Healthy Foods Promote more than Weight Loss

A healthy diet and regular exercise will lead to weight loss. Although this comment is absolutely true, it is woefully incomplete. Better eating habits and increased activity will also lead to wellness, better sleep, less stress, a reduction in the reliance on medications and over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers, and lower cases of obesity, heart disease, cancer, intestinal problems, and depression. It is astonishing that modern technology can advance so far at the same time as it is killing people at an alarming rate. Medications and treatments for cancer, for example, have advanced exponentially in the past few decades. The mortality rate for some cancers is decreasing as the cases of other cancers are reaching an all-time high.

The link to that juxtaposition can be found in eating habits, the depletion of nutrients in foods, and over processed options that are quick and easy. The fact that people are eating more fast food and the obesity rate is climbing is a perfect example. Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are developed to create higher crop yields, but deplete those crops of nutrients. Pesticides are created to be more effective and bees are on placed on the endangered species list. A complete meal can be purchased in a single box at the store and requires only heating to be edible. The problem is that the heating process to originally cook the food, the freezing process to keep it fresh, and the reheating process has combined to strip that meal of any nutritional value.

Going back to a few basics can help remedy some of these issues. Foods high in antioxidants, like cherries and avocado, for example, can help rid the body of free radicals and reduce the formation of carcinogens. Both of those substances in high amounts are linked to several types of cancer. Altering the growing process of such foods will diminish their concentration of antioxidants. Improving nutrition alone can help prevent the rise in cancer cases. Keeping healthy foods healthy is easier and most cost-effective than spending billions of dollars on research to develop more medications. Cancer is only one example. Reliance on OTCs for pain relief, sleeping, and mood enhancement is another example. A nutritious diet can provide increases in melatonin to elevate mood and promote sleep, and reduce inflammation that causes headaches and joint pain.