Celebrate health success

Food habits are tough to break but the rewards don’t go unnoticed.

Making healthy choices in life is often hard work. This is particularly so if you are giving up unhealthy foods. Unhealthy, energy-laden food, whether it’s fatty, fried, dipped, glazed, crunchy or silky smooth, tastes so good. Little wonder we grow to love and cherish these delights from the delicate to the double dunkings.

Taste receptors and smell are hardwired through to the brain, sending pleasing reward signals each time we take a bite or slurp.  This is an addictive property, thankfully not as severe as hard drugs or nicotine, but the same parts of the brain are involved. This means that reducing or giving up will involve withdrawal symptoms from irritability, anxiety through to depression and lethargy. But change is possible and sticking to your plans and goals will bring about major health rewards.  It is often forgotten that most health rewards pass by unseen and unrecognised.

For a start, most energy-rich foods give your body an immediate inflammatory jolt.  The surge of fat and sugar when released into the body triggers an inflammatory immune response. As the immune system gives off angry and stressed responses, this acts to drive the silent and deadly risks of heart disease. You might not feel the immediate benefits, but improving your immune balance is one major tick for healthy foods.  Better still is the benefit of switching from foods with few natural antioxidants, to those rich in vegetables and fruit that have a vast array of immune-boosting benefits.

Often forgotten in the quest for a better you are the health benefits of any weight loss.  Most diets and weight loss programs offer the miracle of losing weight, always painlessly. Giving up addictive high-energy food is rarely achieved without determination and hard work.  Despite all these efforts, too many people feel like they have failed when the weight doesn’t simply fall away.  Looking beyond the scales to the real benefits of losing weight is vital.  Even before you may see any change in the scales, making the conscious effort to cut back on unhealthy foods will slowly break the connection between habits and that food. Medical research has conclusively shown that even a few kilograms of weight loss has the remarkable benefits of lowering blood pressure, improving cholesterol and improving your immune balance.

With each passing day, small but positive steps to change from unhealthy foods to healthier options are giving your brain, immune system and heart the time needed to change for the better. Remember health, like beauty, starts from an inner glow.

   

Recommended reading - Issue Eleven Autumn 2015

Community

Mr Wilkinson’s autumn salads

Matt Wilkinson of Pope Joan chats about autumn ingredients, balcony gardens, and his new cookbook

Read more
Community

Il Fornaio: The fresh touch

How does a local eatery keep things fresh? We take a moment with Il Fornaio head chef Simon Turner

Read more
Experts

Hunger, appetite and cravings – what’s the difference?

Our needs, desires and cravings can easily get tangled together. Here's how to take back control

Read more
Experts

Gut feelings

Consumed by food cravings? It might be your gut bacteria talking

Read more
Lifestyle

The art of the perfect dinner party

Natalie Hayllar of Eat, Read, Love shares her secrets for social dining with a special something.

Read more
Experts

Tree of life

Just as trees need nourishment, our bodies need consistent, loving care to grow a healthy future.

Read more
Recipes

Carrot and miso dressing recipe

A delightful salad dressing from Il Fornaio, blending the flavours of miso and orange blossom

Read more
Community

The wholefoods way

Kate Bradley from Kenko Kitchen takes a moment to share some of her healthy secrets

Read more
Recipes

Chestnut and hazelnut cake recipe

The crumbly qualities of chestnuts lend themselves to much more than simply being roasted

Read more
Community

The traveller’s life

Portuguese blogger Sofia Machado lives life on the road, fuelled by the pure human desire of travel.

Read more
Lifestyle

A healthy getaway

Feeling lacklustre? A retreat focusing on nutrition and wellbeing could be what your body needs.

Read more
Community

The art of resilience

Matthew Johnstone tackles life’s tough questions with his endearing warmth and wit.

Read more

For full functionality of this site it is necessary to enable JavaScript. Here are instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your web browser.