So, you've finally decided you've had enough of your poor diet and it's time to make an important change. You've gone through your cupboards and tossed out anything processed and have vowed to eat nothing but whole foods from here on out. While your end goal may be weight loss and a clean bill of health, there are certain benefits you haven't even begun to consider. Here are six unexpected ways your life will improve when you start eating healthier.
You'll Fight Disease
Healthy foods such as berries, green tea, dark chocolate, leafy greens and concentrated greens powder contain high levels of antioxidants. These molecules protect you at a cellular level from free radicals which can be a precursor to cancer and other diseases. Free radicals are either produced in the body, or derived from sources such as cigarette smoke, pollution or chemicals. By eating foods rich in antioxidants, you improve your immune system and give free radicals a good fight.
Bathroom Trips Get Easier
When you eat healthier, expect easier bathroom visits. When you eat a lot of junk, your body does the best it can, but you often end up with loose, oily stools. Eating nutritious foods will make your bowel movements much more normal. However, don't expect these changes immediately. Fruits and vegetables are full of fiber and adding too many in the beginning can cause constipation. Make the switch gradually and be sure to drink plenty of water.
You'll Reduce Stress
You probably didn't realize that certain foods diminish stress, but they do! Among these tasty stress-busters are creamy avocados, omega-3-rich salmon and satisfying dark chocolate. Dark chocolate provides a double-whammy when it comes to stress reducers. First, it's loaded with antioxidants which lower stress hormones. Second, chocolate is tied to emotion and just the smell and flavor are enough to send stress packing. Choose a high-quality chocolate that's at least 70% cacao and eat in moderation.
Ordering Out Is More Fun
Who hasn't gone out to a restaurant and felt pressured to order their old, high-fat standby while others enjoy more interesting fare? It's easy to fall into a restaurant routine, or feel tempted by so many fattening foods. When you make the commitment to eat healthy, you won't be as likely to order just anything when you're out. In fact, you'll be more likely to look for fun, healthy options including brand new dishes you've never tried. Eating well opens up an entirely new world of cuisine you might have otherwise never tried.
You'll Think Clearer
It's no secret that fatty and sugary foods are bad for you, but they're also notorious for causing brain fog. This is when you feel disorganized, sleepy or fuzzy in the head. One surprising benefit of changing your diet is that you'll be more able to focus clearly. Foods high in antioxidants reduce inflammation in the body and are good for brain health. Omega-3s in fish also boost memory function, so don't be surprised if you start feeling more engaged at work or in your studies.
People Notice Your Glow
Everybody loves a compliment and when you begin eating more fruits and vegetables, you're more likely to receive them! When you have a lot of sugar in your diet, your complexion becomes dull and lifeless. Instead, diets that contain plenty of leafy greens, tomatoes, avocados and fatty fish reduce inflammation and combat dry skin for a radiant glow that's bound to turn heads.
Positive Changes Come Your Way
People fix their diets for a number of reasons, mostly for losing weight and getting their lipids under control. While these are definitely the right reasons, you'll be surprised at all the other benefits that will come your way. Your improved diet will ward off disease, reduce stress, increase mental clarity and make ordering out with friends fun again. Make this the year you decide to add all these positive changes to your life.