Why it's important to eat a healthy diet and what you should eat for optimum health
How Amazing Is Your Body?
The body is an amazing machine with all of its different functions working together like a well-oiled machine to keep going day after day. It has many functions to perform such as respiration, digesting food, circulating oxygen and nutrients to all of your cells, sending thousands of electrical impulses so that you can think, feel, touch, smell, see etc.
The body has certain requirements to keep it functioning well, this involves providing it with healthy food, getting plenty of oxygen from the air you breathe and of course drinking water to keep it hydrated. Nutrients are involved in all body processes and it is important that you get a good balance for your body so that it works at its maximum capacity. Basically your body needs:
Protein for building muscle and repairing damaged tissue
Carbohydrates break down into glucose which we need for energy and heat
Fats are needed for making hormones and also used for energy
Vitamins and minerals are so diverse and needed for many different functions in the body from building bones, turning the food you eat into energy, balancing fluid in the body, balancing cellular function etc.
Oxygen and water along with glucose is needed by every living cell to produce energy.
If you are regularly deficient in any of these nutritional requirements then the body will begin to struggle to perform its everyday tasks. The body may slow down, malfunctions may start to happen and disease and illness may develop.
However even if you are in poor health the body is quite amazing at repairing itself if you take the necessary steps to improve your diet and lifestyle.
Eating a healthy diet for optimum health
Eating a healthy diet is one of the most important things that you can do for your health. Follow these simple steps for optimum nutrition:
Eat plenty of fresh vegetables and some fruits. Include a good variety of different colours such as purple, red, orange, yellow, green, this way you can be sure that you are getting a good range of the vitamins and minerals that you need. Eat raw when you can rather than cooked, tinned or frozen.
For good sources of protein eat fresh poultry, fish, eggs. For vegetarians/vegans quinoa, buckwheat, soya, tofu rice, beans and peas are all good sources of protein also.
Wholemeal cereals and grains to again ensure you are getting all of the nutritious goodness that you need as well as plenty of fibre for a healthy gut e.g. oats, brown rice, wholemeal wheat, barley, quinoa, millet, bulgur wheat, buckwheat, barley etc.
Include beans and pulses such as lentils, red kidney beans, chickpeas, cannellini beans, black eyed beans, edamame beans.
Include some unsaturated fats in your diet such as avocados, oily fish, seeds, nuts, vegetable oils.
You can include some dairy milk and yogurt etc in your diet but for a healthier option use dairy free milk such as almond/oat/coconut rice/soya milk and coconut/oat/cashew cream, particularly if you like creamy soups, stews & curries. Check the ingredients of the plant based milks, however as some manufacturers add sugar, thickeners and additives. Use cultured milk, sour cream and keffir for a healthy gut.
Drink plenty of filtered water (at least 1.5 litres daily), more if you are very active and perspire a lot.
Eat organic when you can to reduce the intake of artificial pesticides, fertilizers and herbicides.
Eat fresh, homemade cooked foods so you can be sure of what you are putting in your body
If you must eat ready-made meals keep them to a minimum and check the ingredients. If the meal contains ingredients that look like they belong in a chemistry set then put it back on the shelf and let it live its prolonged shelf life where it belongs – on the shelf!
The more nutritious your food is, the less likely your body will be to suffer from cravings.
Avoid or reduce
Keep saturated fats, salt, sugar, refined flour and processed foods to a minimum e.g. pies, cakes and biscuits, white bread, fatty cuts of red meat, chocolate, sweets, crisps, sausages, bacon, cheese, cream, fizzy drinks (except sparkling water) etc.
Avoid or reduce your intake of caffeinated drinks e.g. coffee, tea, energy drinks and alcohol.
Don't smoke and avoid recreational drugs.
Of course there is more to leading a healthy life than just eating nutritious food; you also need to be thinking about exercising, finding time to relax, looking after your mental/emotional health etc. and these are all things that I talk about in other blog posts.
Following this advice may help to slow down the ageing process and will greatly improve your chances of leading a healthier, disease and pain-free long life.
If you need help to improve your physical, mental and emotional health and well-being, then please don't hesitate to get in touch to find out how I can help you.
Disclaimer: Always consult with your GP before embarking on any health regime.