Health and nutrition go hand in hand – without the necessary nutrients, the body cannot function properly and mild to severe health problems could be the result. To ensure that your body is getting the nutritional value it requires, it is important to eat healthy, balanced meals.
A healthy, balanced meal should include all the food groups – protein, carbohydrates as well as vitamins and minerals. These nutrients are present in most food types but especially naturally grown or sourced products.
Proteins are normally available in animal products like meat, eggs and dairy but may be contained in some plant based foods like soy or nuts. Protein rich foods are also often high in other minerals like iron and calcium which are both essential for bone and tooth development and strength.
Carbohydrates are sugars and come in two different types – simple and complex. Simple carbohydrates are easily and quickly broken down by the body to be used as energy and are available in most types of fruits. Complex carbohydrates are broken down slowly and contained in starchy foods such as potatoes, grains and seeds.
Vitamins and minerals are available in all types of foods. However, to get the greatest nutritional value from food sources, it is essential to eat as many different types of food during the day, preferably in the raw and natural state. If a certain nutrient is missing from a diet, foods containing that nutrient should be added in greater quantities to meals.
Unfortunately, the latest research has shown that fruit and vegetables as well as other food sources do not contain the same levels of nutrients as in the past. This is due to the fact that there are less nutrients in the soil for plants to produce high amounts of minerals and vitamins. This is especially true where minerals are concerned.
Fortunately, supplements are available to provide for any nutrients that may be lacking in the body. However, not all supplements are made the same. Some will not live up to their claims while others may provide the necessary nutrients. It is recommended to speak to a nutritionist, pharmacist or doctor to find out which supplements are best to provide the necessary nutrients for optimal health and well being.
It is also important to be aware that supplements are not a replacement for getting the required nutritional value from food sources. They are there to supplement a diet and not replace certain food groups.
If there is any concern regarding the lack of certain nutrients in the body, it is advisable to consult a nutritionist. They will look for certain signs and symptoms of malnutrition and may perform blood and other tests in order to provide a diagnosis.
The sad fact is that many people do not eat the necessary food to maintain optimal health and nutrition. Most are unaware that they are lacking important nutrients and are therefore malnourished. Poor nutrition may cause certain health conditions and will prevent the body from effectively combating illness and disease.