Most people understand that what you put into your body can impact your health in some way. But, far too many are focused on things like caloric intake, weight fluctuations, and even things like sodium or sugar.
Make no mistake – those are important considerations when you’re building a healthy diet plan. But, what you eat can impact so much more than just your weight or any current ailments you might be facing.
When you start looking at food as medicine, you’ll see how it can maintain your current health, prevent illnesses, and treat certain conditions you might already be dealing with. Your diet impacts so many different areas of your mind and body, and it’s important to know exactly how. The more you realize how impactful and influential your diet is, the easier it is to take it seriously.
So, what are the far-reaching effects of your diet on your overall health?
The diet-body connection is an easy one to see. But, what you eat can have a big influence on your mental health, too. There are actually certain foods that have been shown to boost mental wellness, including:
- Whole grains
These foods (and others) can do everything from improving cognitive function to boosting the serotonin levels in your brain. Some foods can even impact your productivity by helping you to feel motivated and energetic. Complex carbohydrates are a great way to feel satiated and energized throughout the day, while fruits and vegetables will help to put you in a good mood and improve your memory.
Certain foods can do more harm than good when it comes to your mental health. Processed meats, fried foods, and high-fat dairy products can influence the chemicals in your brain and may make you more susceptible to depression and anxiety. If you tend to struggle with mental health issues already, dietary changes can make it easier to manage your symptoms.
Everyone was a teenager at some point. As a result, you’ve probably heard about how things like chocolate and greasy foods can wreak havoc on your skin. While many people throw those warnings around like they’re old wives’ tales, there is some truth to consider there.
Your diet has a direct impact on the look and feel of your skin, and it starts with hydration. If you’re not getting enough water each day, your skin will look dull and it can lose its elasticity. Even if you make no other changes to your diet, aim to consume at least eight glasses of water each day for your skin health.
If you want to go the extra mile for healthier skin, avoid certain foods that can make acne worse, including:
- High glycemic foods
Instead, focus on a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids. They tend to have anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce the appearance of acne. Your diet should also be plentiful in probiotics, which can improve the barrier function of your skin.
When it comes to your diet and your skin, it can take some time to find out what works for you and what doesn’t. Pay attention to what you eat and how your skin reacts. Keep a journal to make things easier to remember. It won’t take long for you to determine which foods are helping your skin and which ones should be eliminated from your daily diet.
It’s easy to understand the “you are what you eat” mentality when it comes to your health now. Making healthy dietary changes can help you to lose weight, gain muscle, and reduce your risk of high blood pressure and diabetes fairly quickly.
But, your diet can impact your future more than you might think. It’s not just about immediately lowering your risk of diseases right away. It’s about making changes today that can keep you healthy for years to come.
One study found that the risk of death from heart attacks, diabetes, and stroke is higher for those who consume too much:
- Red meat
- Processed meat
- Sugar-sweetened beverages
The risk was also high for people who didn’t consume enough things like nuts, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and omega-3 fats. So, while your diet can impact your health and reduce your risk of getting sick now, it’s also important to think about how it can impact your future. Making healthy changes could even add years to your life.
As you can see, your diet has more to do with losing weight or trying to get in shape. The far-reaching effects impact almost every part of your mind and body. Whether you’re starting to make your health and wellness a priority or you want to age gracefully and healthily, it’s never too late to make positive changes to your diet. When you do, it won’t take long before you start noticing differences in how you look and feel.