Have you found yourself confused and overwhelmed by the amount of nutrition information that is out there on the internet? Or frustrated that the information seems to conflict and contradict itself, wondering where to even begin to start eating healthier? This Ten Tip Tuesday, I wanted give you ten tips on nutrition fundamentals, to provide a clearer path on how to get started on your journey to wellness.
Tip 1: Eat protein daily
Proteins are essential to the body in large quantities. They are needed to perform many functions like building cells, tissues, muscle and bone. Proteins are not stored in the body like carbohydrates and fats and should be eaten with every snack and meal.
Tip 2: Protein doesn’t have to come from meat
Proteins are found in both meat and plant sources. Proteins are found in fish, meat, poultry, eggs, spinach, broccoli, beans, legumes, nuts and dairy. There are many sources of protein which can keep variety and options in what you are eating every day.
Tip 3: The body needs carbohydrates for energy
Carbohydrates are easily broken down by the body and are used for an immediate source of energy. Carbohydrates include sugars, oligosaccharides, starches and fiber. You want to avoid eating refined sugars and refined grains, and seek to get your carbohydrates from healthier sources, like vegetables, whole fruits, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.
Tip 4: Know your carbohydrate’s glycemic index
Carbohydrates are classified by their glycemic index and glycemic load. Glycemic index measures how quickly a food will spike your blood sugar. Foods that are low in glycemic index will keep your blood sugar at a steady rise and steady decline. Glycemic load measures the amount of digestible carbohydrate. Foods with a lower glycemic load will keep the blood sugar at a steady rate. Broccoli has a low glycemic index and low glycemic load, so will keep the blood sugar at a slow and steady level. Refined sugars and refined grains have a high glycemic index and will raise and lower the blood sugar quickly.
Tip 5: Give your body good fats daily
Fats are needed by the body for energy production, cell growth, and nutrient absorption. Bad fats like trans fats and saturated fats should be avoided. These are found in fast food, fried foods, pre-packaged snacks, and desserts. Good fats, known as mono-unsaturated and poly-unsaturated fats need to be incorporated into the diet. These include items like avocados, nuts, fish oils, olive oil, eggs, poultry, lean beef, and dark chocolate.
Eat clean, drink water, stay active, get sleep, Be Healthy
Tip 6: Water is essential for your body
Water is essential for the body and needed in large quantities. It is used by every cell, tissue and organ. A good rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in ounces each day. If your pee is clear, you will know that you are drinking enough water.
Tip 7: Fat soluble vitamins boost immune function
Fat soluble vitamins require fat and bile for absorption in the body. They are stored in the body’s fat cells and the liver until the body needs them. Since fat soluble vitamins are stored until needed, they don’t need to be consumed every day. Fat soluble vitamins include Vitamin A, D, E and K. Food sources for fat soluble vitamins include plant and animal sources like dark green leafy vegetables, butter, egg yolks, and dairy products. Fat soluble vitamins boost your immune function, are essential for the health of your eyes, help the body’s cell growth, and are key for your hair, skin and nail strength.
Tip 8: Water soluble vitamins boost energy
Water soluble vitamins dissolve in water and are used immediately by the body. They are not stored in tissues, or fat, so need to be consumed every day. Water soluble vitamins include your B Vitamins and Vitamin C. Food sources for water soluble vitamins include fruits, vegetables, grains, meats and poultry. Water soluble vitamins help the body’s energy production, blood sugar regulation, cell function, brain function, collagen formation, and immune function.
Tip 9: Minerals are needed for strong teeth and bones
Minerals are essential for the body, though not needed in large quantities. Minerals help build strong teeth and bones, transmit nerve impulses, help muscles to contract, assist with making hormones, regulate blood pressure and heartbeat, and control fluids inside and outside of the cells. Minerals include things like calcium, iron and zinc, and can be found in nuts, dark leafy greens, beans, seeds, shellfish, fish, whole grains, low-fat dairy, cheese, fruits and vegetables.
Tip 10: Fruits and vegetables boost overall health and wellness
Phytonutrients are essential for the body. They can be found in vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes. Phytonutrients are strong antioxidants, help decrease the risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, promote healthy aging, boost the body’s immune system, and help the body to eliminate harmful toxins. By eating a healthy variety of fruits and vegetables (also called eating the rainbow), you can provide your body with increased energy and boost your overall health and wellness.
If you resonate with these ten tips, I would love to connect with you to optimize your health and wellness and assist you with your nutritional goals and education. I believe in optimal wellness and vitality and am dedicated to helping you look and feel your best. I believe that it is never too early, or too late, to work towards being the healthiest you.
If you'd like to learn more, or have someone come alongside of you to reach your optimal health and wellness goals, let's connect today.