Why You Need Good Nutrition
By HealthLife Contributor
Updated: February 23, 2009
Does the adage, "you are what you eat" still hold true? Indeed, what you eat plays an important role on how you feel both emotionally and physically. The importance of good nutrition cannot be understated. Your diet directly influences not only the healthiness of your body, but also your mental and emotional wellbeing.
The Importance of Good Nutrition: Energy
Energy is one of the factors in the importance of good nutrition. Your body needs energy to keep working all day - food equals fuel. One importance of good nutrition is making sure that your body has enough fuel to your activities without feeling worn out and exhausted.
Overall, your body can digest carbohydrates the easiest, and these carbohydrates are the body’s favorite source of energy. However, you also have to monitor a moderate intake, as the body will store the excess carbohydrates as fat. In a pinch, your body can use fat and protein for energy - which is the key for many weight loss programs like the Atkins Diet; however, you need to take into the consideration the importance of well-rounded nutrition when you are looking at your long term lifestyle.
The Importance of Good Nutrition: Building blocks
Amino acids, the building blocks of the body, are another factor in the importance of good nutrition. Amino acids are responsible for building and repairing the cells throughout your body. Found in proteins, they are essential for rebuilding muscles, organs, and improving the function of your hormones, immune and nervous systems.
Calcium is also part of the importance of good nutrition. It is famously known for keeping teeth and bones strong and for fighting diseases like osteoporosis. Recently, research has shown that calcium can even help with fat loss, especially in the abdomen area.
Another part of the importance of good nutrition is fats. While too many fats are bad, too few do not bode well for your health. "Good" fat, such as the famous Omega 3s, are needed throughout the body for important functions, especially in the brain, as well as to signal hormones.
The Importance of Good Nutrition: Vitamins and minerals
Besides the above ingredients in food, vitamins and minerals also play a part of the importance of good nutrition. You do not need them in as great a number as you do the carbohydrates, fats, and protein, but they are an important part of the chemical reactions in the body. For instance, you need carbohydrates for energy, but you also need the B vitamins to make the process more efficient. Vitamin C can help keep your body strong and healthy, vitamin A can help improve your vision, and zinc aids your metabolism. The importance of good nutrition is that it provides these extra nutrients to help keep the systems of your body in balance, functioning at their best.
The Importance of Good Nutrition: Getting Beyond the Basics
While the above items discuss the importance of good nutrition, what you eat goes above and beyond these basics. Every day, researchers are discovering new substances in the foods that you eat that are responsible for improving your health.
For example, phytochemicals found in fruits and vegetables show the importance of good nutrition on your health. The quercetin found in red apples can work as an anti-inflammatory and an anti-histamine. In grape skins, there is a powerful antioxidant known as resveratrol, which has been shown to fight free radicals and reduce cancer risk. Nearly all fruits and vegetables contain phytochemicals, and phytochemicals contain antioxidants. Antioxidants can help protect your body against the damaging effects of day-to-day living.
Another thing to remember is that food is more complex than just its ingredients. You do not eat simply a protein or a carb; you eat a steak and fries. Everything you eat contains varying amounts of the ingredients that are part of the importance of good nutrition.
Overall, there is no such thing as a "bad" carbohydrate - the problem comes from eating too many carbohydrates, and/or eating them out of balance with other nutrients. For example, a chocolate donut will have plenty of fat and carbohydrates, but not many vitamins. A slice of multi-grain bread may have similar amounts of carbohydrates, but will likely contain more vitamins and fewer fats. While this isn’t to say that you can’t enjoy the occasional chocolate donut, it is important to remember the importance of good nutrition and only enjoy them in moderation.
The main importance of good nutrition is having good health. By eating a balanced diet, you will stay healthier, look better, and reduce your risks of certain diseases. Indeed, there is a certain truth to the saying "you are what you eat!"