Mood

Emerging research indicates that diet and mood are closely related. Researchers found in 2016 that a high-glycemic-loaded diet may cause increased symptoms of depression and fatigue.

A highly glycemic diet contains various processed carbohydrates, such as those found in soft drinks, cookies, white bread and biscuits. There is a lower glycemic load on fruits, whole fruit, and whole grains. Although a balanced diet may boost general mood, finding medical attention is important for people with depression. Besides others, an improvement in your mood is one of the worth-noticing benefits of healthy food.

Restful Sleep

A number of factors can disturb sleep patterns like sleep apnea. Sleep apnea happens when the airways are blocked again and again during sleep. Risk factors comprise obesity, alcohol intake and eating an unhealthy diet. Reducing alcohol and caffeine intake, whether a person has sleep apnea or not, will help to ensure restful sleep. Hence, having easeful and restful sleep is one of the fruitful benefits of healthy food.

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