Why Nutrition Should Be Part of Your Preventative Health Plan

If you’re creating a preventative health plan,  a healthy diet should be an integral part of it.  You’ve probably heard the saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” This saying is so common that many people don’t even think about the meaning behind it. Of course, it takes more than an apple to be healthy and bypass doctor’s visits; sometimes, going to the doctor is simply unavoidable. However, eating healthy can make a huge difference in a person’s overall health throughout their lives. The food you put in your body is what makes up the fuel that gives you the energy to function each day. Eating foods that are free of excess salt, sugar, and cholesterol can help us maintain healthy bodies and lower our chances of developing long-term conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and obesity.

Studies suggest a healthy diet is capable of preventing between 30% and 50% of all cancers. Some dietary patterns have been shown to influence a person’s chance of developing cancer, which is a primary cause of death around the world.

Some foods that are thought to increase a person’s chances of getting cancer include:

  • Sugar and refined carbs
  • Processed meat
  • Overcooked foods
  • Dairy

Avoiding excess amounts of any of these groups can decrease your chances of developing long-term illness and can help you feel better throughout each day. Some foods, like vegetables, fruits, flaxseed, spices, legumes, nuts, and garlic are thought to help prevent diseases like cancer from occurring in the body as well.

Some foods are extra healthy for individuals to consume on a regular basis due to the vitamins and minerals they provide. Dark green leafy vegetables are some of the most nutritious superfoods available, as they contain nutrients like folate, zinc, calcium, iron, magnesium, vitamin C, and fiber. Berries and green teas are also considered superfoods that can help prevent illness by providing the body with fiber and antioxidants.

Choosing the Right Diet for You

Although it’s pretty clear that a healthy diet consists of plenty of fruits, vegetables, legumes, and nuts, it’s important to make sustainable changes to your diet if you’re hoping to continue them so that they have a positive impact. The most necessary part of a preventative health plan is for it to be consistent — so it needs a diet you can follow day in and day out.

Therefore, it’s best to start with a few changes and work your way towards your healthy eating goals. Although eating super healthy foods for a few days may make you feel really good, it’s best for your health to invest more time and energy into making permanent changes rather than temporary ones. However, before you’re able to set goals for your diet, you’ll need to think about what exactly you want to achieve from your diet, apart from a generally healthy lifestyle.

You can structure your diet to meet any number of goals, including losing weight, improving the quality of your skin, or building muscle throughout your body. As you’re setting goals, you should make a point to recognize the areas of your diet that you tend to struggle with and actively work to avoid falling into tempting but unhealthy eating patterns that can mess with your goals.

Consulting Your Healthcare Provider

Improving your diet can make all the difference in your overall physical and mental well-being, which is why it’s such a vital aspect of preventative health. This has encouraged healthcare providers to work with employers to encourage healthy eating plans for their employees. By promoting healthy eating, employers can potentially reduce the cost of providing coverage to employees, as employees who eat healthily will likely need fewer doctor visits than employees who do not.

However, the fight for healthy eating in an attempt to reduce the body’s chance of developing illness happens in the doctor’s office as well. While some medical professionals don’t focus as much as they should on encouraging a healthy diet, others recognize their responsibility to educate their patients. Nurses, in particular, who work closely with patients throughout their day, are often responsible for checking in with patients about their eating habits and helping steer them towards a path of healthy eating that will improve their quality of life.

A preventative health plan can help you achieve your long-term health goal needs by providing you with a foundation for a healthy life. Giving your body clean fuel to run on will help it function at its best, which is not only good for your lifelong physical health but your mental health as well. If you don’t already eat healthily, a nutritious diet can change your day-to-day life and provide you with the support you need to live each day to the fullest.

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