You are what you eat! 2
If one wants to build a house he considers the blocks to be used. They have to be strong and made of good material. For a healthy strong body one has to make sure the building blocks are okay… the building blocks in this case the cells have to be healthy to keep the body healthy. Nutrients needed for strong healthy cells are only gotten from the food we eat.
Food has nutrients in it— substances that give our body many important things that we need. Before nutrients can go to work food must be broken down so that they can pass into our body. This is called digestion. When we swallow food after chewing it travels on to the stomach where it is mixed together with water and other fluids. Then the food is passed on to the intestine. Nutrients escape through the walls of the intestine into our blood, a process known as assimilation. From there they are carried to all parts of the body. Most food leaves waste that the body cannot use. The body gets rid of this waste.
To keep your cells healthy you need to feed the cells properly. You need all the food classes…
There are 5 main classes: carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals and water.
Carbohydrates are the main source of energy for our body. Sugars and starches have carbohydrates in them. Sugar is a simple carbohydrate. It gives us energy very quickly. This form of energy can be found in honey, jams etc. Starches are complex carbohydrates and must be broken down into sugars before our body can use them. They are found in rice, beans, bread, potatoes, cereals, corn, pasta, peas and potatoes. They provide our cells with a constant supply of energy.
Proteins are among the most important building blocks of our body. Muscles, skin and hair are made up of proteins. Proteins are complex molecules made up of amino acids. The body can produce some of them itself, but we must get the others from food. Proteins are in cheese, eggs, fish, meat, milk, as well as in nuts, peas and beans.
Our body needs fat in small amounts. Fats are made up of carbon, oxygen and hydrogen. They store vitamins and produce fatty acids. We need these acids to produce cell membranes. Fats can come from animals (fat) or plants (oils). They are in meat and dairy products, like butter and cheese. Other types of fats are in vegetable oils, nuts or seeds. Too many saturated fats produce a high level of cholesterol, a waxy material made by the body. It starts building up in the walls of blood vessels and may block blood as it flows through our body causing problems.
Our body needs a variety of vitamins to stay healthy. Each of them does a different job. Vitamin A, for example, helps skin and hair grow. Vitamin C is needed to fight off infections. Vitamin D helps the growth of bones and teeth. Among their many functions, vitamins enhance the body’s use of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. They are critical in the formation of blood cells, hormones, nervous system chemicals known as neurotransmitters, and the genetic material deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). Vitamins could be fat soluble (A,D,E,K) or water soluble (B complex and C). They can be found in many fruits and vegetables.
Minerals are needed for health, growth and serve as catalysts for body reactions. They are inorganic, not made up of living things. Our body needs different amounts of various minerals. Some in large quantities others in smaller. Calcium and magnesium, for example, are important for bones and teeth. We also need small amounts of iron. It is a component of haemoglobin, which carries oxygen to red blood cells. Fluorine, zinc is needed in very small amounts. They are called trace elements. They can also be found in fruits and vegetables.
Although water does not give us energy it is the most important nutrient. We may be able to live on without the others for weeks, but we cannot go on without water for more than a few days.
Water has many functions in our body. It helps break down food. It also cools the body down when it becomes too hot. The body carries away waste products in a watery solution.
Our body needs about 2 –3 litres of water a day. We get it from the water and liquids we drink but also from fruits, vegetables and other food.
So picking food from these different classes and varying them as much as we can give us the nutrient quantity and quality needed for optimum cellular health. Diet is what you eat; nutrition is what your cells receive. How much of these various food groups make up your diet and how much nutrient finally gets to your cells?
…prosper and be in good health…
Victor Anyanwu, ‘The Oracle’ is the Chief Executive of The Vycade Company. With a background in Medicine/Wellness and Personal Finance he provides Wellness and Wealth Consulting Services. He can be reached at his twitter handle: @vycade