Most people would consider the benefit of eating well easy to point out; that of better health. Yet it is not that simple. You can eat healthy food but still be obese and that is certainly not healthy. So eating well is not only about what you eat but how much. Even then it can be about what suits your digestive system and even your lifestyle.
For instance, people who lead a very busy life may eat too quickly in an attempt to get more done. This can prevent good digestion so that all those healthy vitamins consumed are not being properly used. So to eat well, you must –
- Choose a diet that is both nutritious and suitable for you. This should include plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit, some meat and a small amount of other things that we love but are not really ‘good’ for us. This may surprise you, but the social/emotional benefits are important too. If you deny yourself something you really love you won’t be a happy person. Having that coffee and snack with friends can more than make up for the sugar/caffeine intake if it provides you with a healthy social life. That said, a fruit snack that you truly enjoy would be even better. Think moderation in all things.
- Eating well also means eating in a pleasant setting free of haste and tension. If mealtimes are always a hassle, you can easily get digestive upsets. Instead, adjust your meal times so that you can eat in peace, especially if you have toddlers. Having a later meal so that you can eat after they go to sleep will be much healthier for you.
- The way you cook is important too. You may choose healthy foods, but if you overcook them, or fry them in lots of fat or oil, or even add lots of salt and butter to your plate after cooking, you add unhealthy elements to your meal. Steaming food is a healthy choice, but no food should be overcooked, whether it is boiled, steamed, fried or baked.
- The way you keep food can make it healthy or not. Leaving fresh fruit and vegetables out of the refrigerator in a hot house for a week before it is eaten can make it less than healthy. Keeping it in cool conditions is best; freshly picked is even better and so is organic.
Sometimes it is impossible to ensure the things you eat are freshly picked, especially when buying from large supermarket chains. However, if possible, when buying from places such as farmers markets or specialty shops, ask how long it takes from farmer to point of sale. You can also look at the condition of the item to assess how long it’s been picked. Soft or droopy usually means a long time.