Exploring the Role of Food in Overall Health
It has long been said that you are what you eat.
18:38 12 September 2021
This phrase first came to light during the early 1800s, but it has never been truer than it is today. Even then, people realized that food can play a key role in a person's overall health. At the time, though, the primary concern was being able to afford foods that were nutritious and beneficial. Times have changed. These days, food is a bit more affordable and readily available than it once was. Unfortunately, a significant portion of the food market is made up of processed, synthetically enhanced items that just don't meet our nutritional needs. Of course, they're less expensive than truly healthy alternatives, so quite a few people turn to them rather than the less affordable natural foods on the market.
Taking a Look at the Effects of Different Foods on Our Well-Being
While a vast selection of edibles is accessible to today's consumers, those more affordable, ready-made items aren't doing much to keep us all healthy. In fact, they're actually detracting from our physical, mental, and emotional health. Their additives, preservatives, and other ingredients are negatively impacting our well-being in many ways. They're contributing to obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, depression, anxiety, cancer, and many other conditions. Companies like Morrison Healthcare are on a mission to combat those adverse effects through healthy, delicious foods and educating the public on why those more nutritious options are so important.
What Fruits and Vegetables Have to Offer?
It's no secret that fruits and vegetables are crucial for good health. They contain a long list of essential vitamins and minerals. They also provide phytonutrients, elements our bodies need to remain healthy that can only be gained through plant-based foods. Plants provide fiber as well. Fiber is crucial for healthy digestion and helps us feel fuller for longer. Additionally, fruits and vegetables aid in slowing the absorption of carbohydrates. In a nutshell, they make the foods we eat go farther than they would without plant-based foods.
On top of all that, fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants. Those compounds help ward off cancer, inflammation, cellular degeneration, and even premature aging. They protect our bodies from the damage all the harmful substances we're exposed to every day are known to cause. Plant-based foods also give our immune systems a much-needed boost. This gives us even more protection and ensures we're better able to fight off infections and illnesses. Those are only a few of the benefits of fresh fruits and vegetables. While canned produce offers a few healthy essentials, the cooking and canning process tends to detract from the nutritional value of foods. That's why fresh is always best.
Why Whole Grains Are Important
Whole grains are also vital to our health. As is the case with fruits and vegetables, they help our bodies to process carbohydrates more slowly and effectively. That's essential for maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. Grains can infuse our digestive systems with helpful bacteria to prevent a wide range of health issues. At the same time, grains bind to toxins in our bodies during the digestive process to help get rid of them. This helps protect us from the harmful effects of all the toxins we ingest. Keep in mind, toxins are virtually everywhere, and there's no avoiding them. Once they're in our bodies, they're there to stay unless we take the necessary measures to remove them, such as eating plenty of whole grains.
Studies have shown that whole grains are integral components of the overall digestive process. They'll help ward off the digestive problems so many suffer from these days. Why are digestive issues on the rise at this point? It's because of all the toxins and processed foods we all consume far too often. Whole grains likewise help keep excessive appetites at bay and can help us to sleep better and feel happier and more energetic.
Where to Meats and Other Proteins Come into Play?
All this brings us to proteins. Our muscles are largely made of proteins, so we need to consume ample amounts of them to keep those muscles in optimal condition. Like whole grains, proteins are crucial to removing toxins from the body as well. Grains bind with toxins in the intestines whereas proteins help eliminate them via the liver. Proteins help our bodies generate essential hormones that are responsible for countless necessary functions, such as maintaining a healthy weight, enhancing brain function, and preventing mental illnesses. Proteins aid in giving us plenty of energy and fighting off fatigue as well.
Meats are common sources of proteins. After all, they're basically the muscles of other animals. Having said that, some meats are laden with unhealthy fats and cholesterol. Fortunately, meats aren't the only viable sources of proteins. We can also get them from nuts, beans, certain dairy products, and some types of whole grains. Beans, soy, whole grains, and lean cuts of meat are recommended as optimal sources of protein since they can provide the compound without filling us with fats, unnecessary calories, and other potentially harmful substances.
Getting the Full Regimen
While it's possible to get essential vitamins and minerals from nutritional supplements, they shouldn't be used as a sole source of nutrients. They're meant to help us meet our dietary needs rather than provide them outright. Eating ample amounts of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, proteins, and other beneficial foods is vital. Ideally, those nutrients should come from sources that have been processed as little as possible.
Processed foods may be cheap and convenient, but they're not very beneficial. In fact, they can contribute to numerous health issues, not the least of which are cancer, inflammation, digestive problems, depression, and weight issues. They don't last long, either. While they may provide a little satisfaction for a short time, they quickly leave us feeling hungry again, which prompts us to eat more. We really are what we eat, and consuming a diet that's rich in healthy foods and beneficial nutrients will go a long way toward making sure we're healthy and happy.