Lets first define what we mean by healthy eating, before looking into its benefits. Simply put, it means, eating food that suffices our nutritional need and provides us with adequate energy. An important caveat being that it should also be tasty.
In my opinion, healthy eating is a learnable skill and an art form. And like any skill, it requires time, patience & regular practice to become proficient in it. Also, like any other art form, once you have mastered the basics you can play around and create your own new creations. Let me explain; once you have mastered how to eat food for its nutritional value over its taste then you can play around and create food recipes that are not only nutritious but also tasty. Getting this balance is an art form.
Once you have become fairly proficient in it you should be able to observe the following useful benefits of healthy eating.
It makes you aware and conscious of the food you eat
Once we get in the habit of measuring calories & nutrition of each food item that we consume we become aware of the nutrition in them. So we start looking at food more from their nutritional value than from their taste value. So don’t feel surprised if you get the strong urge to avoid fries and your new found love for greens. The beauty of being conscious is that you will be making healthy choices on your own and not because some diet plant or a nutritionist said so. You may not even use will-power when you’ll be making a healthy transition.
It improves your food choices
Since you are more aware of the nutritional value of the food items you would naturally sway towards food that is healthy. This way when you would be at a restaurant, or when you are buying food at a supermarket or when you are invited to an event or an occasion you would be making different choices i.e. healthier choices. It would not be an effort to make a healthy choice. On the contrary, making an unhealthy choice would cause guilt inside you. You would go about making healthy choices and observe your health improving even without you consciously trying to do so.
It helps to lose weight
I am sure you had at least guessed this one, so I am not going to go in details of it. Healthy eating is full of nutrition and low on calories. Of course, we must not go overboard with our portion sizes in the name of healthy food. Healthy eating assists in weight loss and makes it an easy an enjoyable process. But weight loss in another skill on its own and healthy eating is just a tool to help you learn the skill of weight loss.
It helps to reverse or manage problems due to nutrients deficiency
Many lifestyle diseases like certain types of diabetes, hypertension, obesity, etc are caused due to poor eating habit. By eating healthy we can easily control these diseases. And in the long term, we may also be able to reverse a few of them. Our bodies are miraculous beings. If given proper conditions it can heal itself. Healthy eating is one of the ways of creating that condition. A few other conditions being good sleep, regular exercise, emotional well being, etc.
It makes you a better planner
Let’s face it. Eating healthy all the time everywhere is a herculean task. So with time, you would organically learn the skill of planning your meals in advance. You would also learn the skill of planning in the present; what I mean is on occasions when you have to make immediate choices you would plan in such a way that you get your nutritional needs. e.g. when you are at a restaurant you would look at the menu and plan in such a way that you get the maximum possible nutrition while not compromising on the taste. Why else, have we gone out to eat if a change in taste is not important, right?
It can help you to develop a community of like-minded people
You will most probably attract other people who prefer healthy eating. But their numbers would be really few. A lot of people talk about healthy eating but a few practice it. You and your tribe would often plan occasions involving healthy eating. You may all go out together or invite each other over. You may also have passionate discussions over “healthy food” but it would, of course, be playful.
It helps in becoming self-reliant
Being self-reliant is very important to live an independent and confident life. We must take responsibility for every aspect of life and be on our own. When we develop the habit of healthy eating we not only take care of our body but we also strengthen the muscle of taking responsibility for our health. Healthy eating is not easy in today’s time. Hence committing to healthy eating habit requires effort. And once we have strengthened the healthy eating muscle we can live anywhere and under any circumstance and still be confident of our healthy eating habit. This is my personal favorite reason to learn the skill of healthy eating.
It helps you to monitor if you are eating with correct nutrition
Once you start eating healthy you will realize that you pay even more attention to the nutritional quality of your food. Once you are eating healthy regularly and it is no more a one-off or a few times a month occurrence you would begin to go in the details of your food. Compare it to a hobby of yours. Once you get good at a hobby you begin to make it more challenging for yourself. Similarly, once you start eating healthy consistently you would go one step ahead to even monitor if you are getting correct nutrition from your food. At times you may get obsessed with making healthy food even healthier, the frustration of which will also teach you to relax.
It will help you to balance your meals as per your gut health.
Healthy eating is not just about eating healthy food. It is a more holistic approach towards consumption and also the utilization of that food. You will not exploit your system in the name of healthy eating. As you are more aware of your eating pattern you’ll naturally be aware of your gut health. So if you are constipated or have diarrhea you will balance your meals accordingly.
It gets you in the Flow state
Flow-State is a psychology concept. It is one of the states of mind in which one can experience genuine happiness. For people who enjoy healthy cooking, it is a ritualistic thing. The ritual goes as follows; Some of us listen to music, some watch a show, some listen to a podcast and some of us just enjoy the pure silence while we cook. Then the process of gathering ingredients, cleaning and cutting them and organizing them is another beautiful task. Then the process of cooking, waiting and enjoying the aroma as it spreads in omnidirectional is beautiful as well. Then when the food is ready, we make it look even more tempting by garnishing it before serving. Finally, we sit to savor our food with family or friends or if you are like me you also enjoy your food alone. The whole process of healthy cooking and savoring your food puts you in a flow state.
It makes you more creative
In order to make your food tastier, you will learn to create custom combinations that are tailored to your taste. Also, you would appreciate the effort you put in garnishing to making the food look delicious before serving. You would mix and match occasions to stick to your healthy eating endeavor. You would become creative in more ways than you can think of.
It brings you close to nature
Once you start eating healthy you will realize how bad processed food is. And one of the best forms to consume food is in its purest form which is usually raw or close to raw. Our internal body systems still feel comfortable having food the conventional way. You will begin to detest processed and other non-natural forms of food. Thus bringing you close to the natural form of food and also in return bringing you closer to nature. But mankind has caused problems there too. Excessive use of chemical fertilizers and insecticides have degraded the natural quality of food. Hence we must aspire to find and consume food in an organic manner. This effort also leads us to come close to nature. And we begin to naturally appreciate nature.
It has a positive ripple effect on other areas of your life as well
Healthy eating is not an easy task in today’s time. It will require a great deal of effort from your side to be doing it regularly. But like a positive habit once you get good at it, it has positive benefits on other areas of your life as well. You will have a genuine feeling of well being. This positivity will help you tackle the challenges of your life in a more mindful manner. You will experience genuine bliss state.
It changes your perspective towards food
You may start to look at food as medecine and not just as means to satisfy your hunger. I would like you to believe that food is a natural medecine. By eating healthy, you are providing the resources to the body to take care of itself.
None of the benefits mentioned above can be observed overnight. You’ll subtly observe them as you become proficient at the healthy-eating skill.
To start eating healthy please go through My Free Healthy Eating Program