Personal health is the sum of hundreds of daily choices we make. From how much water we drink, to the amount of exercise we receive on a weekly basis and the foods we eat, it is an investment we make to reduce the risk of chronic disease and health complications.
When you are making the right choices every day, it can be hard to see the results. Weight loss or the development of muscle mass is one obvious result of persistent healthy choices, but what other signs does our body provide us, that we are doing a good job of balancing our nutrition? In order to keep up the effort, we are all invested in looking for evidence that the choices (and sacrifices we me make) are having an impact. Here are five signs that you might have missed, where your body is giving you a healthy ‘thumbs up’ and progress report. Exercise is important as well we’ve put together an article on how to survive your first cross fit class.
1. Healthy Cholesterol Levels
Why is it that some of the most-tasty, and satisfying foods are high in fat? We know that some types of fat are essential to good health, but since the early 1960’s, the American Heart Association has recommended that individuals lower their dietary fat intake. That meant a war on food natural food sources like eggs and red meat. Before we really understood the difference between saturated and unsaturated nutritional sources, dietary experts advised that increasing carbohydrates in whole fruits and grains was healthier. Soon afterward, the grocery stores were full of low-fat and non-fat items that were packed with sugar, to make them tasty. A change which saw the American obesity rate climb shortly after.
Poor diet can increase cholesterol levels, but other factors also influence the health condition, including excessive weight and high BMI. Other lifestyle habits that are not related to nutrition can increase cholesterol levels, including tobacco use (smoking). Lack of physical activity can increase LDL (bad cholesterol) and reduce HDL (good cholesterol). If your cholesterol levels are normal, congratulate yourself for healthy lifestyle choices.
2. You Look and Feel Younger Than Your Age
When we make healthy dietary choices, we increase our intake of essential minerals, vitamins, fiber and hydration that our bodies need to function well. A diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables helps promote the production of antioxidants, which help keep cellular free radicals in check. Someone who eats well as a daily practice, has healthy skin, nails and hair. Cumulatively, they have a ‘healthy glow’ that comes from managing their internal health successfully. The fountain of youth is figuratively, in our hands on a daily basis.
3. Dental Health
Balanced nutrition means an abundance of the minerals your body needs to build bone strength. Nowhere is this more evident, than when we look at our dental health. Strong teeth are the result of dietary balance, and tooth enamel is related to the nutrients we intake weekly, including hard fruits and vegetables, which also strengthen the gums and jaw, reducing the risk of decay and bacterial infection.
4. Alertness and Brain Function
Feed your body; feed your brain, and cognitive functioning. The brain depends on maintaining a balanced level of nutrition in order to function, and that includes a regular intake of omega 3 fatty acids and DHA. Memory loss and difficulty concentrating are symptoms of poor nutrition, but a diet rich in wild salmon, flax seed, and nuts that are high in omega 3 fats can help you stay alert and sharp as you age.
5. Compromised Immunity
Have you ever noticed how people who routinely eat a balanced, conscientious diet and exercise regularly, are less prone to getting colds, the flu or other infections? The immune system is only as strong as the fuel it is provided with, and several research studies of aging populations have reversed compromised immune functioning, simply by dietary changes. Essential vitamin intake (dietary and supplements) to improve immune functioning including Vitamins A, C, and Vitamin E, selenium, iron, folic acid and zinc. Fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, leafy greens and even popcorn, provide a permanent boost to immunity when eaten as part of a regular, healthy diet.
Evaluate your healthy eating habits, and learn more about the importance of supplementing your diet with quality vitamins you can trust.
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