I love good food. It tastes delicious, adds pleasure to life and helps us celebrate good (and not-so-good) times. Importantly it gives our bodies the energy and nutrients to stay alive and thrive. Not to mention allowing children to grow properly or pregnant women to create a healthy new bub!
People often ask me: Why should I bother to eating healthily? Why all this fuss over vegetables, vitamins, fibre and healthy meals? Do I really have to cut down on sugar, salt, trans fats and junk food? What is good nutrition anyway?
At first, these seemed strange questions to me. Nutrition and healthy eating are my life's work and one I enjoy as well as take seriously. I've long accepted good nutrition and healthy eating as vital for my health, energy and well-being. Put simply, I FEEL BETTER when I eat right.
You wouldn't dream of putting the wrong petrol or oil into your car. Food is your fuel. Getting your body's fuel mix right will help you perform at your best, too. Why mooch along like an old wreck when you can be zooming into life like a well-tuned sports car?
I know that for some people it takes a lot of planning and preparation (i.e. work) to eat right and as a nutritionist I wanted to help make it easier for people to eat right. So I sat down and wrote down all the advantages – both the short and the long term – that you'll get from healthy eating. What's more I have a solution that will make it easier for you to understand your nutrition and make wise choices.
Here are the top 9 short-term benefits:
These are the nutrients of a balanced diet, which while particularly important for the growing years when the body requires the raw materials to make new muscles, skin and organs are important at every stage of life — during pregnancy when new tissue is being created, during those months of milk production while breastfeeding and as we get older when our bodies take longer to repair themselves. A good diet underpinned by correct nutrition is important if we want to stay healthy and active whatever life stage we are at.
I feel blah and lethargic if I eat junk food without enough fresh vegetables, or salad.
A weight that's neither too thin nor too fat. I know weight is often the main motivator for people to eat right and I don't like making weight the only focus of nutrition but it's on my list.
You still need to exercise, sleep well and reduce stress but eating is something we do every day – several times a day - and it's quicker to substitute a healthy tuna and salad sandwich for fast food than to find 30 minutes to do some exercise each day.
Fibre and resistant starch stave off constipation and create fuel for the friendly bacteria that live in your gut.
Many women, and now men too, spend hundreds of dollars on skincare. The best skin care comes form a body that is well-hydrated and well-nourished.
As well as vitality to get through your busy day-to-day lives, including exercise.
Plus it boosts your memory and stabilises your moods.
So it helps keep infections at bay and allows you to recover more quickly from illness.
Here are the 3 long-term benefits:
With a good diet, you can extend the years you stay alive without succumbing to these lifestyle conditions. What's more those extra years can be enjoyed more if you're healthy.
Cataracts and macular degeneration are both influenced by weight and nutrition intake e.g. vitamin C, lutein/zeaxanthin and other phyto-chemicals.
There's a lot of research into phyto-chemicals in foods and how they zap harmful free radicals that may otherwise damage cells and DNA.
Nutrition DOES matter! As a nutritionist, you'd expect me to say that, now wouldn't you?
At the beginning of this article I said that I had a solution that will make it easier for you to understand your nutrition and make wise choices. Well I have. I have just spent over four years researching and writing my Complete Food and Nutrition Companion so that everyone can have the nutrition facts they need to eat healthily at their fingertips. This Food and Nutrition Companion puts solid advice and hundreds of practical tips about food and health at your fingertips. In it I spell out all the facts about food, diet and health, providing clear and authoritative advice on everything you need to know about nutrition.
The Complete Food and Nutrition Companion is your Ultimate A- Z Guide and is packed with the sensible, down-to earth, no-fuss type of advice you've come to expect from me. It's your one-stop guide to how good nutrition and food can improve your and your family's health. It has over 500 entries with everything you need to know in an A to Z format from Acai to Zinc. If you think that a healthy diet and good nutrition are important then my Complete Food and Nutrition Companion is your best friend.