Proper Nutrition for Your Body
A proper nutrition is one of the best ways to maintain a balanced well-being. Since the human body constantly works, even in sleep, keeping it well-nourished is a must to maximize each and every bodily function. But with all of the millions of options one has nowadays, it may be a little bit harder for the average person to know what entails a proper nutrition.
The best way to know if you have a balanced diet, and by extension, a proper nutrition, is to get reacquainted with the three basic food groups. Back in the day, the U.S Food and Agriculture designed a program called, “Go, Grow, Glow Foods for You”, to encourage the educational sector to teach children to have proper nutrition. Go foods or energy-giving foods, grow foods or body-developing foods and glow or protective and regulatory foods which are mainly foods that help the body feel healthy, and thus glow.
However, the three basic food group names, grow, glow and go have not been used for several years now; although the principle of the old U.S program still holds true today, the three basic food group names have been superseded and is now called as the major food groups, namely, energy-giving (go) foods, body-building (grow) foods and protective and regulatory (glow) foods.
Body-building (grow) foods. As the name implies, grow foods are those that help the body grow or develop; protein, for example, is needed by the body for muscle build-up and muscle repair. Also, protein plays a key role in the regulation and formation of certain enzymes and hormones.
Energy-giving (go) foods. As mentioned earlier, the body is in constant work even when we sleep, and because work uses energy, providing the body with sufficient amounts of energy-giving foods is crucial to go through each day. Examples of energy-giving foods are carbohydrates such as potato, rice, and pasta. This also includes simple carbohydrates such as beans and bread.
Protective and regulatory (glow) foods. Achieving a state of wellness is simply not enough as the body is in constant transition from wellness to illness. In order to maintain a state of wellness, therefore, having a daily dose of protective and regulatory foods should also be kept in mind. Examples of such foods are those that deliver the necessary vitamins and minerals to help the body combat potential diseases; foods that are high in vitamins and minerals are mostly fruits, vegetables and some nuts such as almond and hazelnut.
Proper Nutrition: Taking Care of your Heart.
Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in the western and civilized world; it can affect all gender and race, and while there is a small amount of adolescent and pre-adolescent heart disease reports, the chances of a 15-year-old getting some sort of heart disease cannot be fully dismissed. Although genetics play a part in the overall health of a heart, lifestyle and diet or nutrition are the major factors at play here; since one cannot alter his or her genes any more than he or she can alter his or her DNA, the only logical conclusion would be to maintain a healthy lifestyle and to have proper nutrition.
Maintaining cardiovascular health means committing to a proper diet, and thus leading to an ideal weight. As for nutrition, steering clear or reducing saturated fat intake can greatly reduce the risk for heart diseases. Foods that are known to have high levels of saturated fats are hydrogenated oils such as coconut and palm oil; dried coconut, usually found in sweets such as in some candy bar; butter, a key ingredient in cakes, cookies and bread; rendered animal fats, mostly used to make burgers, sausages and fried foods; dark chocolates, found in desserts and other sweets, and fish oils such as Menhaden and Sardines; although these fish oils contain omega-3 fatty acid, they also have levels of saturated fat that should not be dismissed. Some other foods that are known to contain saturated fats are cheese, especially goat and Parmesan; nuts such as, Pilinuts, Brazil nuts, and Macadamia; processed meats such as, sausages and pates and whipped cream which is mostly used as cake and coffee toppings.
Sodium has always been known to be a risk factor in developing and aggravating heart disease; therefore, maintaining a steady but modest amount of sodium in one’s diet and nutrition would greatly help in taking care of your heart. Foods that are found to have high levels of sodium are, the common table salt, bullion cubes, powdered broths, soy sauce; processed foods such as, salami and bacon, sun-dried tomatoes; snack foods such as, pretzels and popcorns; pickled foods such as, dill and olive pickles, and the saltwater crab.
Nutrition Values: Cooked Food VS. Raw Food.
In recent years, raw foodism, or the ingestion or intake of raw or uncooked food have surfaced as a variety of conventional eating like those of vegetarianism and veganism. Vegetarianism, is the practice of eating vegetables and fruits alone, while veganism is the practice of abstaining from the intake of animal products. Raw foodism, on the other hand, is an entirely different concept in eating habits, as it is the practice of raw food intake or the intake of food that is cooked only up to a certain temperature (between 40⁰c to 46⁰c, or 104⁰F to 115⁰F). There is much debate going on as to the advantage and disadvantages of eating raw foods; some studies state that heat or food that is cooked above a certain temperature destroys its nutritional value, and therefore renders the food non-functional. The natural enzymes that raw food contains, for example, it states, is destroyed when heated and sometimes can even leave toxins making it harmful to the human body.
On the other side of the debate, however, many studies show that while cooking indeed makes the food lose some of its nutritional value, the risk of ingesting agricultural by-products from raw foods poses an even greater threat than eating foods that are cooked under sufficient temperature. Not only that, critics of raw foodism also point out that certain bacterias and microorganisms that sometimes thrive on raw foods will be ingested as well which can make an individual severely ill. One other point that critics and experts stress out is that the enzymes that raw foodism advocates state that dies during cooking, is disintegrated through the natural digestive process, therefore, making them useless, and thus completely defeating the whole point of eating raw food.
Like all two-sided arguments, both sides will always have pros and cons, so the logical way for one to do to choose which side to take, or in this case, to decide to go raw foodism or not, simply goes down to one thing; weigh down the pros and cons of each diet and choose whatever is more beneficial and advantageous for you.