We are what we eat. The kind and quality of the food we eat affects our mood and health. Balanced meals nourish the cells and aids in body functions. The wrong kind of foods leads to chronic illnesses. Excessive eating leads to obesity, diabetes and heart diseases. Eating less leads to malnutrition, vitamins and mineral deficiency and eating disorders. All these illustrates how the food we eat affects our lives.
The body requires specific nutrients to work properly. Most of the nutrients we need are found in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and animal proteins. We get all the energy we need from the food we eat. Without proper nutrients, we are unable to complete normal activities.
Unfortunately, not a lot of people adopt a healthy, well-balanced diet. Those who lead busy lives either skip meals or eat fast food. Nutrition and satiety aren’t based solely on food. The quality of the food you eat is a factor to maintaining a healthy body too.
The Link Between Food and Diseases
The development of chronic diseases is partly due to diet. In the past, health experts say diseases – such as diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disorders and cancer – are caused by gene mutation. But modern science found a link between diet and biological dysfunction.
According to the Nutrition Society, Europe’s largest nutritional organization, a diet lacking in balanced nutrients will trigger the development of various diseases.
How Nutrition Affects The Body
Food is a huge part of the central nervous system. It affects the body’s chemistry and uplifts the mood. When we eat, the brain releases different hormones that alleviate stress and anxiety. For instance, whole grains trigger the release of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a feel-good hormone that improves mood and fight depression. Meat products trigger the release of dopamine and norepinephrine. These are also hormones that improve the mood and release stress.
Poor diet affects how the brain works. Without proper nutrients, the brain starts to lag. We feel sluggish or mentally drained. This explains why you’re always in a foul mood when you’re hungry.
Malnutrition leads to various health disorders. When you don’t get the nutrients you need, the body is not working at its best. You feel fatigued, unable to concentrate. Soon, the body starts destroying muscle tissues to extract energy. When you starve yourself, the body goes into starvation mode. It will start holding on to as much fat as it can in anticipation of deprivation. All these will lead to mental, physical and psychological problems.
The same thing goes if you eat too much. Obesity is the precursor to various diseases including diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer. Unfortunately, fast food joints made unhealthy, greasy foods incredibly accessible to all people. And most times, we don’t have time to prepare healthier meals. We end up eating calorie-laden foods. Most foods from the grocery are just as bad. From preserved fruits to packed dinners, these food items are filled with preservatives and artificial flavorings. All these contain cancer-causing compounds and empty calories.
Proper nutrition starts by finding balance. You want to make sensible food choices. You don’t have to keep counting calories to stay thin. Or eat unhealthy foods just to get the energy you need for the day. Opt for well-balanced meals full of vegetables and fruits. Add reasonable portions of lean meat and dairy products to keep the muscles strong. Eating healthy will bring balance to your body and your life!