You are what you eat, basically means that the food we consume over the course of a day creates the experiences we have in that day. Everything we eat becomes a part of not only our inner being, but the outer fabric of our body as well. The healthier the foods are that we consume, the better we will feel. Eating a nutritious well balanced diet gives our bodies the building blocks of our lives, health, energy and vitality.
The nutrients in the food we consume determine the way our cells develop, grow and thrive, or not thrive. Our health depends on the nutrition we offer our body every time we eat.
Eating good healthy foods, such as whole grains, vegetables and fruits, lean meats, fish and healthy fats, all benefit our bodies by supplying essential vitamins, minerals and nutrition we need to function. Organic produce that grows in the earth that has not been tampered with by modern technology or covered in chemicals like pesticides is the best choice. Avoid fast foods and processed foods that have been modified with artificial flavourings, colourings and preservatives.
Eating a healthy well balanced diet daily can supply our bodies with the nutrients it needs. No single food can supply all the nutrients in the amount we need though. To make sure we get all the nutrients and other substances needed for optimum health choose the recommend daily allowance and servings from each of the major food groups.
Vitamins play important roles in bodily functions such as metabolism, immunity and digestions as well as allowing your body to grow and develop. They do not provide energy, but without them, your cells could not transfer energy to the rest of your body, and your brain could not function. Your body is not capable of producing vitamins and relies on diet alone. The human body needs very small amounts of vitamins, and most are obtained through consumption of food, but the bacteria in the intestine produce a few and part of our required vitamin D is produced in the skin when the skin is exposed to sunlight.
Minerals help regulate body functions and allow your tissues to grow. Minerals are the building blocks for your bones and teeth, and though minerals alone do not produce energy, they allow your body to use it
A healthy body weight is also important; people who are overweight increase their risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, breathing problems, and other illnesses. To maintain a healthy body weight, people must balance the amount of calories in the foods and drinks they consume with the amount of calories the body uses. They may be eating very healthy foods but they still need to keep an eye on portion sizes because if they are too large, they will still gain weight.
We should also avoid too much sugar in our diets, because maintaining a nutritious diet and a healthy weight is very important. Sugars are simple carbohydrates. Sugars occur naturally in foods such as fruit and milk, these types of sugars are ok to consume. Sugars are also added to a wide range of foods, such as sweets, cakes, biscuits, chocolate, and some fizzy drinks and juice drinks. These are the type of sugary foods that we should cut down on.
Eating the right nutrients play a huge part in out bodily functions.
Protein is an essential nutrient, responsible for multiple functions in your body, including building tissue, cells and muscle. Good protein sources include eggs, fish, seafood, lean white meats such as chicken and turkey.
Some dietary fat is needed for good health. Bad fats increase cholesterol and our risk of certain diseases, while good fats protect our heart and support overall health. Good fats such as the monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, and omega-3s are essential to physical and emotional health, playing in helping us manage our moods, stay on top of our mental game, fight fatigue, and even control our weight.. Fats supply energy and essential fatty acids and promote absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. Good fats can be found in products like Olive oil, avocadoes, nuts, seeds, salmon and tuna. Learning to make good healthy choices and to replace bad fats with good ones will promote health and well-being.
Our bodies need carbohydrates more than any other nutrient, but not all sources are equally nutritious, choosing foods containing complex carbohydrates over refined sources most often for maximum benefits. Carbohydrates pass through the digestive system and are broken down into glucose, our brain and body’s primary fuel. Simple carbohydrates such as enriched flour, found in refined breads, pastas, and sugary foods, provide calories but few nutrients. Complex carbohydrate sources, such as whole-grain breads, starchy vegetables and beans, deliver fibre, as well as valuable amounts of vitamins and minerals.
Eating a variety of fibre containing plant foods is important for bowel function; it can reduce the risk of chronic constipation, and haemorrhoids and may lower the risk of heart disease and some cancers. Fibre can be found in plants like wholegrain breads and cereals, beans and peas.
We should also avoid too much sodium in our diets. Sodium plays an essential role in regulation of fluids and blood pressure. Diets high in sodium increase blood pressure levels. Sodium occurs naturally in foods, usually in small amounts and can also be found in higher quantities in processed foods, always read the product nutrition labels.
Water is the most important nutrient of all. Without water, we could only survive a couple of days. Water helps to regulate body temperature, removes waste products and allows chemical reactions to take place. Water also lubricates our joints, allowing us to move, and our mouth, allowing us to eat.
There is a direct link between what we eat and how we feel. A well balanced diet will help us look and feel our best and will help protect us from illnesses such as diabetes, cardiovascular illnesses and some forms of cancer; an unhealthy diet can make us feel bloated, tired and miserable. By cooking good food and having a balanced diet, we are helping our bodies to get all the nutrients and vitamins it needs, whilst minimising the things it doesn’t such as saturated fats and high levels of salt and sugar.
Our nutrition is worth our attention and our time, because nutrition is health, and health is everything.