We do typically understand what foods are good for us and what to stay away from. While improving your nutrition does rely on eating healthier foods, there is much more to it that is often not understood by the average person! 

Understanding how to achieve a nutritious meal is essential in developing a healthy lifestyle. A healthy lifestyle relies on incorporating nutrition in a thoughtful and intentional way. To learn more about the importance of nutrition, keep on reading! 

How Good Nutrition Boosts Your Health

The food that you eat every day will impact how you feel. If you’re eating fried foods and too much sugar, you might begin to feel low energy and fatigue. Nutrition is how we provide energy to our body, and we need energy to feel good!

There are several ways that nutrition impacts and boosts your health, both physical and mental. If you are struggling with mental health or physical health issues, it’s going to be critical to look into your nutrition to understand what you could change to feel better. 

Strengthened Immune System

There is not just one food that can help to protect your immune system. Several nutrients are working together inside your body at all times to help build up protections against illnesses, and by consuming more nutrient- and mineral-dense foods, you are giving yourself a boost that will help to keep you healthy! 

A few nutrients that impact immune strength are:

  • Vitamin C: Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps to boost your immune system. Our bodies don’t produce vitamin C on their own, so it’s essential that we receive enough from the foods we are eating. Many foods contain vitamin C, like oranges and kale! 
  • Protein: Protein doesn’t just repair muscle after working out; it also helps to power your immune system. Protein helps power the cells that go out and fight against sickness that tries to invade your bloodstream. Eating proper amounts of protein can help support your overall health, so you may be prepared to fight off infections. Foods that contain protein include lean meats, poultry, seafood, dairy products, nuts, and legumes.
  • Vitamin A: Vitamin A is known to regulate the immune system and promote adaptive immunity. Making sure that you consume the proper amount of vitamin A in your diet is essential in protecting your immune system. You can find vitamin A in dairy products, oily fish, and eggs. 

All of these, and more, work together to make sure you are feeling strong and healthy. The better that your diet is, the more likely you will be protected against sickness. 

Supporting Mental Health

If your brain is not provided the proper nutrients through your diet, you will find that you are not feeling your best. 95% of your body’s serotonin is produced in the gastrointestinal tract, so the food you eat directly impacts your serotonin levels. 

If you are consuming proper nutrients and good bacteria, it will help support your overall mental health. If you are not eating a proper diet, you will be consuming more harmful bacteria that can cause distress in your production of serotonin and influence negative moods and emotions. You can support your gut health with fermented foods like kombucha, kefir, or miso. Similarly, foods like salmon, tofu, milk, and eggs may help boost serotonin levels and improve your mood. 

Take a few weeks to test out how your diet impacts your health. 

Processed foods are foods that were altered during preparation, usually by adding salt, oil, sugar, or preservatives. When nutritionists refer to processed foods, they usually mean foods that have been heavily altered, to the extent that their nutritional value has changed. 

Foods like sugary sodas, packaged meats, frozen prepared meals, and packaged snacks have most of their nutritional value removed during processing. Reduce your processed food and sugar intake and feel for yourself how your overall mood and energy levels change! 

Protection From Illnesses

Those who have a more well-rounded nutritional diet are less likely to develop obesity, heart disease, and type-2 diabetes—learning how to regulate things like your sodium intake can help prevent high blood pressure. Monitoring the nutrients that you are putting into your body such as proteins, carbohydrates, and healthy fats can help regulate your body’s essential functions and can help to protect you from developing these chronic diseases.

If you are someone who is currently struggling with a chronic disease, changing and improving your nutrition intake can help to manage any symptoms and the disease itself. 

Weight Management

There is a safe and proper way to manage your weight and achieve your healthiest self. Fad diets should not be the way you achieve your health goals. Having a complete and nutritious diet is going to have a more positive impact on your body. 

You can maintain your weight and supply your body with the proper nutrition to function just by eating foods that fulfill your nutritional needs such as complete proteins, fruits and vegetables, and whole grains.

Food Groups and Nutrition

Remember learning about the five food groups? They still matter! Making sure that you are eating a balanced diet is essential when it comes to nutrition. Each food group will have different essential components in your diet, so it’s important to be getting as many of them as you can in your daily intake. There are five food groups that you should be consuming daily:

Whole Grains

Whole grain kernels are made up of the bran, the endosperm, and the germ. These three components offer the essential nutrients:

  • The Bran: This part of whole grain is rich in fiber and contains multiple nutrients such as iron, zinc, copper, magnesium, B vitamins, and antioxidants. 
  • The Endosperm: This is the interior layer of whole grain, and it houses carbohydrates and protein, and small amounts of B vitamins.
  • The Germ: The germ is the core of whole grain and is rich in antioxidants, vitamin E, B vitamins, and healthy fats. 

If you are gluten-free, it’s best that you stay away from whole grains. You should include substitutes in your diet so that you receive the proper nutrition. Some of these substitutes include rice, buckwheat, and quinoa.

Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables provide you with several different essential vitamins that support your health. Different fruits and vegetables contain different nutrients, but some contain magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, and vitamins A, C, and E. They are low in salt and sugar and contain a good source of dietary fiber. 

Fruits provide a sweet way to eat healthy, and vegetables are often a staple for every meal. You should be eating enough servings of fruits and veggies daily to give you energy and proper nutrients.

Dairy

Dairy contains many essential nutrients that are important you intake daily. Dairy contains protein, calcium, phosphorus, and vitamins A and D. If you are lactose intolerant or allergic to dairy, you can substitute dairy with soy, almond, or oat milk.

Protein

Protein is essential because it builds up muscle and helps to repair damaged tissue. Protein restores energy and helps to keep you feeling good. You can easily get protein from animal meat, but there are also plenty of plant-based proteins that you can receive. 

Fat and Healthy Carbohydrates

Dietary fats are important to help regulate cholesterol and promote healthy bodily functions. Natural sugars found in healthy carbohydrates such as fruits and vegetables are great for you and are different from refined sugars that are found in processed foods. 

How To Know You’re Eating a Nutritious Diet

There are a few tell-tale signs that you are receiving a proper nutritional diet:

  • Energy levels: If you get proper nutrients in your diet, you will feel it in your alertness levels. You will stay energized throughout the day if you are properly fueling up. If you feel that you have no energy or aren’t sleeping well, you might be in need of better nutrition. 
  • Healthy skin and hair: Your body tells you in many ways when you are getting the proper amount of nutrients. Your skin will feel firmer, and your hair will appear well-nourished, strong, and sleek. You can tell when you are lacking, as you might notice that your skin and hair are dry and brittle.
  • Controlled blood pressure and cholesterol: If you have well-maintained blood pressure and cholesterol, you are probably receiving a nutritional diet. Testing out these levels can give you an idea of where you stand!

Learning About Your Own Nutrition With Vessel Health

If you want to learn more about your overall nutritional levels, consider using Vessel Health’s Wellness Test Card. This test card is easy to use—all you have to do is use it when you go to the bathroom, scan it, and then receive instant results! 

The Wellness Test Card allows you to see your nutrient and mineral levels in real-time. You can see exactly what is going on inside your body without having to wait weeks for a result from the doctor’s office. Your nutritional levels change every day, so by using our Wellness Card, you can understand how your diet and lifestyle are affected each day. 

We can all agree that nutrition is important, right? Understanding your body’s nutritional composition is key in understanding why you might be feeling a certain way. Sign-up now with Vessel Health to take the next step in improving your quality of life. 

 

Sources:

Role of Vitamin A in the Immune System | NCBI

Understanding Nutrition, Depression And Mental Illnesses | NCBI

Vegetables and Fruits | The Nutrition Source | Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health

Healthy Eating for a Healthy Weight | Healthy Weight, Nutrition, and Physical Activity | CDC

Simple Steps to Preventing Diabetes | The Nutrition Source | Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health | Harvard Health