Nutrients are substances we need to live and grow. Our bodies cannot synthesize them, and we must get them from the environment as food. Thus it is imperative that we eat a healthy diet with lots of complex carbs, fruit and veggies, and quality supplements of antioxidants and pure resveratrol. Let us look closely at the basic food groups our bodies need:
Carbohydrates are organic compounds that are the body’s main source of energy. Carbs are more readily converted into glucose, (a sugar that is the body’s primary fuel), than fats or proteins are. Simple carbs (sugars) are too easily converted to energy, flooding your bloodstream with glucose in a “sugar high” which leads to a crash when all the sugar is metabolized. Complex carbs contain vitamins and minerals, as well as fiber. Fiber slows digestion, leading to a more uniform release of energy.
Eat: Unpolished (brown) rice, whole grains, cereals, fruits and veggies
Avoid: White bread, white rice, sugary drinks like soda, candy bars
How much to eat: Starchy foods should make up the bulk of your healthy diet. About half of your daily calorie requirements should come from complex carbs.
Proteins are large molecules made up of long amino-acid chains. Our bodies need protein for growth, maintenance and repair. Proteins are a component of every cell in our bodies. Muscles, organs and our immune system are mostly made of protein.
Eat: Fish, tofu, soybeans, legumes, chicken, nuts
Avoid: Red meat, processed meats
How much to eat: About a third of your daily caloric needs should come from a quality source of protein.
Fats are a concentrated source of energy and are needed for the body to absorb and digest fat-soluble vitamins. Every healthy diet needs some amount of fat. Fats are needed for normal growth and development and are needed for a healthy immune system. Numerous studies have linked saturated fats (which are mostly from animal sources) and cardiovascular disease.
Eat: Foods with unsaturated fats like nuts, avocados, canola oil, olive oil
Avoid: Foods high saturated fats like butter, cream, cheese, lard, fatty meats and meat products
How much to consume: Unsaturated fat should not exceed 30% of your daily calorie intake
Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamins are essential micronutrients needed for the body to function properly. Fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K) may be stored in the body, while water-soluble vitamins (C and B complex) and excreted when excessive amounts are consumed. Minerals are inorganic substances needed to build strong bones and teeth and are necessary to metabolize food into energy.
To ensure that you get all your vitamin and mineral requirements, a good supplement would be in order. Pure resveratrol has been shown to have antioxidant properties as well as cardioprotective benefits.
Eat: A rainbow of fruits and veggies, mushrooms, lean meat, nuts, seeds. All natural foods contain some amount of vitamins and minerals.
Avoid: “Enriched” processed foods that claim to have added nutrients but are in fact full of sugars and unhealthy fats.
How much to consume: You can eat as much vitamin- and mineral- rich foods as you want, as long as you stay within your daily calorie needs.
Stick to healthy food options to get all the good nutrients your body needs!