More than 2,500 years ago, Hippocrates said “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” These are great words to live by.

What you put in your mouth is the top priority in achieving overall wellness. If we get proper nutrition, our organs and bodily systems will perform well. Conversely, unhealthy eating habits dramatically increase the chances of developing complications and susceptibility to diseases and more.

VIDA member Alex Graham began working with a VIDA Registered Dietitian when he noticed changes in his blood work. As someone who knows the science behind good nutrition, Graham chose to work with an RD so that he could get his body to perform at optimum levels.

After committing to his nutrition, Graham stated “My triglyceride level decreased from 277 to 90 (normal is less than 149). I now feel empowered to make the right decisions regarding what I eat, and I physically feel so much better than I did two years ago.”

Like Graham, you too can consider the following eight ways in which the nutrients we consume affect our overall wellness.

Brain Function

How well your brain functions is directly related to getting the right nutrition. Nutrient-rich foods like nuts, seeds, and avocados contain brain power-boosting Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. Blueberries and pumpkin seeds enhance memory and broccoli increases cognitive function. Eat these brain foods and get more out of your day!

Energy

A healthy diet means more fuel for you to power through your workday, your workouts, and your play. Conversely, too many refined carbohydrates, fats and sugars can zap your energy level. Eat plenty of vegetables, fruits and whole grains and drink lots of water!

A Healthy Heart

By lowering your intake of fats, sodium, and cholesterol, you can help your heart stay healthy. Eat four or five servings of both fruits and vegetables and a diet rich in low-fat dairy and whole grains.

Healthy Teeth and Bones

Calcium is what helps you keep your bones and teeth strong and fight against osteoporosis. Foods rich in calcium include yogurt, cheese, milk, bok choy, broccoli, soy products, fruit juices, and cereals.

Better Immune System

Micronutrients and macronutrients enhance immunity. You can find micronutrients in vitamins and minerals while macronutrients can come from fats, proteins, and carbohydrates.

Your Aging Process

Experts think diet and exercise are the biggest contributors to lifespan. Some nutrients bolster your digestive functions and immune system, which will work against the degenerative changes that occur as you age.

Emotional Health

Too much starch and sugar can make you feel tired, irritable or even blue. Complex carbs such as beans, whole grains and legumes maintain better blood sugar levels to enhance energy and mood.

Managing Weight

Managing your nutrition aids in weight management. The right diet also helps to avoid thyroid dysfunction and type 2 diabetes.

Hippocrates certainly had it right. Food plays an enormous role in overall wellness, or lack of wellness.

If you are looking for more guidance on proper nutrition, VIDA’s team of Registered Dietitians offer counseling to empower you to build good habits that last a lifetime!