Why eat healthy foods...maybe we should ask why not?

So, why eat healthy foods? Why bother with healthy eating? If our goal is to lose weight, and we know that excess baggage is because we put more food into our bodies than we use in energy...as long as we eat less does it really matter?

Well, yes, it does. Food is not like gas or petrol in an engine, food is not just about energy, it's about supplying our bodies with what they need to be healthy and so that we feel good.

Why eat healthy foods...because we're a bit like plants, and a lot like other animals!

Our bodies are organisms that require certain things to thrive and be our best, no different than a plant or an animal. Take a walk around your garden, why are some plants thriving, lush and looking positively healthy, glowing and happy? Why are others looking like it's time to pull them out, compost them and start again?

Different plants need different nutrients, different environments and different amounts of water to make them thrive. We humans are the same. Our ages, our gender, our lifestyles mean that each of us needs different things to thrive.

An elite athlete needs different quantities of food than the couch potato; a sleep-deprived, slightly frazzled mother of three has different needs (food and otherwise) than a pregnant woman.

But there are common factors, there are basic guidelines which we can all follow, and then adjust to our particular needs, that will give our bodies what they need to do more than just survive.

The emphasis here is on thrive...survival is not enough...each of us, individually, wants to be the best, look the best, feel the best and be the best we can be...why eat healthy foods? Because if we give our bodies the best, it'll give us it's best!

Why eat healthy foods...because they don't only feed our organic parts...start saving your sanity now

Just as importantly as making sure that our physical bodies thrive, food has a tremendous effect on our mental well-being as well.

We all know that when we're trying to lose weight, when we've come to the realization that we're too fat, and unfit, the weight drags us down; not only physically, but mentally too.

We feel it in everything we do, it causes us embarrassment, it prevents us from doing what we want to do, mentally it weighs on us as heavily as a dark day, or a sad moment.

Food has something to do with this too. If our eating habits are crappy, we feel crappy too. There's so much evidence on how food effects our mood; how a little of some foods (like chocolate...my favourite mood enhancer) can boost the way we feel, while others can adversely affect our moods and behaviour.

Certain fruits, vegetables, grains and proteins contain elements and nutrients that can lift our spirits, can make us feel good, or at least better. When we feel better we're mentally stronger, better able to keep going with our daily lives, and with our goals. The lower we feel, the harder it can be to stay motivated.

So if we're not careful, we make the mental work harder than it needs to be...we're already carrying around the weight of too much weight, and then we make the situation worse by not giving ourselves the nutrients we need so that they can produce the feel good chemicals. Boy, talk about a double whammy!

Why eat healthy foods...because we can...there's absolutely no reason not to!

I'm aware of the debates raging about the way the nutrient values in our foods have deteriorated, that the way we store food for excessively long periods, how the sprays etc we use and the lack of nutrients in the soil have adversely affected what we get from our food...and I don't deny that it's unsettling.

But, most of us who live in developed countries have access to such a variety of healthy foods these days, yet we're still buying overprocessed, fat, salt and sugar infused concoctions from the shelves of the supermarkets....that often don't resemble real foods at all! (yes, me included...I'm not saying they don't have their uses or their benefits).

So, why there might be less nutrients in the mango that traveled from the tropics to the colder states by plane and was picked green, than there was in it 15 years ago...15 years ago I couldn't get a mango, except out of a tin, with added sugar unless I was living in those tropical states! So whatever I'm getting from that mango now...I wasn't getting it before, because I wasn't eating it, because I couldn't buy one!

The more variety we put into our diets the more likely we are to get sufficient amounts of the nutrients our bodies need, not only to lose weight, but to thrive, to give our bodies (and our minds) everything they need to be their best, and therefore help us become our best.

We have access to such a great variety of healthy, tasty foods...yet we don't take advantage of them. Look at all the fresh fruits and vegetables in our local green grocers...the colours, textures, and shapes. Much more interesting than the cardboard boxes. It's okay to eat from the cardboard boxes, some great foods, such as oats, only come in cardboard, but there's such a wide choice outside the boxes, and mostly they're lower in fat, sugar, salt and nutrient rich...and they taste good too.

Maybe we should change the question, instead of Why eat healthy foods? maybe the question should be Why eat from the box?

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