Many nutrients in food promote health and protect your body from disease.
Eating whole, nutritious foods is important because their unique substances work synergistically to create an effect that can’t be replicated by taking a supplement.
Food does much more than simply provide you with fuel. It may promote or worsen health, depending on what you eat.
Vitamins and minerals
Although your body only needs small amounts of vitamins and minerals, they’re vital for your health.
However, Western diets — high in processed foods and low in whole foods like fresh produce — are typically deficient in vitamins and minerals. Such deficiencies can substantially increase your risk of disease.
For example, insufficient intakes of vitamin C, vitamin D, and folate may harm your heart, cause immune dysfunction, and increase your risk of certain cancers, respectively.
Beneficial plant compounds
Nutritious foods, including vegetables, fruits, beans, and grains, boast numerous beneficial compounds, such as antioxidants.
Antioxidants protect cells from damage that may otherwise lead to disease.
In fact, studies demonstrate that people whose diets are rich in polyphenol antioxidants have lower rates of depression, diabetes, dementia, and heart disease.