Long gone are the days of the caveman, when we were hunter gatherers, spending our time foraging for food. The world we live in now is very different. We, especially in the west, live in a world of abundance, where we actually have too much food!
The problem though, is it’s the kind of foods that we are consuming too much of; pre-packaged, processed, pesticide laden, high in fat, salt, chemical additives, and sugar. The foods we are eating now are generally calorie high, but nutritionally lacking…..so we eat more and more to try and get the nutrients our body is craving to survive!! To have true health, not only for the body but also for the mind, we need to change and this means enjoying a diet that is naturally tasty with low calories but full of nutritional goodness. To enable us to do this we need to understand what good Nutrition is.
Nutrition is the science that studies the process by which living organisms acquire all the things that are necessary for them to live and grow. Nutrition focuses on the role of nutrients. More than forty nutrients have been identified as necessary for the health of the human body. These forty basic nutrients are called ESSENTIAL as they are not OPTIONAL, they must be eaten for survival, and since they cannot be manufactured within the body, they must be obtained from the diet.
Nutrition consists of our Diet (the foodstuffs that we take into our body) and our Metabolism (what happens to our food and the chemical changes that occur once it enters our body).
The ‘six food components’ that are essential to good human nutrition are:
– Calories: we must have enough for our daily needs.
– Amino acids: there are 20 amino acids of which 10 are ‘essential’
– Fatty acids: there are 3 ‘essential’ Omega Acids 3, 6 and 9
– Minerals: the human body needs 18 different ones: a few are required in relativelylarge amounts however most are required in “trace” amounts.
– Vitamins: these are small organic molecules that we cannot synthesize, so they must be obtained from our diet.
– Water: is the most important part of human existence. Without it we die.
These six components make up the group called Nutrients. A nutrient is a substance found in food which plays a part in the process of nourishing the body. By nourishing, this refers to providing your body with everything it needs to maintain essential biological functioning, such as energy production, growth, repair and maintenance of organs and tissues; production of blood, hormones; resistance from disease, and so on – basically everything accounted for in your physical body. So how do we give our bodies the nutrients it needs not only to survive, but to flourish at its optimum level?
1. Eat more plant-based foods: Fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, and whole grains are the foundation of a lifelong ultra-prevention diet. They are high in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory compounds, fibre, and essential fatty acids. These foundation foods also eliminate the many triggers of chronic illness, such as saturated fat, trans fat, sugar and toxic food additives.
2. Prioritize healthy plant-based fats: The best way to eat most of your fat is in the form of extra-virgin olive oil, coconut oil, flax, nuts, and seeds with minimal amounts of properly processed (expeller-pressed) vegetable oils.
3. Dine on modest amounts of lean animal protein: The best sources are small cold-water fish that don’t contain high levels of metals and other contaminants. Healthy fish choices include sardines, herring, mackerel, wild caught salmon, trout, and arctic char. Healthy meat choices include wild game that has eaten from nature, and free range poultry, such as turkey or chicken.
The essential nutrients contained in these foods are needed for life to exist. A lack of even one essential nutrient will lead to defects in biological functioning. If the deficiency is persistent and substantial enough, disease, and possibly even death, may occur as a result.
The function of these essential nutrients in manufacturing every one of the trillions of cells in your body, and their role in countless chemical reactions, which keep you alive, makes the expression “you are what you eat” not so farfetched.
If you would like help with your own Personal Nutrition Plan then please do contact me , whether your needs are:
- Weight Loss
- Eating Clean
- Specific Ailment
Remember, food is your best medicine! Whole foods are naturally packaged with a vast array of nutrients that work synergistically to optimize your health. They ripple throughout our entire physiology, reducing inflammation, boosting detoxification, balancing hormones, and providing powerful antioxidant protection – all things that repair the underlying causes of disease.