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Why Eating Right Is the Foundation to Self-Care

A healthy diet is the foundation of a healthy mind and body, and it is the first step in being kinder to yourself when it comes to self-care.

Practising self-care is essential for achieving healthy and holistic well-being. This can be done by establishing behaviours that promote health, such as exercising, getting enough sleep, doing relaxing tasks, or maintaining proper hygiene. Aside from these activities, consciously deciding what you should eat is a good starting point for a healthier, happier you.

A study revealed that only four out of every 10 Australian adults eat vegetables with their meals, barely passing the mark for healthy eating habits. According to The Global Nutrition Report released in 2021, nearly half of the world’s population suffered from a lack of nutrition, and at current rates, it is projected that the world may fail to meet the World Health Organization’s nutrition targets for 2025. This highlights a worrying trend in global eating habits and only underscores the need for healthier options. Below, we take a look at why eating the right foods is a step in the right direction if you wish to practice self-care and achieve an overall healthier life.

Eating a variety of foods packed with nutrients, such as fruits and vegetables, can keep your body healthy and can protect you against chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and some forms of cancer. Foods with healthy carbohydrates, like whole-grain cereals from Weet-Bix, whole-wheat bread, and brown rice, can also provide fuel and extra energy for your physical activities, especially during exercise.

On the other hand, food can also affect your mood and overall mental health. About 95% of serotonin, the neurotransmitter that affects mood, is produced in the intestines. Previous research has found that feeding your gut with prebiotics (fruits, vegetables, whole grains) and probiotics (yoghurt, cottage cheese, miso) can help boost serotonin production in your body, therefore helping you improve your overall disposition.

Given the health benefits of eating the right foods, it’s important to establish a healthier relationship with what you eat. This way, you can eat the right foods guilt-free and be well on your way to achieving optimum self-care.

Establishing healthier eating habits can be hard if you don’t know how or where to start. Weight loss programs can help you build more nutritious eating habits through the help of experts who provide science-backed advice on how to lose weight and eat healthfully. WeightWatchers offers several resources and tips to help you achieve both weight loss and better health, including informational blog posts and weight loss plans. You can choose a customised weight loss plan or follow a food plan specifically tailored to your needs so you can enjoy your cravings in moderation and build more sustainable healthy eating habits. This is especially useful if you’re trying to lose weight but can’t seem to progress on your journey because of a lack of the right knowledge.

A balanced and sustainable diet can also help you maintain a healthy relationship with food. Make sure to include a wide variety of foods in your diet — such as healthy fats in avocados, healthy carbs from brown rice, and lean proteins like chicken — as some foods have specific nutrients that cater to your body's needs. Different foods can provide energy, regulate hormones, and boost mood. Depriving yourself of certain foods and subscribing to a strict diet can be unsustainable in the long run because it can make you see eating as punishment and lead to unhealthy or unsustainable cravings.

It's important to understand that food can be fun. Eating certain meals like plant-based vegan foods certainly has a range of health benefits, such as improving stomach or gut health, but don’t be afraid to grab another slice of cake or a scoop of ice-cream. These little treats are fine as long as you balance them out with healthier foods like fruits and vegetables later on.

A healthy diet is the foundation of a healthy mind and body. By establishing sustainable and healthy eating habits and building a better relationship with your food, you can take better care of yourself in the long run.


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