PAIGE JOHNSON ON WHOLE FOODS AND SURPRISING HEALTH BENIFITS

Screen Shot 2017-05-30 at 1.04.55 PM.png

IMPROVE YOUR PHYSICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH BY EMBRACING WHOLE FOODS AND DITCHING THE JUNK by PAIGE JOHNSON

When you are working on improving your health, be it mental, physical or both, making some dietary modifications can lead to major progress in your well-being. Good nutrition can not only improve your figure, but it can help to combat challenging issues such as depression, chronic pain, and even drug addiction. Even small changes can add up to produce big results over time and many people find themselves amazed at how much better they feel after committing to a healthier diet.

Small changes produce large results over time

SF Gate recommends taking small steps in changing your diet, even if it means tackling just one thing a week and adding another change each week. Relying on a diet filled with soda, caffeine, alcohol, sugary treats, and fat-laden foods can take a serious toll on your health. Making a commitment to transition away from those types of foods and incorporate nutrient-dense choices will result in major improvements in both your mental and physical well-being.

Good first steps may be to start drinking water, stop picking up fast food for meals, or work on getting in your fruit and vegetable servings every day. Many people find it helpful to keep a food diary for a while, writing down everything in an honest and thorough manner, as this can help you pinpoint problematic habits. Once you have been logging your food intake for a while, a food diary can also become a motivator as the successes build.

Berkeley Wellness details that a well-balanced diet will incorporate not only plenty of vegetables and fruits, but also whole grains, fish, nuts, avocados, and low-fat or nonfat dairy products. Try to cut back on refined sugar and processed foods, focusing on whole foods as much as possible in order to achieve the best possible results.

Many health challenges can be successfully battled via dietary changes

Incorporating healthy food choices into your diet doesn't only impact your weight. These changes can go a long way toward combating a wide variety of ailments as well. For example, those who are battling addictions frequently experience malnutrition issues, and dietary changes can have a big impact on recovery. Those working through recovery should cut back on processed foods, caffeine, sugar and refined carbohydrates while increasing protein, fiber, and healthy fats.

Addiction isn't the only battle that can be significantly eased via dietary changes. When it comes to depression, changing what you eat can definitely have a big impact. The Huffington Post shared some insight from a large study done at the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria that pointed toward fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and Omega-3 fatty acids as key components of a healthy diet that helped to ward off or limit depression.

The issue of chronic pain affects many people and diet can play a major role in this type of health condition. CNN details that foods such as processed sugars and high-glycemic starches can cause issues in people dealing with chronic inflammation and pain. On the other hand, incorporating a rainbow of vegetables, especially cruciferous ones like kale, cauliflower, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts, into your diet can help with chronic pain a great deal. In addition, foods such as berries, lean proteins, fish, and olive oil can have a positive impact on chronic pain issues too.

Everybody can benefit from eliminating junk food from their diet and focusing on healthy alternatives, and the impact these changes can have on both your mental and physical health is significant. For those who are coping with issues such as chronic pain, depression, or drug addiction, ditching the junk and embracing nutrient-dense, whole-food options can produce amazing results that will make you feel significantly stronger and healthier over time.

[Image by domokus/Pixabay]