By Florencia Tagliavini, The NutraMilk Nutritionist.
Food is made up of nutrients. Macronutrients such as carbohydrates which provide energy; protein, made up for amino acids, which are chemical building blocks for muscles, skin, hair, hormones, neurotransmitters, etc.; and essential fats which are responsible for building the membranes of cells and their components. Micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals, act as co-factors for the enzymes that run almost everything that happens in your body. The right kind and amount of nutrients enable cells in our bodies to perform their necessary functions, which is vital for good health and well-being.
Here are 5 examples of the effects of nutrition on our health:
Lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise account for about half of the contributing factors to longevity. Some substances derived from foods such as phytochemicals, many of which are antioxidants, may reduce inflammation and inhibit some of the degenerative changes associated with aging.
Your immune system relies on both macronutrients and micronutrients supplied by your daily diet to remain healthy. Certain nutrients such as Vitamin C, E, A, zinc, and selenium are especially important in supporting and maintaining a strong immune system. By improving individual cell function as well as interactions between cells, adequate nutrition makes you more resilient to infection.
3. Growth and Development
Optimal childhood growth and development rely on proper nutrition. Some nutrient deficiencies in young children are relatively common, like iron deficiency which can cause anemia. Sufficient iron helps ensure ideal learning, attention and memory, proper development of motor skills, appropriate emotional expression and resilience to stress.
4. Weight Management
Good nutrition helps you maintain adequate weight and avoid the pitfalls of yo-yo dieting, such as food cravings that lead to binge eating.
4. Mood & Energy
A balanced diet helps keep your energy levels high. If your diet is high in sugary and starchy foods, you might experience blood sugar swings that cause irritable or sad moods. The same foods eaten late at night can keep you awake, depriving your body of needed rest and resulting in brain fog, forgetfulness, and low energy.