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Getting The Nutrients You Need: A Primer

Nutrients fall into one of the following categories. It’s important to recognize where your dietary nutrients are coming from and make sure you’re getting enough of them. 

 

Carbohydrates 

 

Carbohydrates are compounds made up of types of sugars.

 

Not all carbs are created equal.

 

Refined carbs have been highly processed, and have had all the fiber removed from them. They are low in nutrients (empty calories), and can be extremely harmful. Studies show that refined carbohydrates are linked to overeating and numerous metabolic diseases. Opt for whole grains and fruits and vegetables.  Many fruits and vegetables carbohydrate content is 70% or more.   

 

 

Proteins

 

Proteins are organic compounds that consist of amino acids joined by peptide bonds. The body cannot manufacture some of the amino acids (termed essential amino acids); the diet must supply them.

 

Eating enough protein is incredibly important, and many experts believe that the recommended daily intake is too low.

 

Protein is particularly important for weight loss and works via several different mechanisms.

A high protein intake can boost metabolism significantly while making you feel so full that you automatically eat fewer calories. It can also cut cravings and reduce the desire for late-night snacking. Eating plenty of protein has also been shown to lower blood sugar and blood pressure levels.

 

However, a high protein diet can cause Ketosis which in turn can lead to a suppressed appetite, lethargy and a state of sickness.  In addition, a high protein diet can compromise vitamin and mineral intake per Nutrition Committee of the American Heart Association.

 

 

 

Fats

 

Fats are needed to keep cell membranes functioning properly, to insulate body organs against shock, to keep body temperature stable, and to maintain healthy skin and hair.

 

Pretty much everyone agrees that fish is healthy. This is particularly true of fatty fish, like salmon, which is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids and various other nutrients.

 

Studies show that people who eat the most fish have a lower risk of all sorts of diseases, including heart disease, dementia, and depression.

 

 

 

 

Vitamins and Minerals

 

Vegetables and fruits are the “default” health foods and for good reason. They are loaded with prebiotic fiber, vitamins, minerals and all sorts of antioxidants, some of which have potent biological effects.

 

Studies show that people who eat the most vegetables and fruits live longer, and have a lower risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity and all sorts of diseases.

 

Herbs and spices are also a good source. There are many incredibly healthy herbs and spices out there. For example, ginger and turmeric both have potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, leading to various health benefits.

 

You should make an effort to include as many different herbs and spices as you can. Many of them can have powerful beneficial effects on your health.

 

Water

 

Water is essential to our bodies.  Our bodies are comprised of 60-70% water and our brain is about 80% water.  

 

Drinking enough water can have numerous benefits from helping to boost the amount of calories you burn as well as helping you to cleanse your system.  Drinking a large glass of warm water with lemon in the morning will help with bowel elimination.

 

 The best time to drink water is half an hour before or after meals, but not during meals.  Drinking water with meals decrease the flow of salivary glands.  

 

Although drinking water is essential, frequent bathing is very beneficial to our bodies.  Bathing soothes the body and nerves, promotes perspiration, quickens circulation and is supportive to healthy kidneys and urinary organs.

 

Coffee has been unfairly demonized. The truth is that it’s very healthy. Coffee is high in antioxidants, and studies show that coffee drinkers live longer and have a reduced risk for certain degenerative diseases. 

 

The one thing you should keep in mind is that you should stay away from sugary drinks. Sugary drinks are the most fattening things you can put into your body. This is because liquid sugar calories don’t get registered by the brain in the same way as calories from solid foods. For this reason, when you drink soda, you end up eating total calories. Sugary drinks are strongly associated with obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and all sorts of health problems.

 

Keep in mind that fruit juices are almost as bad as soda in this regard. They contain just as much sugar, and the small amounts of antioxidants do not negate the harmful effects of the sugar.

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