You know that eating right is key to shedding pounds, but weight loss isn’t the only reason to scarf your recommended servings of fruit and veg. Here are five reasons to fill up on the right foods that have nothing to do with a number on a scale.
It improves your mood
Despite what you think, an extra scoop of ice cream won’t make you happier. Foods that are high in sugar and trans fat can mess with your brain’s mood-regulating chemicals, triggering symptoms of depression. On the other hand, nutrients such as omega-3s in fish and vitamin D in dairy can boost your mood and fight the blues.
It bolsters your immune system
The only good sick days are the ones you fake. If you’re frequently out of the office due to actual illness, it’s time to reassess your diet. Research published in Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology shows that healthy gut bacteria leads to a stronger immune system and reduced chance of infections. Probiotics and complex carbs can help.
It makes you smarter
Next time you talk yourself out of a late-night pizza slice, your brain owes you a thank you. A study from the Rush Institute for Healthy Aging found that consuming saturated and trans fats from fried and processed foods is associated with a faster rate of cognitive decline. On the other hand, increased intake of omega-3 fatty acids has been linked to bigger, better functioning brains.
It keeps you strong
A strong body begins with a strong diet. Noshing on dairy, fruits, fish, and veggies helps ward off osteoporosis. To keep your muscles fighting fit, chow down on nutrient-rich foods – especially ones that are packed with protein.
It extends your life
Add all the perks of eating healthy together for the ultimate benefit: a longer life. A 2014 study in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health found that people who eat seven or more daily servings of fruit and vegetables are 42% less likely to kick the bucket on any given day than those who consume little to no produce. That’s no small number.
Is your nutrition in need of an overhaul? Put down the Twix and try these 6 Easy Ways To Start Eating Clean.