Your mother always told you that you needed to eat right in order to grow tall and strong - and she was right. Just as you wouldn't put water into your car's gas tank, you shouldn't be putting inferior fuel into your body's gas tank. But perhaps some of us have been swayed by food manufacturers' promises of fortified goodness in everything from sugary cereals to prepackaged processed foods. They have vitamins in them, so they must be healthy, right? Eating healthy is about more than just vitamins and minerals - here's what you stand to gain by eating right. More Money in Your Wallet What most people won't tell you is that eating right is actually more economically smart. When you choose fruits and vegetables over processed foods, you will reduce your overall spending on groceries. While it is true that fruits and vegetables can be more expensive in the short run, you can use them for more meals, while makes them less expensive to use per meal. For example, if you make a box of macaroni and cheese for dinner, that's going to cost about $3.00 for the package and $0.50 for the milk and butter you add. But if you were to make a salad for dinner, it will cost about $1.00 altogether, including some salad dressing. But it's not just the actual costs of healthy foods that will help you boost your financial health. By taking the time to spend money on healthy foods, you will reduce the health care costs you need to spend. Since your body will be healthier, you won't need to spend money on additional supplements or extra doctor's visits. This all adds up to a healthier life and a healthier bank account. You won't have to spend money on additional medications to help you maintain your blood sugars or your cholesterol levels. And studies have shown that those who take fewer medications tend to live longer lives. While you don't want to stop any current medications you are on, you might be able to reduce the list of medications you may have to take - and you already know how expensive they can be. Controlling Your Weight When you choose healthier foods, you will also be able to more easily control your weight. Instead of focusing your diet on foods that can spike your blood sugar, causing you to feel hungrier and thus eat more than you should, you can eat wholesome foods which have fiber and nutrients in them. The added fiber will help you to feel fuller for longer, while also keeping your blood sugars even. Fruits and vegetables also naturally have fewer calories in them, which helps you to have a lower caloric intake, leading to weight loss or weight maintenance. In addition, eating healthy exposes you to more tastes - vegetables, fruits, low fat dairy, low fat meats, and whole grains. The more tastes you have on your plate, the easier it will be for you to eat only what you need, rather than filling up on sugars and high salt processed choices - which tend to make you feel hungrier. Increased Immune System Function The better your body is functioning, the more likely it is that you won't get sick. Going back to the car example, when you fill it with premium foods, you won't have the buildup and the grime in your engines - the same idea applies to your body. By supplying your body with nutrients, you will enhance the body's response to illness. Your immune system will be strong and ready to defend itself against all sorts of attacks. And thus means that you will be able to fight off not just colds and flus, but also more serious diseases you might pick up. Even if you do get sick, it will be easier for you to get over that illness and get back to health. Reduced Chances of Chronic Illnesses Cancers and heart diseases are also much less likely when you eat healthy foods. When your cells are getting the highest levels of nutrition, they aren't susceptible to cellular damage, which can lead to cancers. And if you focus your diet on non-animal sources of nutrition, your cholesterol levels will be far lower, reducing your risk of heart attacks, plaque buildup and even strokes. This is especially the case as you get older. Since your body begins to slow down, you need to make sure you are only giving your body foods that are healthy as anything else can be difficult for your body to process, which can then lead to illness. Eating healthy isn't just something that you should do, it's something that you must do. With each bite of unhealthy food, you are damaging your body. While medicine is able to fix many age related problems, it's up to you to prevent these problems from happening in the first place. A long healthy life is something that's completely in your control, so why not do what works? Eat right.