Food and Health
The connection between health and what we eat is a compound one; after all, there are so many different levels of wellness, and even the actual definition of health within the scientific and medical worlds can’t be agreed upon.
For many of us, health would be defined as being free of illness or disease. While this encompasses a large part of the picture, the World Health Organization (WHO) also adds that health is “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being”: and thus, effectively targets every area of our lives. Now that we’ve got a decent idea of what health is (although the exact definition of this can vary from person to person), we can then discuss the correlation to eating, and how these two factors bind together to form a complex relationship.
Food is essential for everyone on the planet; some diets contribute to health and wellness in abundance, while others aid in contributing to disease. Granted, not everyone can access every type of food, and organic and fresh foods can be hard to come by in certain areas – or if they are available, they might be expensive.
So, what exactly is the relationship between food and our health? In essence, the foods that we eat can either nourish our bodies and help to keep them functioning well or can tend to lead us toward disease. This can affect us both mentally and physically, especially if we’re experiencing stress; for example, think of a candy bar. Mentally when we eat it, it sounds good at the time, right? It might even give us a momentary boost of energy and send endorphins through the body, making us temporarily feel better. However, on the flip side, it can leave us feeling groggy, lethargic, and oftentimes even more hungry afterward, than if we had eaten something more substantial – and unfortunately, our stress is still present.
Let’s break down the food side of the health puzzle, as well as gut health; both factors combined can go a long way in educating someone about why and how the foods we eat impact our health in many, many ways.
Eating the rainbow
While most of us know we should eat fruits and vegetables daily, the saying “eat the rainbow” might cause some confusion. Yes, we need to consume fruits and vegetables, especially since they are full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber that we need to keep our immune system and overall health running smoothly…. but why eat so many colors?
“Eating the rainbow” essentially has us eating a bunch of different colors within our fruits and veggies every day – that way, the nutrients that you are consuming will be varied. All of the different colors are caused by phytonutrients, and they are typically also foods high in antioxidants (necessary for fighting off diseased cells within the body). Let’s break down some examples of these powerful and colorful health benefits.