Healthy eating is a cornerstone of good health. It involves eating the right foods that provide us with all of our nutritional needs, including all of the essential elements such as vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. The rewards that come from eating healthy on a regular basis can be seen both in the short-term and in the long-term.
What does good nutrition and eating a well balanced diet do for one’s overall level of health?
First of all, eating right can help protect you from a number of diseases including cancer, cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and osteoporosis. It also provides for the nutrients that fuel growth and development.
Eating healthy make it possible to maintain a healthy body weight and it provides the energy that is required to get through the day as opposed to being exhausted and running on empty.
Healthy eating is good for the brain and it leads to an improved ability to focus, concentrate on tasks at hand and to learn. Eating well is also instrumental in helping the immune system to do its very best work possible.
The immune system is one of the hardest working systems in the body and needs all of the assistance that you can give it to work even better!
Some Healthy Eating Facts
Here are some facts that you may not be aware of. The rates of youth obesity have tripled in the past 20 to 25 years. After smoking, obesity is the second leading preventable cause of death in the country.
Only an estimated 1/3 of Americans eat as many portions of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis that they need for optimum health.
Eating an abundance of fruits and veggies not only promotes an optimum level of health but it can also prevent the onset of many different diseases (as previously mentioned above). One of the factors that have been linked to childhood obesity is an increase in portion sizes. There was no such thing as “upsizing” a meal 20 or 30 years ago.
Healthy Eating for Families
Studies have shown that when a family sits down and eats a meal together a healthier pattern of eating is evidenced. Each family member consumes more fruits and vegetables, more fiber and more nutrients overall. While at the same time, less fried and fatty food is consumed and the same goes for soft drinks.
It is important for parents to bear in mind that both family and home play a role in how their children view health and nutrition. The eating habits developed at home can lay the groundwork for the eating habits the children will have once they grow into adults.
Making family meals a priority in your household shows children that nutrition and spending time together makes a difference. Have family meals together as often as possible. When you do make the mood as relaxed and enjoyable as you can. Let everyone have time to talk and make sure everyone’s day is discussed at some point during the meal.
Set a good example for your kids by being a positive role model. If your children see you making healthy food choices and eating good foods then they will follow your lead. If healthy eating matters to you then it is likely to be passed on to your kids.