Many people know that they should eat ‘good’ and nutritious food, but know very little about food and nutrition. It is through the foods we eat that our bodies can get the required nutrients needed for good health and cell development. This is the reason why doctors and nutritionists advise us to have well balanced and nutritive meals to help our bodies grow healthy. Sticking to a healthy diet plan (foods) has however been a tough decision for most people, as many are enticed into eating opulent unhealthy (processed) foods. What many people today lack is proper guidance on what foods to eat to enrich their bodies.
Our bodies require vitamins, minerals, essential oils, proteins, and carbohydrates to grow. All these are required in varying proportions; otherwise, too much of one (say carbs) can have detrimental effects on the body. Discussed below are some of the most vital nutrients needed by the body, and foods that provide the same.
Proteins contain the main body building blocks that promote cell division and multiplication. Proteins are synthesized in the body to produce amino acids which are the key compounds needed for cell and tissue development. The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for proteins is approximately 0.8 grams per Kilogram. Ensuring you get this amount of proteins every day, therefore, ensures proper cell and tissue development with no signs of malnourishment from the same. Some of the best sources of proteins include lean beef (meat), chicken breast, turkey, fish, soy, peanuts, and legumes among many others.
- Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates are the primary sources of fuel for the body. They are digested into calories which help provide energy to support all body functions, including brain functions. Although vital for cell action and revitalization, having more than enough carbs in your diet plan can lead to becoming obese or overweight. This is because the body only uses the calories needed, then converts the rest into fats (which are stored for future use). Nutritionists recommend at least 130 grams of carbohydrates every day to support brain functions and other body processes.
Calorie requirement, however, differs from one person to the other, as some people are more active than others. Most of the foods in food stores in the market today contain processed carbs, which contain more calories than required. Nonetheless, focusing on naturally nutritive whole foods such as cereals, brown bread, brown rice, bran, corn, chia seeds, flax seeds, and fruits can help reduce the risk of having more than the required amount of calories.
- Lipids: Essential oils are needed for the development of healthy cells and neurons, as well as boost body immunity. Omega fatty acids and other essential fatty acids are also required for proper brain and heart functions. Nonetheless, the recommended daily intake of these fats is rated at 300mg for all people regardless of age. Any excess of these can lead to high cholesterol levels which have detrimental effects on one’s health. Oily fish, olive oil, oysters, vegetables, etc. are some of the best sources of essential oils for your body. Adding some tuna, salmon, pumpkin seeds, or vegetables in your diet plan should, therefore, be a plus for your body, and better health.
- Vitamins and minerals: Although required in minuscule amounts, vitamins and minerals play a vital role in body development, immunity, and healthy. Any slight deficit in a particular vitamin (say Vitamin C) or mineral (say magnesium) can have devastating effects on the human body. This is the reason why pregnant mothers have to take folic and vitamin supplements to help supplement her nutrient intake to promote the baby’s health. Some of the vital vitamins needed in the body include Vitamin C, A, E, D, K, B, and folic acids. These support brain function, skin health, immunity, vision, and the nervous system.
Minerals also play a vital role in the production of hormones, bone development, cell division and development among other functions. Zinc, magnesium, fluoride, sodium, potassium, calcium, manganese, etc. are some of the most vital minerals needed for proper body and cell development. Zinc, for instance, is crucial for the production of testosterone in men, an important hormone needed for masculinity and performance.
Although not classified as food, water plays a vital role in the body as well. With more than 75% of our bodies being water, it’s advisable to take at least eight glasses of water to remain healthy. For more advice on the right foods to include in your diet plan, consider talking to a doctor or a nutritionist.