by Ainsley Lawrence,
Contributing Author, Conscious Reminder
We all know that we should be eating healthier, more balanced diets.
But oftentimes, this knowledge only really presents itself as guilt when we feel shame about the way we look or after eating something deep-fried and delicious.
But what if you could reframe your thinking about healthy eating, and come to understand the holistic benefits of eating a balanced, varied diet?
Well, here are a few reasons why you should try to eat a little better, without feeling too guilty about the times when you splurge on donuts or fries.
Research shows there is a strong correlation between a person’s mental wellbeing and the quality of their diet. In particular, those who eat a highly-processed diet are more likely to suffer from mental health conditions like anxiety and depression. Conversely, those who eat more fruits and vegetables were less likely to report experiencing the symptoms of mental health illnesses.
But your diet does more than protect you from conditions like depression and anxiety — it also affects your mood and helps you stay energized throughout the day. By replacing processed, sugar-rich, foods, with whole grains and greens, you can expect to experience fewer “dips” in your overall energy. This allows you to remain focused and helps you maintain a healthier lifestyle.
For many of us, the way we look affects our mental wellbeing. That’s because we’ve grown up with unrealistic expectations about the way our bodies should look, and have become accustomed to fat-shaming. However, dieting alone cannot help you overcome the effect of harmful fat-shaming. Instead, you should try to find a fat-friendly doctor who has a holistic understanding of health and weight and won’t try to pressure you into losing weight without clear reason.
It might sound strange, but a healthy diet can help you journey towards spiritual growth. That’s because thinking about life, death, and our identity requires us to have a clear, focused mindset. If you’re constantly filling up on junk food and processed meals, then you will have a hard time thinking straight.
Some folks also believe in a more direct connection between the food they eat and their spirituality. Of course, how much you choose to believe in this connection is up to you. But even the most objective of people can still use food to connect to their spirituality — particularly if you believe that your spirituality demands you make ethical choices. Healthy foods are usually locally sourced, meaning you can support your local environment and will avoid the ethical nightmares which come with big food industries.
Many folks suffer from serious digestion issues like acid reflux, GERD, stomach ulcers, and irritable bowel syndrome. Of course, the first step in combating these digestion illnesses is to see a medical professional who can recommend the best treatment for you.
A change in diet is probably amongst the treatments that health care professionals will suggest. While some of these changes won’t be intuitively “healthy”, many of them will likely require you to cut down on processed foods and increase your intake of nutrients which have been proven to reduce your symptoms or help you lead a healthy lifestyle.
For example, if you are suffering from GERD, your doctor will likely prescribe diet and lifestyle changes. These changes may have you cut down on acidic drinks like coffee or spicy foods, and will probably require you to eat smaller meals. These steps are intended to help you notice and overcome the impact of GERD, which may be caused by the foods you are eating.
Preventative Health Care
A healthy diet is proven to lengthen your life expectancy. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, as many unhealthy foods cause diseases like heart conditions, or are carcinogenic. Conversely, healthy foods can improve your body’s ability to repair itself, and can actively reduce your chances of becoming ill.
Additionally, a healthy diet can help improve the quality and length of your sleep. This is important, as sleep is the time when our bodies “take out the trash” and repair themselves after a long day. If you’re looking to improve the quality of your sleep, you might want to start by familiarizing yourself with the link between nutrition and sleep, as they work synergistically to support one another.
A healthy diet has many unexpected benefits for our mental, physical, and spiritual health. By eating an ethically sourced diet, we can ensure that your food aligns with your spirituality and values. At the same time, a healthy diet will probably help improve your long-term health, as the food you eat will give you the energy you need to exercise and allow you to get a good night’s sleep. In the long run, these changes are extremely likely to help you maintain your emotional and mental health and will give you the energy you need to live a healthy, fulfilling life.
About the Author: Ainsley Lawrence is a freelance writer with an interest in balanced living through education and technology. She loves travelling to beautiful places and is frequently lost in a good book.
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