The universally acclaimed “father of medicine,” Hippocrates, famously adhered to the motto of “food is medicine.” At the core of his code and practice was the philosophy that food, in all of its different groups, holds the keys to preventing and curing countless illnesses and diseases.
In other words, the prioritization of nutrition in our lives should be essential. Every area of our health — mental, emotional, physical, spiritual — is interconnected and codependent upon each other, which means when one aspect of our health begins to suffer, so do all the rest.
Practicing a balanced nutritional diet is necessary for achieving optimal health, happiness and life fulfillment, but it’s still one of the most abstractly and often poorly taught subjects.
In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at what nutrition looks like in one’s day-to-day life, how you can best practice nutritional habits, and we’re also going to highlight specific foods that are especially beneficial.
Benefits of proper nutrition
As much as weight loss and aesthetic physiques are commonly associated with a balanced diet and consistent nutrition, there are many other benefits that go beyond those two.
Some of these benefits of good nutrition include:
Improved natural energy
Strengthened immune system
Reduced risk of chronic diseases
Better mental health
Improved digestive health
Deeper, more restful sleep
By prioritizing providing your body with as much of the nutrients, vitamins and minerals it needs to function at optimal capacity, you receive a multitude of benefits that aid in boosting both your short- and long-term health.
Tips for practicing nutrition
There’s a lot of conflicting advice out there when it comes to what people should and should not be doing, eating or drinking, and some opinions outright condemn certain foods or practices.
We’re going to keep things simple, and provide you with a series of simple but highly effective tips for practicing nutrition in your day-to-day life.
1. Eat plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables
A common rule of thumb when it comes to eating fruits and vegetables is to “eat the rainbow.” Instead of only keeping carrots and celery in your fridge, also incorporate blackberries, beets, broccoli, apples, yellow squash — keep your selection and consumption colorful.
2. Choose whole grains over refined flours
It’s not that all bread is bad for you, it’s that certain breads have no nutritional value at best and harmful-to-your-health ingredients at the worst. By making decisions like choosing whole-grain cereals over sugar-dominant cereals, sprouted bread over white bread, brown rice pasta over white pasta, you’re able to keep foods you enjoy without sacrificing your health in the process.
3. Choose clean proteins over processed meats
It might seem more budget-friendly to grab the $3 pack of hot dogs than the $10 pack of chicken thighs, but in the grand scheme of life, the potential health ramifications of consistent decisions like this can lead to chronic illnesses. The preventative investment in your health isn’t always a cheap or easy one (which should tell you something), but the benefits far outweigh that cost.
4. Watch out for hidden ingredients
It’s easy to grab the keto muffin mix off the shelf or the vegan frozen pizza pockets because they must be healthy, right? Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. Many trendy pre-packaged diet foods are full of unhealthy or outright “fake” ingredients that, while they meet the caloric or nutritional deficit, are not as healthy as you think they are.
5. Seek professional help when you need it
One of the biggest reasons people give up on their nutritional habits is they don’t see or experience the benefits they were expecting. There are many reasons as to why this is, including eating imbalanced ratios, not incorporating the right kind (or enough of) movement, and neglecting equally other healthy habits such as stress management.
Identifying exactly why your nutritional efforts aren’t “working” can be frustrating and even overwhelming to tackle, but if you’re ready to embark on your nutritional journey, we’re here to guide you every step of the way.
Begin your journey today
Tapestry is a premier behavioral health center that specializes in providing an evolved and full-spectrum approach to behavioral healthcare, one that is fully tailored to your needs.
We recognize that all health issues, whether mental or behavioral, are rarely isolated conditions, which is why we’ve developed a multifaceted approach in order to help you fully address and heal from your challenges.
Our carefully selected team is committed to supporting you and your family as you work to reclaim your life, and no matter what challenges arise, you won’t be facing them alone.