The Importance of Nutrient-Rich Meals
It's no secret that a balanced diet full of nutrients is key to maintaining your overall health. So how often are we consuming a balanced diet?
The answer? Not as often as you'd think. In fact, in 2019, only about one in ten adults met fruit and vegetable intake recommendations.
How can we increase our nutrient intake and become a healthier version of ourselves? The first step is knowing how nutrition connects to our overall health.
Prevents High Blood Pressure
A good level of nutrition has a positive impact on your blood pressure. High consumption of nutrients such as protein, potassium, and polyunsaturated fatty acids can prevent and reduce high blood pressure.
Preventing and maintaining high blood pressure is vital because it is one of the leading causes of strokes and heart disease. While high intakes of nutrients can prevent high blood pressure, consuming too much sodium or alcohol has the opposite effect and can actually put you at risk for high blood pressure.
If you are struggling with high blood pressure, try following the DASH diet, which outlines healthy eating to lower hypertension. Standing for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, this diet is proven to help lower blood pressure in a short period. The DASH diet recommends foods high in nutrients (magnesium, potassium, and calcium) and provides suggested serving sizes.
Ensures Kidney Health
Your small, bean-shaped organs on each side of your spine play a vital role in keeping your body operating properly. Your kidneys filter waste from the body, maintain electrolyte balance, secrete essential hormones, and assist in controlling blood pressure.
Ensuring your kidneys are healthy is vital to keep YOU healthy! If you have a proper, nutrient-rich diet, the kidneys don't have to double down to remove extra fluid and waste. It is essential to have the right balance of nutrients — not consuming too little or too much protein, potassium, or calcium.
Keeping your kidneys healthy starts with:
- Remaining hydrated
- Drinking plenty of water
- Keeping up with electrolytes
- Staying fit with exercise
- Maintaining blood sugar with a balanced diet
If your kidneys are not healthy, you run the risk of kidney stones and early development of kidney diseases. Kidney stones are often one of the first symptoms of kidney diseases, such as cystinosis, lupus nephritis, and polycystic kidney disease.
Kidney function is also a direct correlation to weight gain. When kidneys stop working properly, excess fluid builds up in tissue and can cause weight gain.
Lowers Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
Paired with a well-maintained exercise regimen and sleep schedule, a healthy diet high in nutrients can additionally lower your risk of type 2 diabetes. Below are four dietary changes that can decrease the chance of diabetes:
- Choosing healthy fats
- Skipping sugary drinks
- Selecting whole grains over processed carbohydrates
- Limiting red meat and process meat intake
Those who have an active and healthy lifestyle are less likely to become overweight, increasing the risk of type 2 diabetes. High levels of fatty acids and inflammations lead to insulin resistance, which eventually progresses to diabetes.
Reaching your desired weight can help lower your diabetes risk. Feeling your best starts with wise choices. Below are some tips for doing this in a healthy, continuous manner:
- Increasing physical activity
- Getting better sleep
- Drinking more water
- Eating whole foods
- Limiting sugar intake
Health Tips to Improve Your Diet and Nutrition
Now that we know how good nutrition can directly affect your health, it's time to get on track to fulfilling positive and better food choices!
When planning your next meal, pull your plate out and think of the rainbow. Your plate should feature healthy foods in various colors, from leafy greens to bright red tomatoes and rich-colored meat.
Start by incorporating small ways to reduce extra fat in your diet:
- Trade frying foods for grilling or baking.
- Drink reduced-fat milk instead of whole milk.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables.
What you drink matters, too! What beverages can you consume that impact your health positively? H2O. Drinking water prevents dehydration, regulates your body's temperature, helps excrete waste, prevents constipation, and much more.
And while caffeine is often a daily consumption (with 85% of Americans reporting consuming at least one caffeinated beverage a day), it does have some drawbacks.
First, the pros:
- Improves mood
- Improves brain health
- Promotes weight loss
- Protects against various diseases
Cons of Caffeine:
- Causes irregular heartbeat
- Can cause insomnia
- Increases digestive problems
While we're not telling you to rid yourself of your favorite cup of morning Joe, ensure you're consuming an appropriate amount. Learn more about caffeine's pros and cons here!
Covering the Full Spectrum of Health
Enhancing your nutrient intake, preventing diseases and high blood pressure, and knowing the facts will lead to overall positive health. Full Spectrum Emergency Room and Urgent Care is here to be a resource and helping hand during this process.
Full Spectrum Emergency Room and Urgent Care offers high-quality and convenient care to treat a variety of emergency room and urgent care needs. We are here for you for health guidance, prevention, and treatment.
To learn more about the services we offer, call us today at (210) 429-8313 or visit us online.