An unhealthy diet is responsible for increasing the number of chronic diseases, as well as increasing the death rate of the general population. Poor nutrition leaves people with slower reasoning, sluggishness, much more tired and lazy to perform normal daily tasks. Sleep can also change when food comes out poorly.
Although mostly related to weight loss, good nutrition is directly related to a person’s health and quality of life, according to nutritionist Rosana Farah, SBAN (Brazilian Nutrition and Nutrition Association).
“When our eating choices are right for our nutritional needs, our physical and mental health is better because food is linked to a variety of emotional aspects, such as depression and anxiety,” Farah explains.
Endocrinologist Paula Pires of the São Paulo SBEM (Brazilian Association of Endocrinology and Metabolism) says that by eating better, people can still prevent obesity, type 2 diabetes, various types of cancer, hypertension, heart disease and stroke, ensuring they are healthy. aging and vitality.
The benefits of good nutrition
Then look at the benefits of improved nutrition as well as weight control.
1. Improve memory and concentration
The brain is an organ with few reserves of nutrients, so investing in a balanced diet is essential for its proper functioning. Glucose is the main source of energy and helps it perform its functions. But he is not alone. The vitality and sharp memory of neurons come from the combination of various foods with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which protect the brain.
2. Strengthen immunity
Nutrition Coordinator at Sírio-Libanês Hospital, nutritionist Ana Lúcia Rodrigues, reveals that a diet rich in vitamins and minerals, along with regular physical activity and good hydration, is also important for strengthening immunity.
3. Disease prevention
Epidemiological studies indicate that people who consume more bioactive compounds have a lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases, age-related macular degeneration, and some types of cancer.
In plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes and cereals, bioactive compounds in food are not as important as essential nutrients for the human body, but by consuming them continuously and in large quantities, they provide many health benefits. antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, vasodilating and carcinogenic actions.
4. Reduces inflammation
“Inflammation occurs in our body as a result of the constant consumption of industrialized foods rich in toxins, additives, colorants, sugars, salts and preservatives. Untreated, the inflammation becomes chronic and tends to be disease-prone,” says Rodrigues.
Some compounds in food, such as so-called bioactives, may have biological activity that can reduce the inflammatory response. As in the case of omega 3, it is found in cold water fish and some seeds, especially chia and flax seeds; resveratrol, which is found in grapes; curcumin, which is in turmeric; green tea catechins, among others.
A balanced diet based on natural and minimally processed foods and regular exercise can improve metabolism and the inflammatory profile, leading to a balanced nutritional and metabolic balance.
5. Stabilization of blood glucose levels
When a person consumes certain foods, the body begins to produce insulin, a hormone that usually increases their levels in those at risk for type 2 diabetes. So if the diet stays healthy, this is low in fiber and rich. in saturated fats and simpler carbohydrates, especially sugars, this will lead to weight gain, which will stop the insulin from working properly.
Therefore, a proper diet can reduce the risk of diabetes and pre-diabetes. But regular physical exercise is also important, as is quitting smoking and reducing alcohol consumption.
6. Improving fitness
Nutrition plays an important role in our attitude. Both excess and nutrient deficiencies can cause metabolic changes that can lead to fatigue.
It is essential to pay attention to the foods we put on the plate, as the main function of food is to provide energy to the body. In order to have more dispositions, it is necessary to ingest adequate amounts of carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, minerals and vitamins. This is the best way for cells to work more efficiently.
7. Helps control cholesterol
Although dyslipidemia (changes in cholesterol and triglycerides) can be caused by genetic reasons, a significant percentage of this problem is caused by poor eating habits, such as over-consumption of foods rich in saturated fats, fried foods and over-processed foods and low intake. foods rich in fiber (fruits, vegetables, vegetables) or non-industrialized. Therefore, eating well and balanced helps to control cholesterol levels.
8. Better to heal wounds
It’s not just the medication that makes for a good postoperative period. Nutrition is also important for recovery and should be followed by a prescription that varies depending on the surgical procedure performed. It is generally recommended to choose light foods at this time so that the body can focus its energy on tissue regeneration and not digestion.
9. Helps to achieve good oral health
When we talk about oral health, we immediately think of foods that are harmful to the teeth, such as sugars that cause nausea. However, there are also allies of the mouth, such as calcium. Minerals found in foods such as milk, beans and soy are involved in the formation, renewal and support of bones and teeth. It is the one that makes your teeth resistant to external attacks for a lifetime, as well as promoting bone renewal and arch support.
10. Improves mood and relieves symptoms of mental disorders
A study in the UK looked at the habits of 200 volunteers, and in 88% of cases, dietary changes include smoking and physical activity, such as relieving symptoms of mental disorders. panic attacks, anxiety and depression.
Another study published in the Revista de Saúde Pública in 2017 compared the habits and feelings of 49,025 adults in Brazil and concluded that those with unhealthy behaviors included fatty, refreshing meats and excessive alcohol consumption. prone to depression.
11. Improves skin and strengthens hair and nails
Healthy eating is the first step to ensuring strong hair, as it helps prevent hair loss and, consequently, loss of shine. In addition, dietary fiber is responsible for “cleansing” our body, cleansing and helping to regenerate local cells and improving the composition of our intestinal microbiota, a condition that positively affects the health of the body, including skin, hair. and nails.
Also keep in mind the importance of being hydrated and consuming vitamin C, which acts as a powerful antioxidant, helps to produce endogenous collagen and should be consumed daily with citrus fruits.
12. Improves sleep
Diet reduces inflammation in the intestines so that sleep hormones can be produced effectively. To do this, it is important to reduce the excess amount of refined sugars and sweets; drinking chamomile or mulungu tea at night, which not only reduces inflammation but also promotes muscle relaxation; prefer anti-inflammatory foods such as vegetables, fruits, grains, roots, olive oil and nuts; Fruit consumption has the effect of reducing intestinal inflammation, but some specific ones can help in the production of sleep hormones, such as kiwi, grapes and cherries.
What to eat better
UFBA Hospital das Clínicas A reference in the oncology unit of the UFBA (Federal University of the Bay), nutritionist Catarina Lobo explains that good nutrition is synonymous with a balanced diet and not a restriction. “When we think of a balanced diet, we represent that all food groups (in addition to carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, vitamins and minerals) are in sufficient quantity to ensure the functioning of our body,” he says.
According to him, food is all about being able to make and produce bodies. “Our brain is a good example. Who has had difficulty concentrating when they go beyond eating time? Who has had a headache when they forget to drink water? Quantity than usual?”
Lobo says that many people ignore the importance of healthy eating habits until they come across health conditions that deserve a change in their eating routine. “Some simple recommendations, such as adjusting your fluid intake, including fiber-rich foods (fruits, legumes, and vegetables) and reducing salt or alcohol, seem like a boring and problematic life-threatening punishment for some people. This challenge leads to significant health improvements.”
Sources: Paul henkinnutritionist and director open (Brazilian Nutritional Association); Catarina Lobounit nutritionist reference onco-hematology Hospital das Clínicas UFBA (Federal University of Bay); Ana Lucia RodriguesA nutritionist who coordinates the food services at Sírio-Libanês Hospital; Paula Piresendocrinologist at SBEM (Brazilian Association of Endocrinology and Metabolism) São Paulo; Rosana farahnutritionist at SBAN (Brazilian Food and Nutrition Association).