Written by Lea Riemeier
It’s common knowledge that giving a machine the right fuel is necessary for it to work at its best without collapsing. Our body is a machine too, but I’m wondering – why are we not making sure that it gets the best fuel too?
Many people nowadays do not believe that feeding our body right and healthy can actually have an impact on how we feel in general? But guess what – it does! Why else do many of us feel so crappy sometimes when we had fast food for a few days? “I don’t have time.”
That is one of my ‘favourite’ excuses… You don’t have time to grab a piece of fruit or vegetable, but you have time to make a stop at McDonald’s Drive Through?
I am not saying you should never eat fries again – hell no! It’s all about balance, isn’t it? Small changes can make a huge difference and it’s a start. If you want McDonald’s then get it, but if you’re just hungry and want a snack maybe you could try an apple or a banana instead? And you will see, they won’t kill you. Here are five facts on why healthy food can make you feel better or happier 🙂
- Eating fruits and vegetables increases people’s life satisfaction
A study from Australia from 2016 found that people who switched from eating almost no fruit or vegetables to including eight portions a day in their diets felt an overall increase in life satisfaction that is comparable to the feeling an unemployed person has after finding a job. Everyone knows studies that show an improvement in people’s health when they eat more fruits and veggies.
What I find interesting though is, that the effects it has on our life satisfaction seem to happen much faster.
- Eating healthy prevents mood swings
We all know that feeling when we are really energy depleted and just need a quick snack to get that blood sugar up again. What’s a faster way than having a piece of chocolate or a candy bar?
Yeah, we will feel better for a bit, until the blood sugar drops down super fast because of how fast our body digest and absorbs these simple refined sugars and we will feel tired and crave more and the circle starts again.
There is nothing bad about sugar; it’s definitely the fastest source of energy. Just try combining it with fibres instead of having it by itself. Fibres are complex carbohydrates, found in fruits and vegetables, especially in the peel, but also in oats, peas, beans, etc.. The complex carbohydrates will slow down the sugar absorption into your bloodstream, will cause an increased release of Serotonin, the “feeling good” chemical and by that prevent these mood swings, which suck not only for you but also for the people around you.
- Feeling more comfortable in your skin
We all want to feel comfortable with our physical appearance, but nowadays that is hard for many of us.
On the one hand, there is all that influence from social media on how we should look like and on the other hand all these super fancy unhealthy food trends we all HAVE to try and take a cool photo of to post it on Instagram (No? It’s just us girls? Oh.).
I can’t tell you to not listen to that and it doesn’t matter what social media says and you are all beautiful as you are, because why would you believe me? You have no idea who I am. But what I can tell you is: ‘Listen to your body. It tells you what to do.’ If you don’t feel good in your own skin, because you are obese or you have bad skin then no one can help you, but YOU
You can make healthy food choices and you will see how it will make you feel better, look better and it will keep you motivated to make healthy choices in the future.
Most change is slow and gradual but is entirely worthwhile. What matters more in the end? Social media and trying every food trend that already won’t matter anymore tomorrow or how happy you feel with yourself?
- What you eat can improve your mood and energy levels
Many of us are having a hard time eating enough protein throughout the day. Most of our foods contain lots of carbohydrates and fats but they lack the amount of protein we should eat. Protein is great to improve your mood and energy even for several hours after eating. They slow down the absorption of carbohydrates into your bloodstream and increase the release of dopamine and norepinephrine, which are also used to treat depression.
Examples of protein-rich foods are:
- Soybeans or tofu
- Nuts and seeds
- Greek yogurt
- Keep those bowels moving
This might not be the nicest topic to talk about but whether we like it or not it’s important and everyone has to go to the toilet.
Nowadays many of us suffer from constipation and can’t empty ourselves regularly and that obviously makes us feel bad, bloated, and just somehow heavy. A very simple explanation of why we feel like that is that we are not getting enough water and fibres in our diets, which are the essentials for our gut system to work properly and get everything moving.
Once you’ve experienced how great it feels to have regular bowel movements, and how much lighter and comfortable you feel, you won’t ever want to feel differently and you’ll probably prioritize water and fibres.