Good nutrition is the foundation of good health. Water, carbohydrates, proteins and fats are four basic nutrients everybody needs as well as vitamins, minerals and other micronutrients.
Choosing the healthiest forms of each of these nutrients and eating them in the proper balance will help enable your body to function at its optimal level.
The human body is nearly two-thirds water. Water is an essential nutrient that is involved in every function of the body. Helping transport nutrients and waste in and out of cells, water is necessary for all digestive, absorptive, circulatory, and excretory functions.
Carbohydrates supply the body with the energy it needs to function.
Protein is essential for growth and development. It provides the body with energy and is needed to manufacture hormones, antibodies, enzymes and tissues.
The body needs fats! During infancy and childhood, fat is necessary for normal brain development. Fat is, in fact the most concentrated source of energy available to the body. Excessive fat intake is a major cause for obesity, high blood pressure, coronary heart disease and colon cancer besides being linked to a number of other disorders as well.
Fats are composed of building blocks called fatty acids. There are three major categories of fatty acids- saturated, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated. This is based on the number of hydrogen atoms in the chemical structure of a given molecule of fatty acid.
Saturated fatty acids are found primarily in animal products, including dairy items like whole milk, cream, butter, cheese and fatty meets like beef, veal, lab pork and ham.
Vitamins are essential to life. They contribute to good health by regulating the metabolism and assisting the biochemical processes that release energy from digested food.
Make sure you are getting at least 100% of all essential vitamins from foods you eat with a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. Once this has been done, most people will need more from supplements to achieve optimal health. Vitamin supplements can be divided into two groups- synthetic and natural.