Jayapadma Clinic

The food you eat and how active you are can greatly affect your health in ways that you might not realize. Here are 8 surprising health benefits of eating, as well as how much exercise you need to get each day and how much sleep is necessary to keep yourself in good shape! You’ll be surprised at what some healthy habits can do for your body!

1) Improved memory

By eating a healthy diet, you are supplying your body with everything it needs to help boost brain function and prevent cognitive decline. Healthy foods have also been linked to preventing memory loss in later years. Studies show that people with low intakes of vitamin C, vitamin E, and omega-3 fatty acids—found abundantly in fruits and vegetables—have a greater risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease, says Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, an internal medicine physician at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City and author of Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum’s Guide to Better Sleep . Ditch what’s bad for you and load up on these brain foods. They’re good for both long-term health and building healthy lifestyle habits (i.e., it takes more than just good sleep).

2) Reduced weight and increased strength

Increased strength isn’t all that surprising as a benefit of exercising regularly. However, you might not realize how reducing your weight can also improve muscle function and contribute to increasing strength levels. Here’s how: When we’re overweight, our body fat takes up space normally allotted for muscles—this means that there is less room for muscle development in our bodies. As we start to lose weight (and fat), we open up more room in our bodies for muscle growth and strength gain than ever before! Sleep is critical to maintaining health: While exercise, food and water are all vital aspects of maintaining health, sleep comes first—especially when it comes to long-term results. You see, sleep cycles trigger a process in your body called leptin production.

3) Reduced cancer risk

For example, research from Purdue University has shown that people who exercise can reduce their risk of colon cancer by nearly 40%. Exercise seems to affect certain genes in such a way that they suppress tumor growth. And, even after someone already has cancer, exercise seems to help them live longer and have a better quality of life. In fact, one study found that regular aerobic activity (like jogging) can cut cancer deaths in half. Reduced risk for heart disease: Exercise also seems to reduce people’s risk for many different kinds of heart disease. In particular, regularly exercising reduces your overall body fat and BMI (which is strongly correlated with diabetes), as well as reducing your LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides.

4) Reduced stress levels

Blood sugar spikes and dips are a normal part of daily life. But eating less than you need to maintain proper blood sugar levels can cause a chain reaction that may lead to more serious conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer. That’s why it’s important to include carbohydrate-rich foods in your diet; just make sure they contain fiber so you don’t end up adding too many extra calories. High fiber carbohydrates include whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.

5) Reduced blood pressure

High blood pressure is a common health problem for people living in Western countries. It’s often caused by poor diet and lack of exercise, which can put an unnecessary strain on your heart. Losing weight can reduce your blood pressure, as well as help you control high cholesterol, diabetes and stop you from smoking. Even losing a small amount of weight – such as one to two pounds per week – can result in significant improvements to your health.

6) Balanced blood sugar levels

Blood sugar is important for fueling both your body and brain. The glycemic index rating in a food tells you how quickly that food will cause blood sugar levels to rise, which helps you decide whether it’s good or bad for your health. (High GI foods lead to a spike in blood sugar levels.) A diet rich in protein and fiber can help stabilize your blood sugar levels, making them less likely to fluctuate sharply throughout the day. High-protein meals also take longer to digest, so they leave you feeling fuller longer—the foundation of weight loss. If you have diabetes or pre-diabetes, consult with your doctor about managing your condition through diet and exercise; controlling both together can help you prevent long-term complications like heart disease, blindness, and amputation.

7) Stronger heart muscles

If you suffer from high blood pressure, know that there are many foods that can help lower it. A diet full of plant-based foods can have a favorable effect on high blood pressure, not to mention just about any other heart-related condition you might have. Plant-based foods such as nuts, whole grains, legumes and fruits are packed with soluble fiber and polyphenols. Both types of compounds can help reduce blood pressure by improving arterial elasticity and reducing resistance in your arteries while also suppressing inflammation. Lowering your blood pressure may require lifestyle changes such as eating more plant-based food; however, even small dietary changes may be enough to make a difference.

8) Helps with hair growth, skin & nails

You can help keep your hair, skin and nails healthy by including a variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet. Vitamins C and A are among several powerful antioxidants that may promote healthier-looking hair, glowing skin and stronger nails. Try citrus fruits like oranges, broccoli, cantaloupe or watermelon for extra vitamin C.

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