Good health requires proper nutrition. Here are 7 nutrition basics you need to understand in order to eat (and be) healthy…
Your health depends on the nutrition you give your body, but sometimes it seems so complex to understand exactly what you should be eating! Learning the basics of good nutrition will help you to not only live a healthier life, but also to make smarter food decisions with less stress – whether you’re shopping for groceries, or ordering a meal at a restaurant.
Here are the 7 nutrition essentials that you need to consume in some form every day in order to be healthy:
Despite all the hype you may have heard lately about “low-carb” or “zero carb” diets, the truth is that you need carbohydrates to protect your muscles, provide you with energy, and regulate your blood pressure.
However, the confusion comes from the fact that there are different types of carbs. Simple carbs such as processed sugar and white flour can have many detrimental effects on your health. Instead, choose complex carbs such as those found in fresh, whole fruits and vegetables, and some whole grains.
Healthy fats support your immune system, your brain function, your heart, and all of your other internal organs. They also provide a sustainable energy source, and keep you feeling full for longer while preventing cravings. Healthy fats can include avocados, nuts, and coconut oils, as well as animal fats from clean (not grain-fed) sources.
Fiber assists with the proper functioning of your digestive tract, and helps remove toxins from your body. Fiber can be found in most fruits and vegetables, as well as oats, brown rice, and some other whole grains.
Your body requires many different minerals, all of which work together to strengthen your bones, tissues, nerve cells, teeth and muscles. Minerals can be found in almost all whole foods, including dairy, nuts, beans, fish, meat, and more.
Protein is another necessity for your body. Protein helps to build and repair muscles, and also provides energy for performing your daily activities. Most people think of protein as coming mostly from meat, but the truth is that there are many different sources of protein, including eggs, fish, yogurt, beans and legumes, and green vegetables.
Like minerals, vitamins perform many different functions for your body – from helping your body to heal, repair, and grow, to supporting your immune system, and even preventing diseases. Basically, vitamins help keep your body functioning efficiently. Most foods high in vitamins are fruits and vegetables like red bell peppers, bananas, carrots, and pumpkins. But you can find vitamins in fish, eggs, nuts, and beans as well.
While water isn’t technically a “nutrient,” it is obviously essential for good health! Your body uses water in just about everything it does – from exercising, to digesting your food, to even breathing! Water also helps to regulate your body temperature, flush out toxins, and maintain healthy function in all of your major organs. Because your body uses so much water just in the activities of daily living, it is important to stay well hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day.
The way that you eat and what you put into your body impacts how your body works and how you feel. By providing it with the proper nutrition, you can help to keep your body healthy and functioning for as long as possible. This is just a basic list of the different aspects of nutrition that your body needs every day to stay healthy. For more details on how to achieve and maintain good health, make sure to check out our archives, and come back and visit often!