Benefits of Healthy Food - Today, Tomorrow and Even Fifty Years Later for Your Life
There are many benefits of healthy food, like:
- improved heart health
- Weight loss
- Lower blood pressure
- Reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases
- Improved blood sugar levels
- Prevent chronic health issues
- Better mental health
Eating healthy food is also associated with increased energy levels, better digestion, and improved mental clarity.
Additionally, this type of diet is rich in essential vitamins. minerals and phytonutrients that are necessary for optimal health.
Furthermore, it is an environmentally friendly way to eat as it reduces the amount of animal products consumed and helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Finally, eating a whole food plant based diet can help you live a longer and healthier life.
What does 'Healthy Eating' Really Mean?
What does 'Healthy Eating' Really Mean?
Healthy eating is about making smart food choices that nourish your body and provide the nutrients it needs to function optimally.
It means choosing a variety of nutrient-dense foods from all five food groups: fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes and nuts & seeds.
Overview of Whole Food Plant Based Diet
A whole food plant based diet is a type of eating pattern that focuses on consuming whole, unprocessed plant foods. This includes fruits, vegetables including mushrooms, legumes, nuts and seeds, and whole grains.
It eliminates or minimises animal products such as meat, dairy products, and eggs, and processed foods, such as oil, sugar and white rice.
Health Benefits of Healthy Foods
Eating a healthy diet can provide numerous health benefits, such as improved cholesterol levels, blood glucose levels, triglyceride levels, and omega-3 fatty acid intake.
Healthy foods like legumes and whole grains are also a great source of protein. They help reduce the risk of heart attacks, coronary heart disease and other chronic diseases.
Eating a balanced diet includes whole grains, fruits and vegetables. These are foods rich in antioxidants that essential for optimal health.
Weight Management and Healthy Weight Maintenance
A whole food plant based diet is naturally calorie dilute, meaning that you can eat larger portions without consuming excess calories.
Healthy food helps you achieve your ideal weight without ever needing to go on a restrictive diet, control portions or count calories.
By eating nutrient-dense foods like fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains, you can maintain a healthy weight while still feeling full and satiated with every meal, everyday.
Reduced Risk of Heart Disease and Improved Heart Health
Research has shown that heart disease, the number one killer disease in India according to the Global Burden of Disease study, can be prevented, treated and potentially reversed through a whole food plant based (WFPB) diet and healthy lifestyle.
Studies have found that following a WFPB diet can reduce risk factors for heart disease such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, and obesity.
Eating a WFPB diet is also associated with lower levels of inflammation which is linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases. Additionally, eating a WFPB diet can help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes which is another major risk factor for heart disease.
Lower Risk of Cancer and Improved Life Expectancy
Eating a healthy diet, particularly one that is rich in whole plant foods, can reduce the risk of cancer and improve life expectancy. Whole plant foods are packed with phytochemical antioxidants which help protect against DNA damage caused by free radicals.
These compounds also help to reduce inflammation and improve immune function, which are both linked to an increased risk of cancer.
Also, did you know, eating a diet rich in healthful foods like whole plant foods can help improve telomere health?
Telomeres are the protective caps at the end of chromosomes that shorten as you age.
Eating a healthy diet helps to maintain telomere length, which may lead to improved life expectancy.
Improved Brain Health and Cognitive Functioning
Alzheimer's disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that affects memory, thinking, and behavior.
It is the most common form of dementia and is characterized by the formation of amyloid plaques in the brain.
New research indicates that these plaques may be caused by atherosclerosis, damage and narrowing of the arteries of the brain. This restricts blood flow to various parts of the brain, leading to cell death and damage, causing the symptoms of dementia.
Eating a whole food plant based diet can help reduce this risk by providing essential nutrients that support healthy cognitive functioning and prevent poor health later in life.
Plant-based foods are rich in antioxidants which help protect against free radical damage and inflammation, both of which are linked to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Additionally, plant-based diets are naturally low in saturated fat and cholesterol which can help prevent plaque buildup in arteries and improve overall arterial health.
By eating a balanced diet full of nutrient-dense whole plant foods, you can reduce your risk for Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia later on in life.
Nutritional Benefits of a Whole Food Plant Based Diet
Eating a healthy diet is essential for reducing the risk of obesity, bone issues, and weight gain.
Fresh fruits and vegetables are some of the healthiest options out there! They provide a source of fiber, water, phytonutrients and vitamins that help maintain a steady weight.
Additionally, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds are excellent sources of complex carbohydrates, fiber and resistant starch that can help keep you full and energized.
Protein Sources from Plants vs Dairy, Fish,Meat and Seafood
Animal proteins such as those found in dairy, fish, meat and seafood are associated with high levels in saturated fat and cholesterol, which can increase the risk of developing atherosclerosis and other cardiovascular diseases.
Even the so-called 'lean proteins' contain hormones and antibiotics that can be harmful to your health.
On the other hand, plant proteins such as those found in legumes, nuts, seeds and whole grains are associated with lower levels of saturated fat and cholesterol.
They are also rich in dietary fibers, vitamins and minerals that help support a healthy immune system.
Plant proteins have also been found to be protective against kidney damage and cancer, while intake of foods rich in animal proteins raise the risk of both of these health issues.
Fruit and Vegetables as Sources of Vitamins and Minerals
Fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of several vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals.
Berries, in particular, are rich in antioxidants that help protect you from free radical damage and also from inflammation.
Leafy green vegetables are the highest antioxidant vegetables. They are a great source of vitamin A, C, K and folate which help support healthy cognitive functioning.
Fruits and vegetables also contain unique phytochemicals like polyphenols which can help reduce cancer risk and risk of other chronic diseases too.
Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Dark Chocolate - are they Sources of Healthy Fats?
Animal fats such as those found in full-fat dairy, fatty fish, fatty meats and seafood are high in saturated fat and cholesterol, which can increase the risk of developing atherosclerosis and other cardiovascular diseases.
Eating too much of these types of foods can lead to unhealthy diets that can result in premature heart disease.
Trans fat intake from yogurt, curds, buttermilk, palm oil and vegetable oil should also be limited as it has been linked to negative effects on health.
Plant sources of healthy fats such as nuts, seeds, and nut butters are much healthier options. This is because they contain key nutrients like dietary fibers, vitamins and minerals that provide numerous benefits for overall health.
Bread and Grains as Sources of Complex Carbohydrates
Eating a healthy diet is essential for overall health and wellbeing.
Processed grains such as white bread, refined carbohydrates, and starchy foods are considered unhealthy foods, because they have been stripped of several nutrients.
There are healthier options available.
Whole grains like whole wheat, brown rice, red rice and millets provide complex carbohydrates along with dietary fiber and phytonutrients that can help reduce the risk of disease.
Legumes like kidney beans are also a great source of plant-based proteins and have a low glycemic load, keeping blood sugar levels stable.
Additionally, they contain fewer amounts of sugar than other sources of protein which can help reduce the risk of obesity and other health effects associated with excessive sugar intake.
In order to maintain a healthy weight and reduce the risk of disease it is important to include good portions of vegetables in your diet as well as whole grains.
Eating fruits and vegetables provide essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that can help support immune system functioning while nuts, seeds and nut butters provide healthy fats that can help reduce cholesterol levels.
Eating a Balanced Diet for Optimal Health
In conclusion, a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts and seeds is essential for optimal health.
Eating a variety of these foods can help reduce the risk of disease while providing essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to support overall wellbeing.
Looking to get healthy.
- Book an online consultation with Dr. Achyuthan Eswar to learn how best to deal with it.
- Sign up for our Plant Based Diet Masterclass on NutritionScience.in to better understand the numerous benefits of adopting a whole food plant based diet.
- Access our free course to help kickstart your plant based food journey.
- Subscribe to our 100% whole food plant based balanced meal plan, delicious & doctor designed to help you get all your macro and micro nutrients, from the comfort of your home - Bengaluru only
- Our Healthy Executive Thali Subscription is packed with variety and affordable too - Bengaluru only
- Stock up on delicious sweets and snacks that are sugar/jaggery-free, oil-free, maida-free and plant-based - Available Pan-India