The food we eat gives our bodies the “information” and materials they need to function properly. If we don’t get the right information, our metabolic processes suffer and our health declines. Your diet is where you get the ingredients for energy and good health, or illness and discomfort. It’s important to stay balanced and make food choices that will enable good heart health, metabolism and a more balanced digestive system.
What does food do inside our bodies?
Foods have an enormous effect on our bodies, both positive and negative. While healthy foods are proven to stave off disease, produce more energy and keep you happier and less stressed, some foods like sugars or empty carbs will sap away your energy and health. The human body needs healthy fuel for repair, energy, and to even regulate temperature, and nutritious foods with proteins, healthy carbs, fibres, vitamins and minerals will keep you happy, healthy and active. Let’s explore a few of the connections between our food intake and diseases.
What is the connection between food and disease?
Your immune system relies on vitamins A, E, B6, and C and elements like zinc and folic acid to promote health in different areas of the body. Your metabolism needs potassium, vitamin B6, riboflavin and vitamin C regularly. Studies have found that a great deal of disease-related death was due to excess salt intake and lack of vegetables. Any lacking area will affect your overall health, making it vital for you to adopt healthier eating habits that will keep your body balanced.
1. Prevent Heart Disease
A recent study shows that cardiometabolic diseases like heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes are greatly affected by diet. People who suffer from these diseases and those hoping to avoid them in the future, find it vital to avoid sodium, processed meats, sugary foods and drinks and unprocessed red meat. This group should be eating more nuts, seafood with Omega-3 fatty acids, vegetables, whole grains and fruits. Dr. David Goff, a News in Health expert on heart disease and public health says, “This study establishes the number of cardiometabolic deaths that can be linked to Americans’ eating habits, and the number is large. Second, it shows how recent reductions in those deaths related to improvements in diet, and this relationship is strong. There is much work to be done in preventing heart disease, but we also know that better dietary habits can improve our health quickly, and we can act on that knowledge by making and building on small changes that add up over time.”
2. Prevent Gut Issues
While gut issues might not sound as threatening as heart disease or stroke, they can be uncomfortable, sap your energy and generally lower your quality of life. An unhealthy gut is often the source of stomach pains, weight gain, diarrhea, bloating and other uncomfortable issues. You might be experiencing SIBO symptoms, where there is an imbalance of good and bad bacteria in your gut. Some people with SIBO are asymptomatic and go undiagnosed, and many people who are under the impression they have IBS, could have been suffering from this issue for years before treatment!
3. Maintain Healthy Weight
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend only 10% of your food contain the empty calories found in sugary foods and drinks that affect weight. Being overweight dramatically increases the chances of eventually suffering from chronic diseases like heart disease, high blood pressure, and of course, diabetes. Diabetes is especially dangerous, as it indicates that your body’s insulin is no longer affecting your blood sugar, leading to sugar spikes, diabetic comas, or even death.
What is the connection between food and mental health?
Your food intake goes well beyond affecting just your physical health. Food is strongly linked to mental health issues as well, both enabling mental health problems to manifest or take control, as with an unhealthy diet, or reducing or curing them with a good diet. Eating healthier is proven to reduce anxiety, depression and general stress, giving you one more excellent reason to explore healthy eating habits.
It’s never too late to make changes to your eating habits and food intake, that will benefit you in the long run. Knowing how food works in your body is the first step toward developing a more sustainable and healthy lifestyle. Keep on reading, and take steps today to change your eating habits and protect your body and quality of life for years to come.