To take on a challenge indicates there is effort to be made. What does it mean to have a regular diet of assorted food that would be considered healthy nutrition? Taking on the challenge of healthy nutrition would mean taking the time to investigate the possibilities.
The definition of nutrition is the process of nourishing or being nourished, especially the process by which a living organism assimilates food and uses it for growth and for replacement of tissues. At the very least, healthy nutrition then would mean having a selection of food that actually provides the nutrition needed for growth, and replacement of tissues. A more complex description of what is derived from balanced nutrition might include a healthy immune system, a balanced digestive system, healthy cardiovascular function, effective carbohydrate metabolism, restorative sleeping, vigorous energy, and a reasonably well adjusted outlook on life.
To begin at the beginning. If we design an eating regimen from ground zero, it would be easier to adjust any diet to better fit with the challenge of achieving healthy nutrition.
Water is a dietary must, and the other vital nutritional elements are:
Each of these 6 food sources deliver essential nutrition, and we need them every day. They provide the amino acids and enzymes for building tissue, and supporting all of the various organ systems.
The biochemistry of the essential nutrients such as vitamins, and minerals are all about producing energy measured in units called calories. If a person is very active, they need to eat more calories to sustain their energy, and promote tissue repair. If they eat more food calories then they use, the extra energy will be stored in the form of glycogen in the liver. This will be available, and easy to mobilize when needed for some unexpected exercise, or in the event one has to climb some stairs.
It is possible to meet the challenge of healthy nutrition, and enjoy a diversified, tasty, and exciting menu. We have only to think about fruit, vegetables, protein, and carbohydrates. Appropriate fats, and minerals, will come along for the ride with the first four choices, however, it is important to think about them.
As with everything else, we eat with our mind, not because our hunger dictates what we want to eat. To meet the challenge of healthy nutrition, it will get easier and easier to make healthy choices when you begin to make them, and repeat them for about three weeks. Planning ahead, finding stores with organic fruit and vegetables, grass fed beef, and organic dairy products will fulfill a health giving regimen, and actually become a source of great satisfaction, as they will help a body to be balanced in every way and therefore full of vigor!
When trying to set up a healthy nutrition program, it might be well to remember the soil on giant farms across this country have been depleted of many nutrients, therefore the stuff that grows on them is not as nutritious as it was decades ago. Therefore organic fruits and vegetables are the better choice to get the nutrition expected.
Meat sources these days are often raised in larger numbers, and given hormones, and antibiotics to enhance their growth. We really don’t want that payload in our food. It might be better to choose grass fed beef and poultry if you can find it.
Sugars, fried snacks of any kinds, snacks that dress up as food, but don’ t really provide much nutrition should be avoided, or at least limited. Chips, pizza, candy, carbonated drinks (especially diet ones) should be avoided. They encourage an imbalance of Calcium, which eventually diminishes bone density. With the exception of diabetics, fruits and vegetables can be eaten in larger quantities without side effects. Diabetics must always be on the lookout for a sugar overload from any source, but fruits are still an excellent source of nutrients. It’s the quantity that should be carefully managed.
A diet high in protein may acidify the blood and cause the body to release calcium from the bones in order to effect a more neutral condition. There is a vital reason for this. Due to metabolic combustion, there is a huge amount of acid transported to the blood, which must then move to various points of discharge in the body, mainly the lungs. It is by virtue of alkalinity, that the blood is able to transport the acid from the tissues to the discharge points.
Proteins are made up of amino acids, which vary from one source to another. The most successful balanced protein is the egg, and all others are matched against it for nutritional purposes. Rice, beans and other apparently non protein foods may have some protein content, but not a sufficient amount to maintain health. Sometimes the combination of non protein foods, such as beans and rice, can produce a balanced protein.
The other quality to remember about protein is that they become denatured, or physically changed, and therefore not available to provide the nutrition expected. A raw egg, and a cooked egg, are a graphic example of a denatured protein. Some cheese may become denatured by high temperature cooking.
Cooking straight up without a microwave will help you get more from the food you eat. Vegetables don’t take all that long to boil or steam, and cooking meat ahead of time and then warming while the veggies are steaming, is a good alternative to instant cooking. Making new and healthy sauces for steamed food is a fabulous, and creative, endeavor.
A good way to meet the challenge of healthy nutritional choices is to try it for a month. If this challenge is considered an opportunity, instead of an agenda of deprivation from all the snacks and fried food, you will be the winner!