Understanding Nutritional Basics
What food is good for you? This is a frequently asked question because some people do not know what is healthy for them to eat, and what to avoid. The human body requires various kinds of food in order to survive. If you eat the wrong food, you may feel lethargic, nauseous, confused, or just plain unhealthy.
In this article we will be discussing some foods that are good for you and help you maintain a strong immune system, combat illness, and keep your weight within the acceptable range. First up on our list is food that provides an abundance of energy and contains enough carbohydrates to allow you to feel full. Carbohydrates are the most plentiful food source for the body, and provide all the carbohydrates necessary for the daily metabolic functions of the body. Food is categorized into three broad groups: proteins, vegetables, and whole-grains. These categories are differentiated by the energy requirements for the body, including carbohydrates (the most plentiful source), protein (a group containing non-carbohydrates such as dairy products), and fats.
Eating healthy can be tricky because so many of today’s foods are high in fat, sugar, salt, and chemicals. Therefore, it is important to choose carefully the types of food that you eat. For instance, foods rich in potassium and sodium (potassium and sodium being two salt bodies) are extremely beneficial to a healthy urinary tract. Potassium helps lower blood pressure and sodium is flushed away from the body through urination, contributing to a healthy urinary system.
Food with a high nutritional value but without being high in calories also has its place in a well nourished diet. Carbohydrate food systems provide a steady supply of energy, but at a low cost, making them good for a rainy day. Simple carbohydrates such as potatoes and brown rice are filling, satisfying foods that can fill you up, without contributing to food insecurity. Other simple carbohydrates such as breads and cereals are easily digested and do not add to the general food insecurity problem. Fiber-rich foods like fruits and vegetables provide a boost to the small intestine and have a low glycemic index, which makes them a good choice for people who want to avoid hunger pangs during the day.
A healthy diet must have certain foods that help prevent illness and disease, support the immune system, increase energy, maintain a healthy weight, improve blood sugar levels, reduce risk for heart disease, promote proper intestinal function, and decrease risks for various kinds of cancer. Some of these preventable illnesses include diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and colon cancer. Vitamins and minerals are also important for our overall health. For example, vitamin D improves bone health, whereas B vitamins (including niacin, pantothenic acid, and calcium) support healthy kidney functions.
Good nutrition begins with choosing the right food. It is not sufficient to eat only one type of food group or micronutrient. Your body needs a wide variety of nutrients to be healthy. The recommended diet has been created keeping in mind what the body needs to absorb and process nutrients in food to meet its normal function and for healthy maintenance of the body’s structure, function, and balance.