Food Can Make Or Break Your Health

The benefits of eating the right foods go way beyond maintaining a healthy weight. There are many more reasons to eat a healthy diet with the right foods. Medical experts believe that the power of food can improve both emotional and physical health. When a patient is in a hospital, the food they are served makes a real difference in the treatment outcome and the general health of the person.

Why Is Good Food Important?

The food people eat helps or hurts their bodies and health. The right foods give the body the information, nutrients, and materials it needs to function properly. If the body does not get the necessary nutrients, its metabolic processes and health suffer. Food can act as medicine and help maintain, treat, or prevent disease. Morrison Healthcare provides good food, nutrition, and hospitality services for health care systems and hospitals with this in mind.

They believe good food helps heal people in the health care system. The right food promote healing and improve the whole healthcare experience. Providing nutritious food for patients, hospital staff, and cafe guests can have a positive impact on everyone. Good food should be fresh and responsibly harvested and prepared with thoughtful menus.

Some of the benefits of good nutrition include:

· Reducing the risk of diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, some cancers, stroke, and osteoporosis

· Controlling high blood pressure and better heart health

· Lowering cholesterol levels

· The increased ability to fight illnesses and improved well being

· An increased energy level

· A better chance of illness and injury recovery

· Better weight management

· Bone health

· Longer life

· Healthier digestive system

· Support for muscles

· Healthier skin, eyes, and teeth

· Stronger bones

Food Impacts Our Health

If people eat the right food in the right amounts, their bodies receive the information and nutrients needed to properly function. If people do not get the proper nutrition, the body’s metabolic functions suffer and result in declining health. When a person eats too much or the wrong food, they can become overweight, yet undernourished. The person can then risk getting conditions and diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, or others.

Good food and the nutrients it delivers are important for the body’s growth, maintenance of functions, development, and metabolic functions. Nutrients provide the body with instructions on how to function. Proper nutrients help create good health and reduce the risk of disease.

The United States Faces Health Problems Related to Diet

Because of the poor diet habits of Americans, the United States faces serious health problems that lead to it ranking a low ninth among developed nations in life expectancy. Chronic health problems have led to high workplace absenteeism and lower productivity. A high 78% of all health care costs are for chronic disease treatment. Researchers blame these problems and the high rate of chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity, and some cancers on diet.

They feel the American diet lacks the needed balance of nutrients interacting to fight off these chronic diseases. There must be more studies to find out how multiple nutrients found in a diet act together to affect the body’s functions. Functional medicine is a dynamic approach that uses nutrition to treat, study, and prevent chronic diseases. It is doing research to learn the role nutrition plays in the body and its health.

Functional medical health practitioners address declining health and chronic disease by providing nutrients and foods that can restore body function. Practitioners look at related body systems such as the digestive system, the detoxification system, and the immune system. Interconnections found between the related systems provide answers to health problems such as poor digestion causing immune problems. 

When a person’s body is supplied with all nutrients, minerals, and vitamins needed to function at its best, that is good nutrition. A person needs to plan meals or snacks to include healthy, nutritious foods that are low in calories. Eat the following food groups for good nutrition.

What Constitutes Good Nutrition?

· Whole fruits with plenty of natural fiber, including berries.

· A variety of vegetables of different colors and flavors. Dark green vegetables are very beneficial.

· Whole grains in the form of bread, pasta, cereals, and crackers

· Get calcium and vitamin D from low-fat or fat-free milk

· Eat lean cuts of poultry, fish, and meat for protein

· Add beans, lentils, or tofu for more protein

· Ingest variety of nuts

· Eggs for vitamin A

· Drink plenty of water

The variety of healthy foods eaten should give the body an adequate supply of these nutrients. These nutrients are often missing or eaten in too small amounts in the U.S.

· Calcium. Get this nutrient by eating low-fat dairy products, sardines, broccoli, or dark leafy greens. Don’t forget cheeses and yogurt.

· Fiber. Dried beans and peas or other legumes, bran and whole grains, seeds, apples, carrots, raspberries, and other fruits and vegetable supply this.

· Potassium. Get this by eating bananas, nuts, cantaloupe, raisins, fish, and dark greens.

· Magnesium. This is found in black beans, peas, almonds, and spinach.

· Vitamin A. This comes in eggs, carrots, milk, cantaloupe, and sweet potatoes.

· Vitamin C. Comes from a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables.

· Vitamin E. Get this by eating nuts, avocados, seeds, whole grains, and dark leafy greens.

In addition to the nutrients listed above, a person should be eating foods that supply a wide range of additional vitamins, minerals,  and other good nutrients. A well-balanced diet will help the body become healthier. Healthy fats and oils, carbohydrates, protein, and antioxidants are also important. It is best to eat healthy foods with as little processing as possible. Don’t overcook food or prepare it using too much salt, sugar, and fat.

 Avoid these Foods For a Healthy Diet

Make an effort to avoid foods and chemicals that have been proven to be unhealthy. It is okay to eat these foods on occasion, but limit their consumption.

· Added sugar in all forms has few nutrients and is all carbohydrate. Avoid refined sugars, candy, and sweet baked goods.

· Added salt

· Overprocessed foods and snacks

· Sugar-packed beverages such as sports drinks, soda, and fruit drinks

· Red meat, fatty meat, and processed meats

· Saturated and trans fats

· Refined grains such as baked goods and white bread

· High-glycemic foods

It is important to do a little research or consult with medical professionals to get more information on a well-balanced, nutritious diet that will work for the individual, taking into consideration health issues like chronic conditions and food allergies. It is important to realize that too much of any one nutrient might also be harmful. Taking large amounts of food supplements without medical advice can also cause health problems.

Alcoholic beverages should be limited because they interfere with insulin, triglyceride, and cholesterol levels and can lead to risks of liver problems, high blood pressure, weight gain, and some cancers.

Smoking has no benefits to outweigh the health risks it causes. Quit smoking for better health. The first week a person quits smoking, their body begins the healing process. Damaged lungs began to improve.

Why Are Calories Important to Regulate in a Balanced Diet?

The foods everyone eats contain calories, which are an indicator of the amount of energy a body gains after the food is digested, broken down, and metabolized. Everyone needs calories, with the amount depending on their gender, age, and level of activity. The most calories are needed by young people between the ages of 18 and 25. Women need fewer calories than men, and most people need fewer calories as they get older.

The goal of good nutrition should be to eat foods that give the most nutrition for the amount of calories they include.

The Risks of Poor Nutrition

People who eat poor diets can suffer from the following health problems.

· Gaining weight to become overweight or obese

· Tooth decay

· Osteoporosis

· High blood pressure and high cholesterol

· Heart disease or stroke

· Type 2 diabetes

· Some cancers

· Reduced energy levels

· Malnutrition

· Poor sleep quality

· Mood issues

· A higher chance of developing memory problems

· Shorter life span

It is clear that people can benefit from improving nutrition and eating a healthier diet at all ages. No matter what is wrong with a person’s health, they can benefit from a good diet designed by a health professional. Food can indeed be used like medications with far fewer side effects. The food we eat or do not eat plays a big part in health in general and in health conditions such as diabetes, heart problems, and other body dysfunctions.

Nutrition and Cardiovascular Disease

Cardiovascular or heart disease and other health problems can be caused by multiple triggers, and one bodily dysfunction can cause more than one disease. Some important factors in heart disease can include:

· Insulin resistance

· Oxidative stress

· Homocysteine elevation

· High cholesterol

· Toxicity from heavy metal

· Inflammation

· Stress

· Hypertension

· Genetics

All of these factors can be affected by nutrition and can change a person’s nutritional needs. Improved nutrition can help with the prevention and treatment of heart disease and other health problems. Studies have shown that an imbalance in mineral intake can contribute to developing congestive heart failure and other problems. 

Good nutrition can affect every area of a person’s body and general health. It is really important for Americans to make an effort to improve their nutrition.

By Caitlyn

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