CHAPTER 1

NUTRITION DIET & WELLNESS

 

Good nutrition is the foundation of good health. Everyone needs four basic nutrients: water, carbohydrates, proteins and fats along with other micronutrients like vitamins and minerals. 

 

BASIC NUTRIENTS EXPLAINED: WATER

 

Water, carbohydrates, proteins and fats are the basic building blocks of a good diet. By choosing the healthiest forms of each of these nutrients and eating them in a proper balance, you enable your body to function at its optimal level.

 

 

WATER

The human body is two-thirds water. Water is an essential nutrient that is involved in every function of the body. It helps transport nutrients and waste products in an out of cells. It is required for all digestive, absorptive, circulatory and excretory functions, as well as for the utilization of the water-soluble vitamins. It is needed for the maintenance of proper body temperature.

 

BASIC NUTRIENTS EXPLAINED: CARBOHYDRATES

 

The type of carbohydrate you choose to eat is more importan because some sources are healthier than others. The amount of carbohydrate in the diet, high or low is less important than the type of carbohydrate in the diet. 

CARBOHYDRATES supply the body with the energy it needs to function. About 55 - 60 percent of energy requirements are met through carbohydrates.  They are found almost exclusively in plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, peas, grains, and beans. Milk and milk products are the only foods derived from animals that contain carbohydrates.  Additionally, carbohydrates cleanse the body by regulating bowel function and provide powerful antioxidants to protect our cells from damage and ageing.

SIMPLE VERSUS COMPLEX MAZE

Carbohydrates are divided into two groups: simple and complex

SIMPLE CARBOHYDRATES are sometimes called simple sugars. They include fructose (fruit sugar), sucrose (table sugar) and lactose (milk sugar). Fruits are one of the richest sources of simple carbohydrates.

COMPLEX CARBOHYDRATES are also made up of sugar but the sugar molecules are strung together to form longer more complex chains. Complex carbohydrates include fiber and starches. Foods rich in complex carbohydrates include vegetables, whole grains, peas and beans.

WHY SHOULD YOU EAT CARBOHYDRATES      

  • Carbohydrates such as fruits and vegetables are very dense in vitamins and fiber.

  • Carbs are the body's preferred source of energy, especially for anaerobic and long duration exercises.

  • Starchy complex carbohydrate sources such as potatoes and long-grain rice help replenish muscle glycogen stores.

  • Muscle glycogen is used as fuel and depletes during strenuous exercise.

  • Starchy foods also contain resistant starch, similar to fiber. It promotes satiety and is good for the health of the gut.

 

       THINK BEFORE YOU MUNCH

  •  Refined carbohydrate sources such as sugar, wheat and corn based products induce appetite cravings and contribute to body fat gains, heart disease, higher LDL cholesterol, higher triglycerides and lower HDL.

  • Overconsumption of refined carbs in combination with fats is the driving force for the obesity epidemic

 

WHEN TO EAT FRUITS

You should eat fruits when you are in a fasting state or when your liver store is empty: so, first thing in the morning on an empty stomach or immediately. Any time aside from this, the body converts the fructose from the fruits into triglycerides.

 

FEW WORDS ON FIBER

Dietary fiber referred to in the past as roughage is a very important form of carbohydrate. A part of the plant, dietary fiber is resistant to digestive enzymes but it helps in keeping the digestive tract clean. Additionally, dietary fiber binds with certain substances that would normally result in the production of cholesterol, and eliminates these substances from the body

 

 

 

 

 

BASIC NUTRIENTS EXPLAINED: PROTEINS

 

Amino acids are organic compounds that combine to form proteins. Amino acids and proteins are the building blocks of life.

Next to water, protein is the most abundant nutrient in the human body. Dissect proteins and spills amino acids of three kinds, essential, non-essential and conditionally essential.

To reiterate the basics, proteins are a necessary part of every living cell in the body. In the human body, protein substances make up the muscles, ligaments, tendons, organs, glands, nails, hair, and many vital body fluids, and are essential for the growth of bones. 

The body can process certain amino acids, hence they are non-essential. Those that the body can't need to be supplied with, therefore they are essential amino acids and finally, there are amino acids that become essential during certain conditions like repair, old age and in conditions of muscle wastage.      

WHY SHOULD YOU EAT PROTEIN

  • About 20 percent of energy requirement is met through protein.

  • Protein is the most satiating macronutrient and is crucial for weight management

  • Proteins are building block for muscle and is essential to sustain life

THINK BEFORE YOU MUNCH

  • Proteins are poor fuels for energy

 

BASIC NUTRIENTS EXPLAINED: FATS

 

Fats. The four letter dietary villain or the nutritional superhero? Exactly, what is the status of fats? Find out to uncomplicate your relationship with this crucial nutritional component.

 Fats are an important constituent of the nutritional pyramid. Fats help ferry fat-soluble vitamins like vitamins, A, E, D and K in the body. It is needed to build cell membranes, the vital exterior of each cell, and the sheaths surrounding nerves. It is essential for blood clotting, muscle movement, and inflammation. More than 60 percent of your grey cells are made up of fat.  Fats, essentially the good kinds derived from nuts, fish thwart ageing by providing skin with EFAs (Essential Fatty Acids) and also help the body burn fat effectively. Therefore, fat is not superfluous rather an essential ingredient of your diet.

Fats are composed of building blocks called fatty acids. There are three major categories of fatty acids -- saturated, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated.

 

WHY SHOULD YOU EAT FATS

  • Though you may find it hard to believe fats are important for weight loss.

  • Monounsaturated and saturated fats like ghee, eggs, butter, coconut and extra virgin olive oil are health promoting.

  • It is also a good source of body fuel and contributes to weight loss

 

THINK BEFORE YOU MUNCH

  • We neglect omega-3 fatty acids found mostly in fish and flax seed.

  •  This leads to inflammation. Saturated fat is detrimental to health when combined with refined carbohydrate sources.

MICRO-NUTRIENTS EXPLAINED: VITAMINS AND MINERALS

Vitamins and Minerals

We all know that vitamin supplements are no substitute for a healthy diet, but nobody's perfect when it comes to healthful eating mulitivitamins provide nutritional insurance. Explore for yourself.

Do fitness enthusiasts get to benefit with a multivitamin? After all, they are extremely particular about their diet and exercise. Still, it is hard to discount the benefits accruing from a premium multivitamin because the food most of us eat is low on the nutritional quotient, due to intensive growing, prolonged storage and transportation time. Moreover, you lose many critical vitamins and minerals due to intense training, primarily vitamin C, B vitamins, copper and trace mineral like selenium. Therefore, it makes sense to take high quality multivitamins to get that edge for better performance.

 

WHY SHOULD YOU EAT MULTIVITAMINS

To begin with,

  •  Vitamin A is required for healthy eyes, skin, mucous membranes including your respiratory tract. This vitamin is a potent antioxidant and builds your resistance to infections and assists in the growth and repair of body tissues, including muscle. 

  • B complex vitamins act as co-enzymes helping enzymes to react chemically with other substances, and are involved in energy production.

  • Vitamin C is a super antioxidant and works synergistically with vitamin E.

  • Vitamin E scavenges for dangerous free radicals in cell membranes while vitamin C attacks free radicals in biologic fluids.

  • Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that has properties of both a vitamin and a hormone. It is required for the absorption and utilization of calcium and phosphorus.

  • Vitamin K is required for healthy arteries and is necessary for blood clotting and optimizes bone formation.

Beyond calcium and magnesium that are needed for strong bones, you should expect certain trace minerals in your multivitamin for

optimum health and performance.

 

Chromium is an essential mineral required for normal healthy insulin function and metabolism. Both endurance exercise and weight training have shown to increase urinary excretion of chromium, which makes it an important mineral to supplement.

Copper is important in the maintenance of bone, nerve, and cardiovascular health, as well as the immune function. It's important in energy production and can help iron transport oxygen.

Selenium along with vitamin E is a potent antioxidant critical for healthy immune system and maintains healthy liver function.

Iron is critical for oxygen delivery to working muscles, and therefore it is critical for performance. Iron levels are depleted in people who train hard.

 

Zinc is required for protein synthesis and is vital for bone formation. It is a constituent of insulin and many vital enzymes.

Additionally, the premium multivitamin blend should have joint care blend to prevent break down of joints because they suffer the most when you train.  Additionally, it should also have antioxidants like green tea and grape seed extract to support immunity for enhanced strength and performance and amino acids to aid in the recovery of muscles during a workout.

 

THINK BEFORE YOU MUNCH

Multivitamins provide nutritional insurance against the shortcomings of a balanced diet. They can no way replace real nutritious foods and should be had along with meals to enhance absorption of the nutrients.

     6 POINTS TO REMEMBER

  1. Six vital nutrients for good health and well-being are water, carbohydrates, proteins, fats and vitamins and minerals

  2. Drinking ample water is a must to ward off dehydration, for active metabolism and to remain healthy. By the time you feel thirsty, you're already dehydrated.

  3. Carbohydrates have received bad reputation, but they supply your body with energy requirements. One gram of carb gives 4 calories. Choose good sources of carbs found in whole grains, vegetables, fruits.

  4. Proteins are building blocks for muscle and are essential to sustain life.  About 20 percent of energy requirement is met through the protein. Protein keeps hunger pangs at bay and is even helpful in managing weight.

  5. Fats are important for weight loss. Monounsaturated and saturated fats like ghee, eggs, butter, coconut and extra virgin olive oil are health promoting. It is also a good source of body fuel and contributes to weight loss

  6. Plant-based foods like fruits and vegetables are good sources of vitamins and minerals and provide nutritional insurance.