“Girl, are you sure you want to have McDonalds and Burger King in one day?” she asked.
“Yeah, why not?” her friend said.
“Because, you are what you eat!”
We’ve all heard the saying, “You are what you eat” but not many of us actually take that saying seriously. However, it is more than just a saying – you truly are what you eat.
The cells in our body require a constant supply of nutrients in order to function. Food affects all of these cells, and therefore every aspect of our being: mood, energy levels, thinking capacity, sleeping habits and general health.
What you eat affects your skin
Fruits and vegetables are good for our skin, because they are rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants are molecules that fight free radicles in the body. Free radicles are compounds that cause harm in the body if their levels become too high.
Besides fruit and vegetables, a very good source of protein is fish, as it contains omega-3 fatty acids known for promoting skin health and reducing inflammation.
Replace refined carbs and sugars with fruit and vegetables instead. Refined carbs include sweets, white bread, pastries, white rice and sugary drinks.
For healthy skin, it is essential that your body gets enough water. Staying hydrated is very important in order for nutrients to reach your skin cells. Avoid sugary drinks and enjoy water or green tea.
What you eat affects your brain and mood
Like everything else in our bodies, the brain requires energy in the form of the foods we eat. By paying close attention to the foods we eat, we’re able to control how well our brains perform – physically, intellectually, and emotionally.
There are many connections between what we eat and the types of bacteria that live in our guts which affect how we feel and even, how we behave.
Our digestive systems don’t just help us digest food, they also guide our emotions. Our bodies produce serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate sleep and appetite, mediate moods and inhibit pain. Ninety-five percent of serotonin is produced in our gastrointestinal tract, which is lined with millions of nerve cells, or neurons.
It has been noted that eating foods with processed and refined ingredients like sugars can lead to increased cases of depression, whereas eating foods like fruits, vegetables, unprocessed grains, fish and moderate amounts of meat can lower depression.
Our brains function best when we maintain a nutritious and balanced diet. High-quality foods that contain fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals nourish the brain and protect it from oxidative stress (the waste produced when the body uses oxygen, which can damage brain cells). Salmon, kale, garlic, blueberries and olive oil are great brain foods.
Low-quality foods, often processed and refined, are not the best choice for our brains and bodies because they are low in fibre and digested quickly. Processed and refined foods can cause swings in blood sugar levels. These fluctuations in blood sugar can be harmful to overall brain health and can affect mood. In addition to inhibiting our bodies’ regulation of insulin, refined sugars also promote inflammation and oxidative stress.
Therefore, not only does food affect our overall health, it affects our skin and our mood. To sum up, maintaining a healthy diet can boost your immune system, help you function well in everyday life and make you look and feel good. If you haven’t been making healthy choices already, it’s not too late to start.
Do you know what the silent killer is? Read here to find out more.
Tell us: What can you do to maintain a healthy lifestyle?