The benefits of a healthy diet

Being that Minnesota State just had their annual free farmer’s market, it felt only fitting to discuss the positive aspects of eating fresh, healthy foods. Eating a proper, balanced diet can help you maintain your health – not just physically, but mentally, too. We as students should put in that extra effort to eat better.

As a college student, it’s often the first years of your life where you’re in charge of buying and preparing your own food. There usually isn’t a person in your life trying to force you to eat your fruits and vegetables anymore.

There’s nothing easier than grabbing a frozen pizza from the freezer and giving it a good ol’ toss into the oven. You get to sit there as it cooks and the result tastes great. However, there are many risks that come with it when this turns into a regular occurrence.

Taking care of your body is a big responsibility and is not prioritized enough at this age. Following a healthy diet has a number of benefits that may not seem important now, but they will be as you get older. The younger you start these healthy habits, the easier they will be to follow as an adult.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease has been the leading cause of death for adults in the United States. Nearly half of American adults have some kind of cardiovascular disease. However, the simple task of eating well can help reduce blood pressure and keep your heart healthy.

Along with maintaining a healthy heart, it’s also important to try and maintain a healthy weight. However, the meaning of healthy weight varies from person to person. While this by no means has any relation to body shaming, a person who is at risk of obesity is also at risk of further health concerns. 

On top of physical health, your mental health also has a direct relation to the food you consume. Eating too much sugar or processed foods can cause the brain and body to swell, contributing to mood disorders. If you’re looking to improve or protect your mental health, focusing on adding more food like fruits, vegetables and nuts to your diet are the perfect start.

While eating a balanced diet is one of the best things you can do for yourself, it can come at a cost, literally. Unfortunately, fresh foods tend to cost a great deal more than processed foods. It also can take much more effort to prepare a nutritious meal. 

These negative factors that go into a balanced diet can be somewhat discouraging and inconvenient for college students with a lot on their plates. It may take some time to adjust, but starting to slowly make changes now will set you up for a happy and healthy future. Nevertheless, it is really just short term pain for a long term gain.

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