When people start to reign in and clean up their diets, they often do so with the goal of shedding a few pounds. While this is a worthwhile goal, clean eating can, and does, do so much more for your body.
Here are 8 ways your healthy eating habits can impact you beyond that shrinking number on the scale:
1. You'll have healthy gums and teeth
The digestion of your food begins in your mouth. Because of this, it would stand to reason that if you are eliminating sticky, sugary foods, your teeth and gums would be healthier. Getting rid of these foods reduces your risk of gingivitis and cavities. If you do have a sweet tooth that you find hard to ignore, try to get your fix from natural sources. Mix some fruit into Greek yogurt, for example and you get the added bonus of calcium which is known to strengthen teeth.
2. You'll have shiny hair and strong nails
Including omega 3 fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals in your diet is a guaranteed way to get gorgeous hair and nails. Hair and nails are made up of proteins so be sure to include protein rich foods like fish, poultry, eggs, beans, and nuts. If you are eating a variety of fruits and vegetables you will be getting vitamins C and E, and biotin which will help you grow long, strong hair and nails.
3. You'll have more energy
If you feel exhausted by midday, it might be because you aren't eating the right breakfast. Skipping protein at breakfast can leave you feeling drained by noon. To keep yourself going, your breakfast should include the important components: protein, whole grain carbs, and healthy fats. Think of breakfast as a three legged stool. All three components support each other and together, they support you. Remove one and everything topples over. Try almond butter on whole grain toast or a bowl of oats with skim milk and chopped nuts.
4. You'll feel more full
If all of your meals are a well balanced combination of whole grain carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats, you'll provide your body with an even energy source that will keep you going for several hours. Eating this way helps to avoid blood sugar spikes which means no energy crash and you will not feel hungry again in a few hours. If you combine these elements at each meal, you can avoid the overeating that leads to feeling bloated and uncomfortable. Try a turkey and avocado sandwich on whole grain bread for a healthy lunch option.
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5. You'll reduce your risk of disease
You may feel healthy right now but it is possible that some of your habits may prevent that from being the case in the future. If you grocery shop without reading labels, it is time to change that habit. Packaged foods are often highly processed and loaded with extra sodium, sugar, or fat. These additives have all been shown to increase the risk for certain conditions like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers. If the idea of reading labels causes you to feel a little panicked, stick to the outer aisles of the supermarket. It is in these aisles that you will find the fresh, whole foods that should be making up the bulk of your diet. Don't be afraid to try plant proteins like beans, seeds, nuts and soy.
6. You'll have good mental health
Eating well isn't just good for your body, it is good for your mind, too! A diet rich in omega 3 fatty acids has been shown to reduce depression and combat moodiness while vitamin B is a precursor to the happy, feel good hormones dopamine and serotonin. If you have a healthy relationship with your food and practice mindfulness
while eating, you can empower yourself --mind, body, and soul.
7. You'll be better at your job
If you are eating real, whole foods, you will be giving your brain the fuel it needs to function and improve your focus and concentration. Foods that are high in protein, like lean meats, poultry, fish, cheese, and eggs, increase the release of dopamine-- a neurotransmitter that keeps you sharp. Eating whole grains and seeds, like chia and quinoa, will provide you with energy while stabilizing your blood sugar. When your energy is stable and you aren't thinking about a trip to the vending machine, you'll be better able to work your way through your overloaded day planner!
8. You'll sleep better
If you have a hard time falling asleep at night, your bedtime snack may be the culprit. Skip the sugary snacks which can wind you up and instead reach for foods that naturally contain tryptophan like milk or a handful of almonds. They provide protein and melatonin which can ease you into sleep.
Cleaning up your diet can help you live your best life. We can help you transition into a healthier diet with the BodyRock Meal Plan. By following the plan, you will gain the foundation required for building a balanced, healthy diet for years to come. The Meal Plan covers everyone from meat eaters to vegans and takes virtually all the guess work out of meal prep. We provide you with a weekly grocery list so all you have to do is buy the ingredients and follow along! We are talking 30 days worth of real, whole, exciting, flavorful meals and snacks, that will satisfy your taste buds! Clean up your diet today and get your Meal Plan here