How Eating Healthy Now Affects your Body in the Future
Think of your health as the amount of money in your bank account. Just as you’d like to have more money and keep growing, it’s also wise to have more health in your body and keep that growing as well.
And while maintaining a balanced diet may not always be convenient or cheap, it’ll definitely pay off both in the short and long- term health plan you intend to have for your body.
A healthy diet means you’re doing the following on a daily, or in some cases weekly, basis:
- Eating a healthy breakfast
- Eating colorful foods rich in vitamins and minerals, like dark leafy greens, carrots, tomatoes, and bell peppers
- Balancing your intake of protein, healthy fats and carbohydrates
- Cut back on sugar, processed foods, unhealthy fats and alcohol
- Eat cold-water fish 2 or 3 times a week
- 4 to 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day
- Drink caffeine in moderation
A good trick is to divide your plate. Mentally visualize your plate divided into 4 quarters. One quarter should be protein. The size of your palm is enough. One quarter should be complex carbohydrates, for example brown rice or pasta. The last 2 quarters should be vegetables and some low-sugar fruits.
Another good point to keep in mind is the more colorful your plate, the healthier it is for you. Do not eat the same food every day, a varied diet rich in vegetables that are local and in-season, if possible organic, is best.
Enhancing your emotional state:
For a quick pick-me-up, the first thing we crave is candy, chocolate, pastries, chips or some French fries. But the truth is those foods contain refined carbs (and unhealthy fats as well as too much regular salt), which even though they may help the brain produce serotonin and dopamine, they also cause a quick crash. Serotonin and dopamine are known as the “feel good” hormones which your brain secretes when you feel great after hitting a milestone or reaching a goal. On the healthy side of the spectrum, a whole-food diet produces a more lasting effect on your mood and helps regulate the levels of hormones and energy in your body.
Maintaining a healthy weight:
The rule is that food quality is more important than food quantity. Eating moderately sized meals and eating the right foods for your individual body type as well as incorporating movement in your daily life are three ways you can be in control of your weight. Having a healthy weight helps to reduce your risk of chronic diseases, like heart disease and diabetes just to name a couple.
Boosting your energy levels:
Eating foods high in iron and other essential nutrients boosts your energy levels throughout the day. For example, the mineral iron helps carry oxygen throughout the body. Examples of food sources rich in iron are meat, spinach, Swiss chard, almonds and quinoa. Also, snacking on nuts and fruits, and drinking water helps maintain your energy levels.
This is what happens to your body when you start eating a healthy, nutritious diet that is right for your individual type:
After 1 day:
Less hunger pangs
Boost in metabolism
Increased focus and clarity
After 1 week:
Increased energy levels
After 1 month:
Eating healthy becomes a lifestyle choice
You save money on soft drinks, fatty junk food and snacks
After 6 months:
Boost in self-confidence
Lower blood pressure
After 1 year:
You’ve reached your goal weight
You’re smarter about your food choices
You feel stronger and more alive
You get sick less often
Your concentration and memory have increased
In my book “Eating for Vibrant Health and Explosive Energy”, I quote Thomas Edison:
“The doctor of the future will give no medication, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, diet and in the cause and prevention of disease.” (Thomas A. Edison)
If you think about it in that perspective, you’ll realize that food is much more than just “dieting”, counting calories or reading food labels. It makes us look at food as the sustenance we need to keep going strong for many years to come.