It’s Not Just Weight Loss: Here’s 12 Benefits You Reap from Eating Better

An unhealthy diet is responsible for increasing various chronic diseases and even increasing the death rate of the general population. A poor diet leaves a person with slower thinking, without dexterity, much more tired and lazy to perform normal daily tasks. Even sleep can change if the food goes wrong.

Despite often being associated with weight loss, good nutrition is directly related to a person’s health and quality of life, according to nutritionist Rosana Farah, of SBAN (Brazilian Society of Food and Nutrition).

“If our food choices are adequate for our nutritional needs, our physical and mental health is better, as food is linked to several emotional aspects, such as depression and anxiety,” explains Farah.

According to endocrinologist Paula Pires, of SBEM (Brazilian Society of Endocrinology and Metabology) in São Paulo, by eating better, people can still avoid obesity, type 2 diabetes, various cancers, high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes, thus ensuring a healthy lifestyle. aging and vitality.

Benefits of good nutrition

Next, check out the benefits of improving eating, in addition to weight management.

1. Improved Memory and Concentration

The brain is an organ with few nutritional reserves, so investing in a balanced diet is essential to keep it functioning properly. Glucose, which provides energy, is the most important and helps it perform its functions. But it’s not just her. The vitality of neurons and a sharp memory arise from the association of a variety of foods with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action, which protects the brain.

2. Boosting Immunity

Food Services Coordinator at Sírio-Libanês Hospital, nutritionist Ana Lúcia Rodrigues, reveals that a diet rich in vitamins and minerals, accompanied by regular exercise and proper hydration, also plays an important role in strengthening immunity.

3. Disease Prevention

Epidemiological studies indicate that individuals who consume more bioactive compounds have a lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases, age-related macular degeneration and some cancers.

Present in foods of plant origin such as fruits, vegetables, legumes and grains, bioactive compounds in foods are not as important to the human body as essential nutrients, but when consumed continuously and in significant amounts, they provide several health benefits. due to its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, vasodilating and anticarcinogenic effect.

4. Reduces Inflammation

“Inflammation occurs in our bodies caused by the constant consumption of industrialized foods rich in toxins, additives, dyes, sugars, salt and preservatives. Without treatment, the inflammation becomes chronic and prone to disease,” says Rodrigues.

Some compounds present in foods, such as the so-called bioactive ones, may have biological activity that can reduce the inflammatory response. As is the case with omega 3, mainly present in cold water fish and in some seeds, chia and linseed; resveratrol, present in grapes; curcumin, present in turmeric; green tea catechins, among others.

A balanced diet based on natural and minimally processed foods and regular exercise can improve metabolism and inflammation profile and move closer to nutritional and metabolic balance.

5. Stabilization of Blood Glucose Levels

When a person consumes some food, the body begins to produce insulin, a hormone whose levels are normally increased in those at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. So if the diet remains unhealthy, ie low in fiber and high in saturated fats and simpler carbohydrates, especially sugars, it will promote weight gain, causing insulin to stop working properly.

Therefore, proper nutrition can reduce the risk of diabetes and pre-diabetes. But regular exercise is also important, as is smoking cessation and alcohol reduction.

6. Improvement of physical condition

Food plays an important role in our character. Both an excess and a lack of nutrients cause metabolic changes that can lead to fatigue.

Paying attention to the food we put on the plate is essential, as the main function of food is to provide the body with energy. To have more predisposition, it is necessary to get enough carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, minerals and vitamins. This is the best way to power cells to work more efficiently.

7. Helps Control Cholesterol

While dyslipidemias (changes in cholesterol and triglycerides) can occur due to genetic causes, a significant percentage of this problem is caused by poor eating habits, such as excessive consumption of foods rich in saturated fats, fried foods and ultra-processed foods and low intake. of foods rich in fiber (fruits, vegetables, vegetables) or not industrialized. Therefore, a good and balanced diet helps to control cholesterol levels.

8. Better wound healing

It is not just medication that ensures a good postoperative period. Food is also important for recovery and must follow a medical prescription, which varies depending on the surgical procedure performed. In general, it is currently recommended to opt for light foods so that the body focuses its energy on tissue regeneration and not on digestion.

9. Contributes to Good Oral Health

When you think of oral health, people immediately think of foods that are harmful to the teeth, such as caries-causing sugars. However, there are also those that are allies of the mouth, such as calcium. The mineral found in foods such as milk, beans and soy participates in the processes of formation, renewal and support of bones and teeth. It is what makes teeth resistant to external aggressions throughout life, in addition to promoting bone regeneration and arch support.

10. Improves Mood and Relieves Symptoms of Mental Disorder

A study conducted in Great Britain analyzed the habits of 200 volunteers and found that in 88% of cases, dietary changes, including habits, such as smoking and physical activity, managed to reduce the symptoms of mental disorders, such as seizures. of panic, anxiety and depression.

Another study, published in Revista de Saúde Pública in 2017, compared the habits of 49,025 Brazilian adults and their feelings, and concluded that those who exhibited less healthy behaviors, including the intake of fatty meats, soda and alcohol, had more. tendency to depression.

11. Improves skin and strengthens hair and nails

A healthy diet is the first step to maintaining strong hair, as it helps to prevent a decline in the quality of the locks and a consequent loss of shine. In addition, dietary fiber is responsible for “sweeping” our bodies, cleansing and contributing to local cell renewal and improving the composition of our gut microbiota, a condition that positively affects the health of the body as a whole, including skin, hair and nails.

Also, don’t forget the importance of staying hydrated and consuming vitamin C, which acts as a powerful antioxidant, aids the formation of endogenous collagen and should be consumed daily through citrus fruits.

12. Improves Sleep

Diet can reduce intestinal inflammation so that sleep hormones are produced efficiently. For this it is important to reduce the excess of refined sugars and sweets; drinking chamomile or mulungu tea at night, which not only reduces inflammation, but also promotes muscle relaxation; prioritize anti-inflammatory foods, such as vegetables, fruits, grains, carrots, olive oil, and nuts; Fruit consumption has an effect on reducing intestinal inflammation, but some specific ones can help with the production of sleep hormones such as kiwi, grape and cherry.

What to do to eat better?

Reference of the onco-hematology unit of Hospital das Clínicas UFBA (Federal University of Bahia), nutritionist Catarina Lobo explains that good nutrition is synonymous with balanced and non-restrictive diet. “When we think of a balanced diet, we imagine the presence of all food groups (carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, in addition to vitamins and minerals) in sufficient amounts to ensure the functioning of our bodies,” she says.

According to her, food is in everything the body can do and produce. “A good example is our brain. Who has had trouble concentrating when they go beyond their usual time to eat? Who has had a headache when they forgot to drink water? amount than your usual?”, he illustrates.

Lobo says many people ignore the importance of healthy eating habits until they encounter health conditions that warrant a change in their eating routine. “Some simple recommendations, such as adjusting fluid intake, introducing fiber-rich foods (fruits, legumes, and vegetables), and reducing salt or alcohol may seem like a boring and problematic life sentence to some people. achieve significant health improvements through this challenge.”

Sources: Paul henkinnutritionist and director of Open (Brazilian Society of Nutrology); Catarina Lobocnutritionist reference of the unit of onco-hematology Hospital das Clínicas UFBA (Federal University of Bahia); Ana Lucia Rodriguesnutritionist coordinating food services at Sírio-Libanês Hospital; Paula Piresendocrinologist at SBEM (Brazilian Society of Endocrinology and Metabology) in São Paulo; Rosana farahnutritionist at SBAN (Brazilian Association of Food and Nutrition).

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