Start Right: The Benefits of Healthy Eating for Teens

Did you know that twenty percent of teenagers are living with prediabetes? In the United States, it’s never been easier to have both a healthy diet and a destructive diet. And if parents and teenagers aren’t informed enough, they’re more than likely going to engage in the latter option.

By learning about the benefits of healthy eating for teens, your teenager can improve their well-being and set themselves up to have a long and healthy life.

So keep on reading, and we’ll walk you through the benefits of having a balanced diet for teens.

1. Better Mood

Teenagers are notoriously moody. During puberty, kids go through massive hormonal changes that can leave them feeling anxious, cranky, and frustrated.

A healthy diet is a great way to channel that energy into a positive direction and mitigate the negative feelings. Diet and mood are closely linked.

When you eat foods with a high glycemic load, you might trigger increased feelings of fatigue and depression. This kind of diet might include refined carbs. Refined carbs can include cookies, bread, cakes, and sodas.

Vegetables and whole fruits have a lower glycemic load. It’s important to note that fruit juice is not fruit.

Even if you give your teen 100 percent fruit juice, you’re mostly giving them sugar. Instead, give them the whole fruit so that they can take advantage of the fruit’s fiber.

2. Improved Memory

You’re teen likely has a lot of exams and papers that they need to worry about. It can be difficult to remember and concentrate when their brains are dealing with inflammation from eating too much starch and sugar.

You want to give your kids foods that are high in healthy fats. The brain is sixty percent fat, after all.

The best foods for memory are fatty fish, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, vitamin C, and vitamin D.

You also want to eat dark leafy greens and colorful fruits, like dark berries. These foods have polyphenols and flavonoids.

Consider having your teen stick to a Mediterranean diet to help consume these nutrients.

When thinking about fatty fish, you want to remember the SMASH diet. That stands for sardines, mackerel, anchovies, salmon, and herring.

3. Weight Loss

Prediabetes and diabetes can be detrimental to a child’s health and could set them up for serious problems as they get older. Eathy whole, healthy foods can lower the inflammation in their bodies and help them feel full while eating healthy foods.

When you eat foods that have a high glycemic load, like sweets and bread, you quickly crave more. Eating foods that are high in omega-3 fats has the opposite effect.

Dietary fiber is especially important when it comes to managing weight. You can find healthy fiber in whole fruits, dark leafy greens, broccoli, and ancient grains like quinoa.

4. Strong Bones and Teeth

To have strong teeth and bones, it’s important that your teen eat a diet with plenty of magnesium and calcium. Their bodies are still developing, and this is a crucial time to make sure that they grow into healthy adults.

These foods include legumes, tofu, canned fish with bones, cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli.

Dairy is a controversial topic, and nutritionists are in disagreement about how good it actually is for people. If you do consume dairy, make sure that it comes from grass-fed cows.

You can find magnesium in whole grains, seeds, nuts, and dark leafy greens.

Eating a lot of sugar and drinking sweetened beverages can ruin your teen’s teeth. If you’re worried about their oral health, you should take them to a reputable dentist, such as this dentistry for children.

Decreased Cancer Risk

Vegetables and fruits are full of antioxidants. These are nutrients that fight off dangerous cells known as free radicals.

Free radicals contain an uneven number of electrons. This makes them unstable and dangerous.

As the free radicals try to steal electrons from healthy cells, they can cause damage and even cancer.

Antioxidants fight off free radicals, protecting your cells. Green tea and blueberries are both very high in antioxidants.

Blood Sugar Control

Foods that are high in sugar, such as candy, soda, fruit juice, and white bread, can spike your teen’s blood sugar levels.

While the body can handle occasional shifts in glucose levels, this can lead to insulin resistance over time. Insulin resistance can eventually become type 2 diabetes.

Complex carbs, like brown rice, quinoa, and oatmeal, cause a slow release of sugar into the bloodstream.

Also, a spike in blood sugar is usually followed by a crash. This means that if your teenager eats a big bowl of sugary cereal in the morning, they’ll likely get a burst of energy but will crash by the afternoon. They’ll then be left craving more carbs.

You can avoid this by eating eggs cooked in a healthy fat like coconut or olive oil.

One of the biggest healthy teenage lifestyle tips that your child can follow is to limit how much starch and sugar they consume.

Understanding the Benefits of Healthy Eating for Teens

In our health-conscious society, we now understand that our diet is linked to so much more in our lives than we originally thought. Your diet isn’t just linked to your weight but to your overall mental and physical health.

By knowing about the benefits of healthy eating for teens, your child will set themselves up to live a long and healthy life.

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