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What are the benefits of eating healthy?

What are the benefits of eating healthy?

4. Improved gut health

The colon is full of naturally occurring bacteria, which play important roles in metabolism and digestion.

Certain strains of bacteria also produce vitamins K and B, which benefit the colon. These strains also help fight harmful bacteria and viruses.

A diet low in fiber and high in sugar and fat alters the gut microbiome, increasing inflammation in the area.

However, a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains provides a combination of prebiotics and probiotics that help good bacteria thrive in the colon.

These fermented foods are rich in probiotics:

  • yogurt
  • kimchi
  • sauerkraut
  • miso
  • kefir

Fiber is an easily accessible prebiotic and is abundant in legumes, grains, fruits, and vegetables. It also promotes regular bowel movements, which can help prevent bowel cancer and diverticulitis.

5. Improved memory

A healthful diet may help maintain cognition and brain health.

A 2015 study identified nutrients and foods that protect against cognitive decline and dementia. The researchers found the following to be beneficial:

  • vitamin D, vitamin C, and vitamin E
  • omega-3 fatty acids
  • flavonoids and polyphenols
  • fish

Among other diets, the Mediterranean diet incorporates many of these nutrients.

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