Well, to begin with, we literally are what we eat (or more technically, what we absorb). Every cell in our body requires nutrients, and these nutrients come either directly or indirectly from the foods we eat.
Without nutrients to the cells, disease starts to set in. When the cells become ill, so do we. Now we are in trouble. To save the body from malnutrition, the cells start to save everything it can, and this includes fats, toxins and poisons found chemically laced foods. We often use this phrase, “Obesity is simply malnutrition.” It has been recorded that there are millions of obese people, of which for many, malnutrition is the cause – Don Chisholm
Our body is made up of 50 trillion cells that have very specific functions within our bodies. From breaking down the nutrients from our food to provide us with energy to building and repairing our body. For these processes to work effectively and efficiently, they need the nutrients we get from our food.
You will reduce the amount of chemicals your body is exposed to
Most processed foods contain additives such as stablisers, emulsifiers, preservatives, humectants, anti-caking agents, colours and flavours. Many of these additives are known to be carcinogenic (cancer causing), are linked to behavioural disorders such as ADHD or ODD and are known to induce asthma attacks and eczema.
Your mental and emotional health will benefit
Your mental heath also relies on the nutrients we get from Real Food. Animal-based Omega-3 fats can help treat major depression more effectively than antidepressants. Brain chemicals (neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, dopamine and acetylcholine) influence the way we think, feel and behave. They can be affected by what we’ve eaten. Low levels of vitamins and minerals can affect mental health, with some symptoms associated with particular nutritional deficiencies. For example, links have been demonstrated between low levels of certain B-vitamins and symptoms of schizophrenia and low levels of the mineral zinc and eating disorders. The best way to get these nutrients (for most people) os not from supplements, but from Real Food.
You will sleep better
Research has shown that when we are tired, we tend to crave more refined carbohydrates (sugar) and fatty foods – typically in the form of deep fried, vegetable oils and fewer fruits and vegetables. This is possibly because a lack of sleep alters chemical signals connected to metabolism and hunger. In fact, some researchers believe sleep deprivation is a factor in the rising rates of obesity. Eating and sleeping well are two vital components of health that are inextricably linked.
When you are nourishing your body with the nutrients you get from Real Foods such as magnesium, potassium and vitamin D, you will sleep better.
You will look better
It’s your body’s job to make sure all nutrients go to where they are needed most in your body. In periods of stress or illness, when your body requires more of certain nutrients (B vitamins, zinc, antioxidants) – the skin, hair and nails are usually the first thing to miss out. This can lead to dry skin, flaking and peeling nails and limp, breaking hair.
When you consistently eat a wide variety of Real Food, you are essentially topping up your nutrient stores with every bite meaning that your body will have the nutrients it needs to do it’s job of keeping you healthy, as well as looking after your skin, hair and nails.
You will be better able to maintain your ideal weight
Highly processed foods are devoid of the nutrients and enzymes our body needs to be healthy and nourished. The Standard Australian Diet (SAD) is a high energy, low nutrient way of eating, yet so many Australian families are eating this way. We are overweight, yet undernourished.
Research studies prove that a diet high in sugar, vegetable fats and processed foods will lead to obesity, and is likely to lead to depression. With obesity comes other chronic illnesses too, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer.
When you eat nutrient dense, real foods, you won’t eat as much of it as your body is getting the nutrition it needs, without the extra kilojoules.
Eating Real Food isn’t just about losing weight though. If you are underweight, eating Real Food can help you to gain needed weight as well as nutrients and to maintain your ideal weight.
Eating Real Food means eating a wide range of nutrient dense foods – all the colours of the rainbow. When you stop counting calories and start eating Real Food, the individual nutrients will take care of themselves.
J Adolesc Health. 2013 Apr 30. pii: S1054-139X(13)00141-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2013.03.007
Am J Psychiatry. 2010 Mar;167(3):305-11. doi: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2009.09060881. Epub 2010 Jan 4
Effects of food additives on behaviour, health and learning http://fedup.com.au/
François Lespérance, Nancy Frasure-Smith, Elise St-André, Gustavo Turecki, Paul Lespérance, Stephen R. Wisniewski. The Efficacy of Omega-3 Supplementation for Major Depression: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 2010; DOI: 10.4088/JCP.10m05966blu