Not sure if you should follow a healthy diet? Check out these 5 surprising health benefits of following a balanced and nutritious diet.
Nutrition is nutrition that affects every aspect of our lives, from our physical health to our overall well-being. The connection between the foods we eat and their effects on our bodies is essential. While many of us are familiar with the basics of a balanced diet, the world of nutrition is more complex and fascinating than we think.Read more: Energy Boosting Foods: If you often feel weak, then eat these 6 foods to give instant energy to the body
5 Interesting Facts About Nutrition
To understand this better, Ms. Salini Somesundar, Consultant Dietitian, Manipal Hospital, Kharadi Pune, shares five interesting facts about nutrition that not only give a deeper understanding of its power but also an understanding of what we eat. Empowers you to be more informed. Choices about food that:
Food as medicine
The food we eat contains an abundance of bioactive compounds that can have a profound effect on our health. For example, many fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants, which help improve the body’s immune system and fight oxidative stress and inflammation in the body. Some foods, such as turmeric, contain natural anti-inflammatory compounds. Garlic is rich in anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antistress, antidiabetic, anticancer, liver protection, antioxidant and wound healing properties. By choosing a varied and nutrient-dense diet, we can potentially reduce the risk of chronic diseases and support overall well-being.
Gut microbiome and health
The human gut is home to trillions of microorganisms, collectively known as the gut microbiome. These tiny inhabitants play an important role in our digestion, metabolism and even our immune system. Changes in the gut microbiome have been implicated in many diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Probiotics can restore the composition of the gut microbiome and exert beneficial functions in gut microbial communities, resulting in prevention of gut inflammation.
A high-fiber diet promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut, which can lead to better digestion and overall health. This connection between diet and the gut microbiome highlights the importance of food choices that nourish our internal microbial communities.
Integration of nutrients
Nutrition is not just about individual nutrients; It’s also about how nutrients interact with each other. The concept of nutrient synergy emphasizes that certain nutrients work better together, increasing their overall effectiveness in the body. For example, vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, makes a powerful addition to bone health, and is also involved in cholesterol metabolism. Vitamin C is essential for better absorption of non-heme iron in our body.
The food we eat can also affect our mood, cognitive function and risk of mental health disorders. For example, omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish are associated with better mood and a lower risk of depression. Conversely, excessive consumption of sugary and highly processed foods increases the risk of mood disorders and cognitive decline. This connection between nutrition and mental health underscores the importance of a balanced diet for overall well-being.
Consuming complex carbohydrates, lean proteins, fresh fruits and vegetables can increase the availability of serotonin, a chemical that affects happiness and memory.
Food labeling and marketing
Food labeling and advertising often use terms like “natural,” “organic,” or “low fat” to influence our food choices. However, these labels can be misleading, and the nutritional quality of a product may not always live up to its marketing claims. It is important for consumers to read food labels carefully and prefer whole, minimally processed foods when possible. Understanding the nuances of food labeling empowers individuals to make informed choices about what goes on their plates.
Portion size, calories per serving, added sugars, saturated fat content, and sodium levels should all be checked when reading food labels. Low fat does not mean low calories, check for food allergies.