Category : Nutrition
The Beginner’s Guide to Nutrients and What They Do
Food has nutrients. We need our vitamins. These are all things we know, but in many cases, don’t understand. Not understanding something, however, doesn’t change the effect it has on your health. Before cigarettes were known carcinogens, they were widely used and accepted within society. In fact, the only reason groups advocated against cigarettes was due to the belief that smoking would lead to alcohol consumption. Today, we know better.
Our diet is very similar in that regard. We can put in whatever we like into our bodies, but it is only through knowledge and education can we make smart choices for the betterment of our health. Saturated fats, foods high in salt, sugar, and even dairy products can all negatively impact our health, and we know this. We know about cholesterol, about the dangers of diabetes, and even about hypertension and how fatty foods could lead to heart attack or stroke. We seem to be very well versed in the habits that can hurt us, but we are less knowledgeable about the good habits that can help sustain a long and happy life.
Knowing about vitamins, their purpose, and where you can get them is a great way to improve your health. Cutting out unhealthy foods and vices is a perfect first step, but your body needs nutrients to survive and to thrive. Follow this beginner’s guide, and you’ll be well on your way to customizing a diet that is perfect for you and your lifestyle.
There are thirteen essential vitamins which are necessary for your body’s survival. These are Vitamin A, C, D, E, K, Thiamine, Riboflavin, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin B6, Cyanocobalamin, and Folate or Folic Acid. Vitamins and nutrients, however, do not go hand in hand. Your body also needs fiber, minerals, proteins, antioxidants, water and more to thrive. The components of a healthy diet are diverse, and it is only through a balanced diet can you achieve optimal health
How Our Bodies Store Vitamins
The first thing to understand is that there are two categories of vitamins, fat-soluble and water-soluble. Water-soluble vitamins are absorbed by the body on a needs basis, meaning that if you don’t need that vitamin at the time of digestion, your body will pass the vitamin through your urine. Fat-soluble vitamins are those that can be stored in the body’s fatty tissues and then used at a later date. The only water-soluble vitamin that is stored by the body is B12, which is stored in the liver.
What Vitamins Are and What They Do
Vitamins benefit the body in their own way. From bone strength to vision, each vitamin has an important part to play. Getting enough of each vitamin is key to a long and healthy life and can be found predominately in fruits and vegetables. You have to be careful, however, as vitamin overdose is an issue, and can cause serious health concerns. Vitamin D overdose, for instance, can result in kidney damage. Thankfully, vitamin overdose is extremely difficult to achieve. Eat regularly and stick to one vitamin supplement per day, and you shouldn’t exceed vitamin the threshold.
What Minerals Are and What They Do
Minerals are found in food (and vitamin supplements) and are used by the body for a multitude of reasons. Calcium helps build bones; iron is needed for your blood; zinc is a part of cell regeneration, and so on. All minerals have their functions and are all needed in trace amounts to promote your body’s health.
What Carbohydrates and Fats Are and What They Do
Your body needs to eat. It burns energy, and it needs to replace that energy. You cannot live from minerals and vitamins alone, which is where carbohydrates and fats come into play. The majority of your caloric intake should come from carbohydrates (45%-65%) and the rest from fats and proteins. Carbohydrates are the nutrients that provide your body with energy, whereas fats and proteins help your body absorb the vitamins and minerals that it needs as well as maintain cell function. Not all carbohydrates are the same, just as not all fats are the same.
Superfoods and Their Benefits
Superfoods are those options that are rich in a variety of nutrients. The idea is that if you eat more superfoods, you can get all the nutrients that your body needs in order to thrive. Knowing which foods are classed as superfoods and what they do for your health can help you choose the options that are right for you. Superfoods further don’t necessarily have to be consumed, either. The Maca root is rich in nutrients, including protein, vitamin C, copper, iron, potassium, B6, and Manganese. Rather than eating the Maca root, however, you would commonly find it in powder form. Isula Nature Maca tablets can be taken quickly, or you could add the powder format into a smoothie instead.
Creating A Custom Dietary Plan
There are too many components to a healthy diet to name them all. Micronutrients like vitamins and minerals are very easy to supplement, either with a diet change or with tablets. Macronutrients like proteins (which are the building blocks of major components like your bones, muscles, skin, hair, and nails) are needed in large supply. Simply eating large quantities of these macronutrients, however, isn’t beneficial. A few ounces throughout the day is all a body needs in order to be healthy and happy, but if you want to improve your health, it’s best to not look at increasing your consumption but improving where you get your protein (and other nutrients) from.
Foods that come with saturated fats, for instance, will only go on to clog your arteries and put a strain on your cardiovascular system. Eating foods high in protein that contain monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats is a much better choice. You can make the differentiation easily, as trans and saturated fats are typically solid at room temperature.
Creating the perfect diet for you will require you to listen to your body and even to your doctor, who can help steer you in the right direction. Eat well, after all, and you’ll lead a happier, healthier life.