It’s no secret that as more of us get wrapped up in today’s fast-food, stressed, hurried society, more are feeling the effects of poor food choices in the form of weight issues, fatigue, stress and lifestyle diseases. So it is getting harder and harder to ignore the connection between healthy food choices and the health of the body.
What happens when we don’t pay attention to the quality of the nutrients in our foods is this:
Cells are the building blocks of the human body. Cells thrive on the nutrition they receive from food. When food is full of preservatives, unknown substances or chemicals, those items have a direct impact on the health of cells within the body. Foods with high nutritional value, such as fruits and vegetables, help keep cells healthy and functioning properly.
Some foods, deemed “super foods,” are even more beneficial to cell maintenance and growth than regular foods. And old school nutrition still applies – we need three substances to provide the energy we need to live vibrant lives: carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Carbohydrates boost energy levels. Proteins help muscle growth. Fats are essential for protection of the outer membrane of body cells and overall cell health, while also keeping hair and nails strong, shiny and healthy. BUT the quality of these three, matters. Here’s where nutrient deficiency comes in.
Not all carbohydrates are created equally. They can be either simple (“bad”) or complex (“good”) based on their chemical makeup and what your body does with them. Complex carbohydrates, like whole grains and legumes, contain longer chains of sugar molecules; these usually take more time for the body to break down and use. This, in turn, provides you with a more even amount of energy as opposed to the simple which when over consumed, in time, can breakdown the body’s ability to process sugar.
Proteins are the building blocks that promote growth and repair, and the only food source of essential nitrogen and we need at least 30-40 grams a day in our diet. BUT some types of protein are harmful and indigestible. Genetically engineered proteins used in food or drugs are laboratory-created, chemically altered, and foreign to our bodies, and can damage our health. Also, excessively consuming animal protein products leaves toxic residues and uric acid in our tissues which can cause severe nutritional deficiencies as well as a wide variety of serious diseases.
We can’t live without fats but it is easy to confuse good fats from bad fats, how much fat we should eat, how to avoid artery-clogging trans fats, and the role omega-3 fatty acids play in our health. And while fats enhance the flavors of foods and give our mouths that wonderful feel that is so satisfying, they can also be a part of creating a nutrient deficient body. You can develop deficiencies of vitamins A, D, E and K if you don’t get enoughfat in your diet because your body can only absorb these nutrients in the presence of the right fats.
The good news is that in each category, carbohydrates, proteins and fats – there are superfoods that can help balance out the tug-of-war our bodies face with detriments like pollution, unhealthy foods, smoke, too much alcohol, excessive sunlight, and even the side effects of fighting infections and digesting high-fat meals.
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