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  • Writer's pictureDeja Rose

Mindful Eating: What it is and How it Can Help You Achieve Your Health Goals





There is a strong relationship between eating healthy, mental health, and self-love. As one of our many focuses, we strive to help solve lifestyle and current issues that people around the world face daily.


Mindful eating is an approach to food that focuses on bringing mindfulness, or nonjudgmental awareness, to the experience of eating. It emphasizes the act of consuming food with an attitude of gratitude and a full presence in the moment, paying attention to sensations, emotions, and the process of eating.


Mindful eating can be a powerful tool to help you reach your health goals. By being more mindful of what you put in your body, you can choose foods that will nourish and support your body, and avoid those that don't. Instead of relying on calorie-counting, you can focus on how the food makes yo feel whether it gives you energy or makes you sluggish, how full it makes you, how satisfied you are after eating it. It can also help you tune into the internal cues that your body sends out, such as feelings of hunger or satiety, and to act accordingly. Mindful eating can be a tool to not only help you reach your health goals, but to enjoy and appreciate the food that nourishes you leading to a healthier, happier lifestyle.


According to health.gov, eating healthy means following a healthy eating pattern that includes a variety of nutritious foods and drinks. In addition, this also means getting the correct number of calories that’s right for you. In other words, this means that we should intake the proper amount of food based on our body size, weight, or body mass index.



Benefits


The benefits of eating healthy are endless. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the benefits for adults include:


  • May help you live longer

  • Keeps skin, teeth, and eyes healthy

  • Supports muscles

  • Boosts immunity

  • Strengthens bones

  • Lowers risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers

  • Supports healthy pregnancies and breastfeeding

  • Helps the digestive system function

  • Helps achieve and maintain a healthy weight


Some benefits of healthy eating for children include:


  • Keeps skin, teeth, and eyes healthy

  • Supports muscles

  • Helps achieve and maintain a healthy weight

  • Strengthens bones

  • Supports brain development

  • Supports healthy growth

  • Boosts immunity

  • Helps the digestive system function


Eating healthy can be apart of your New Years resolution where one of your goals is to lose weight and eat healthy. It all starts with making better eating and dieting choices. For example, whole fruits, vegetables, whole grains, proteins, low-fat or fat free dairy, and oils. Health.gov suggests choosing a mix of healthy foods in these categories.


  • Whole fruits (apples, berries, oranges, mangos, and bananas)

  • Veggies (broccoli, sweet potatoes, beets, okra, spinach, peppers, and jicama

  • Whole grains – brown rice, millet, oatmeal, bulgur, and whole-wheat bread

  • Proteins (lean meats and chicken, eggs, seafood, beans, and lentils, nuts and seeds, and tofu

  • Low-fat or fat-free dairy (milk, yogurt, cheese, lactose-free dairy, and fortified soy beverages “soy milk” or soy yogurt

  • Oils (vegetable oil, olive oil, and oils in foods like seafood, avocado, and nuts





In addition, a healthy eating routine can help keep you healthy and in shape . In doing so, “you can reduce your risk for: overweight and obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and some types of cancer.” Incorporating these new eating choices can also lead to a control weight and a better functioning body.


When it comes to your mental health, eating healthy is very important. Healthy eating habits can improve how you feel and the internal wellbeing of your body. Depending on the types and amount of foods you intake can also increase or decrease your energy or affect how you feel. According to Alice Gomstyn, “eating healthy food promotes the growth of “good” bacteria, which in turn positively affects neurotransmitter production. A steady diet of junk food, on the other hand, can cause inflammation that hampers production. When neurotransmitter production is in good shape, your brain receives these positive messages loud and clear, and your emotions reflect it. But when production goes awry, so might your mood.”





A healthy diet consists of non-processed foods like organic produce that are more beneficial to the human body. According to Sutter Health, consuming fewer processed foods can lead to a better brain and emotional health. Nick Fox explains how “heavily processed food often include unhealth levels of added sugar, sodium, and fat.” In addition, these ingredients may help improve the taste of food, large amounts may lead to serious and life changing health issue such as obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.


There are also several health risks of heavily processed foods such as:

  • Increased cancer risk

  • Lacking in nutritional value

  • Calorie dense and addicting

  • Quicker to digest (burning less energy)

  • Full of artificial ingredients.

Some ways to reduce processed foods in your diet include:

  • Check the label. – Your favorite foods can contain harmful ingredients that may cause your body to change unexpectedly

  • Shop the outside aisles at the grocery store. – These aisles include healthy options or alternatives to your longtime favorites.

  • Opt for minimally processed meats. – Less processed meats contain more nutrients that the body may need such as seafood and chicken breast.

  • Start slowly. – You can gradually change your eating habits so that your body can properly adjust to these small changes.

  • Cook more meals at home. – Eat less fast food that contain more grease which is harder to digest properly.


Sutter Health also mentions how a healthy and well-balanced diet can help us think clearly and feel more alert which can also improve our concentration and attention span. In addition, a poor diet can actually aggravate, and may even lead to, stress and depression.



Live better, love better, be more.


Love more. Be more. Cherish life.




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