We talk a lot about balance, around here; about making healthy eating a priority but not letting it rule your life. We know the power of whole foods for the whole family, and about getting back to basics and not stressing about culinary perfection, but making real food a part of your everyday life. But what I want to talk about today, is more than just the WHAT, but the WHY. Why eating well is so important, not just for a healthy body, but for a healthy, happy life.
Real food doesn’t just nourish your body, it nourishes your mind. Our brains are our most precious resource, and our children’s brains, still growing and developing, blooming with potential for future astronauts, engineers, teachers, actors and entrepreneurs. We think about food as giving us fuel and nourishing our bodies, but sometimes we forget that our brain needs fuel, just like our other organs, muscles and bones. The brain is an intricate system that needs a constant supply of nutrients; nutrients that are much more easily derived from pure, whole foods—powerful omega-3 fatty acids from fish and walnuts, egg yolks rich in choline, berries high in antioxidants—benefits you just can’t find in a bag or a box.
Real food brings families together. When we focus on eating real food, we eat out less, and in, more. We cook together, we eat together and we spend more time together as a family—enjoying the richness of a shared meal, trading stories of the day, mixing up interesting bites of food, sharing, laughing and enjoying the company of the ones we love.
Real food means less sick days and doctor trips and more day trips and fun adventures. Perhaps the highest benefit, or at least the most convincing one, of choosing to include more whole foods in your family’s life, is the benefits eating whole foods provides for our overall health and wellness. Nourishing our bodies with the proper nutrients means it is more likely to be able to fight off the common illnesses we are exposed to on a daily basis. Having less illness, less frequent trips to the doctor and fewer medical bills frees up time and finances for spending the time going on family adventures and reaping the benefits of a healthy life.
Real food educates. When we feed our children real food, we educate them on the benefits of choosing healthy foods. We teach them choosing whole foods helps to fuel their body and brain. We educate them that real food is just as, if not more delicious, than it’s processed counterparts that line the grocery shelves. We teach them that providing food means providing community, cooking a meal is an act of love and that nourishing our bodies is something we should never take for granted.
Real food gives back to the local economy and the world. Choosing whole foods, especially foods that come from local farms and close by stores, means we are supporting our local economy, contributing to a better environment, and a healthier world.
Real food means more energy to do the things you really want to do. The quickest way to put a damper on a good day? Not having the energy to do all the things you want to do. Processed food zaps our energy, and though adults might notice it sooner than kids, we are all effected by our food choices, good or bad. Choosing real food means choosing foods that provide lasting energy and sustenance for our bodies and our families. So we can spend more time kicking around the soccer ball, hiking the Cliff Walk, battling waves on the boogie board and simply spending time with those we love.
Real food is so much more than just looking good and feeling like we’re doing the right thing. It affects every aspect of our lives, from our heads to our toes, and everywhere in between.
This post first appeared on the Fit4Mom Newport Blog.