Food is fuel
This is a simple concept that we were taught as children. If we want our bodies to function better, more efficiently we need to “eat right”. But, what does that really mean? How can such a simple concept be so complicated? Every day we are bombarded by messages about how to eat: Keto Diet, Paleo Diet, Mediterranean Diet, South Beach Diet, Atkins Diet, and the list goes on.
Where to start?
At the beginning – Food is Fuel. Food is made up of nutrients. Nutrients are needed for growth, metabolism and other body functions. Nutrients can be classified as macronutrients and micronutrients. Macronutrients are required in large amounts and are carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Micronutrients are chemical elements or substances required in small or trace amounts for normal growth and development. Micronutrients include water soluble vitamins, fat soluble vitamins, minerals, and water.
Carbohydrates can be thought of as fuel. They are the most common source of energy and are an important part of a healthy diet. Carbohydrates are found in grains, dairy, and fruit. Protein supports tissue structure and repair, helps immune cells fight inflammation and infection, supports enzymes that regulate metabolism and helps maintain our internal pH balance. Animal sources are the most commonly known source of protein. However, protein is also found in legumes (beans), lentils, soy products, peanuts, nuts, whole grains, seeds, and some vegetables. Fats are important for our energy reserve, protecting our vital organs and the transport of fat-soluble vitamins. Fats are found in whole grains, dried beans, peas, peanuts, and animal proteins. These are our macronutrients.
Micronutrients are critical to body function and need to be consumed through the diet. Micronutrients are vitamins and minerals. Micronutrients are found primarily in fruits and vegetables, but can also be found in animal sources.
Eating a wide variety of foods is the best way to ensure you are getting all of the nutrients your body needs. However, no matter how well we eat there are times, such as a when a health condition develops, that we experience a deficiency or insufficiency and our bodies need additional nutrients. This is the time to turn to a dietary supplement. A dietary supplement is intended to supplement one’s diet and is not considered food. Supplements should be used in addition to a healthy, well-balanced diet and not in place of food. Native Remedies offers a broad assortment of herbal supplements developed by a team of natural health experts to provide additional micronutrients for specific health conditions.
by Mary Ellen Kosanke