Ripple effects of healthy eating

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Healthy You: Activity, Minds, Bodies, Habits


Ripple effects of healthy eating 

Get Substistence Gear in a Snap: Healthy You 2022


A stone skipped on a lake. A toe dipped in a river. The plunk of a fishing line or the passing of a gentle breeze. We know these small actions can cause ripples on bodies of water. But did you know small actions you take to improve your health, such as choosing healthier foods, can cause ripple effects in our bodies that benefit not only you but also our families and communities? 


Empowering Alaskans to access, afford, and enjoy healthy food helps us work together to address many of the objectives of Alaska’s statewide health improvement plan, Healthy Alaskans 2030— while helping us each feel better.


In this month’s blog post, you will discover:

Ways healthy food helps

A wide variety of nutritious, minimally-processed food, prepared safely, can:

  • Help our bodies function properly 
  • Reduce the chances of chronic diseases, like cancer and diabetes 
  • Reduce the spread of infectious disease 
  • Help us maintain a healthy weight 
  • Improve our mood and help us feel better 
  • Provide the fuel to stay physically active 
  • Help us sleep better 


Take a peek below at our social media posts from this quarter that highlight some of these ripple effects. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to see even more. We get a whole buffet of benefits from healthy food! 



Social media posts about healthy food (and drinks!)

A heaping handful of freshly picked blueberries

The store outside your door

Staying healthy with nutritious food (combined with regular physical activity and restful sleep) can help reduce doctor visits and health care costs. To make healthy food a daily habit, the American Cancer Society recommends eating a variety of colorful whole fruits as well as dark green, red, and orange vegetables every day, along with whole grains — and limiting added sugars, red meats, and highly processed grains. You may also find the MyPlate recommendations from the U.S. Department of Agriculture helpful. 


Here are ways to afford healthy food from farmers markets in Alaska, for those who qualify. For those who fish for their food, SNAP benefits can help access gear. And in late summertime (now!), our fresh, wild berries are nutrient-packed freebies, accessible for all. Haven’t been berry picking in Alaska before? This infographic from the Bureau of Land Management in Alaska can help you get started.  


An expecting parent holds a healthy salad topped with avocado and hard-boiled eggs in their hands

Make healthy choices when “eating for two”

A positive pregnancy test means taking positive steps for you and your unborn baby to prevent birth defects and help you both thrive. Prenatal visits can answer questions on healthy weight gain, diet and necessary nutritional supplements (such as folic acid) during pregnancy. In addition to advising you to eliminate alcohol, drugs and tobacco, your doctor can help review and adjust any medications you may be taking. 


Find nutrition and breastfeeding education, counseling, nutritious foods, support, and referrals to needed services at the Women, Infants and Children Program. 

A cup being filled with a fountain drink

Rethink the sugary drinks

Little bodies need food as fuel, but sugary drinks provide empty calories and create health-harming habits that can lead to a lifetime of chronic disease. Here is what is considered a sugary drink. Stick with water and save the calories for a wide variety of healthy options. Try mixing in a small splash of fresh berry juice for a pleasant summertime pick-me-up. Find out more about our wide range of Alaska berries. 


A group of kids eating orange slices at an outdoor field

Fuel up for fun

How can food help teenagers’ mental health? Of all the organs in the body, the brain is the last to mature—and it does not finish until our 20s (you may find this video about teen brains interesting). And, of course, good nutrition is vital. There are more immediate effects, too: Simple sugars, like those found in sugary drinks, give a quick rush – then a big drop – to blood sugar levels. Healthy whole-grains, lean proteins, and fruits and veggies, on the other hand, help teens sustain energy, physical activity and moods.  


Finally, energized youth participate more fully in group activities, where they can make positive connections with adult mentors. Studies show that having positive adult connections is an important protective factor against suicide. 


If your teen is experiencing mental health issues, seek help. Find resources at our Mental Health and Well-being page.   


A variety of fruits are added to blender for a healthy and delcious smoothie

More nutritious mornings

The first lesson of a positive school experience: Start the day with a nutritious breakfast, which helps prepare bodies and minds to learn. Here are some quick-and-easy teen-tested options. 


Raise a glass a toast with a non-alcoholic beverage

Choose less booze

For those who like a glass of wine, beer or other alcohol with their dinner, but not the health risks that come with it, interesting non-alcoholic beverages are available. In addition to booze-free wines and beers, you may enjoy seltzer, kombucha and a wide range of teas. Fancy them up with some herbs and a pretty glass. If you use your favorite wine or beer glass, maybe you won’t even miss it.  


If you are concerned about your use of alcohol, see here for resources. 


Get more Healthy You in 2022 tips and resources 

Visit our Healthy You in 2022 website for many more blog posts, resources, and helpful links. Were also working on our next series of videos, How I Nourish, which features Alaskans nourishing their bodies and minds with healthy food and sleep — another reason to follow us on social media so you don’t miss their premiere mid-September! You may enjoy watching (and sharing!) our past How I Move and How I Thrive videos on Instagram.  Bon appétitor, if you prefer (with our berry-delicious glasses of water raised), cheers!