Learning basic nutrition is in my view an absolute must for those of us dealing with any type of health issue.
I say this because anyone living with a health imbalance is under constant stress which will inevitably raise their nutritional requirements.
Therefore, learning how to meet those requirements is vitally important. So pay very close attention, as I will try to make this process very simple and easy to understand.
Basic nutrition has five major components.
· Essential fatty acids
· Amino acids (protein)
These five aspects are all important for helping to nourish the person to better health.
As wise health experts say you are either getting healthier or getting sicker.
So make sure that you fall into the getting healthier group.
Now let's cover basic nutrition!
Starting with vitamins.
Vitamins are in abundant sources in virtually all organic fruits and vegetables.
Non-organic foods have some too. But the nutrient content depends upon the quality of the soil. So when possible eat organic foods.
These nutrients include:
· Vitamin A-retinol or beta carotene
· B-complex-multiple components
· Vitamin C-ascorbic acid
· Vitamin D-cholecalciferol
· Vitamin E-alpha-tocopherol
· Vitamin F-essential fatty acids-(Omega 3-6-9)
One of the great things about most vitamin deficiencies is that they can be corrected within days or weeks.
Food sources: colorful fruit and vegetables (especially raw), dark leafy greens, eggs, fish oil, seeds, nuts, whole grains.
Minerals are crucial to the human body.
Author and environmental physician, Sherry Rogers, M.D., is a big advocate of examining mineral levels in people with chronic health issues.
In her work, she found that chronically ill people typically have mineral deficiencies.
She has also found in working with people over the years that when people correct their mineral imbalances that their health typically improves.
Thus, this is one area that when I was addressing my health imbalances that I made part of my health building program.
One thing about mineral imbalances, they typically take several months to correct. They are not as quick and easy as correcting vitamin imbalances.
Food Sources: All sources of animal protein, seafood, legumes, eggs, dairy foods, sea vegetables, sprouted nuts,
seeds, and vegetables.
Water is actually a combination of two elements: hydrogen and oxygen. It is also known as H2O. I want to emphasize this factor because water comprises approximately 70-80% of the human body.
Staying hydrated with good clean water is one of the most important things that you can do to stay healthy.
One of the biggest things that I did to boost my health was to buy and drink water from a high quality filtration system.
I also bought a shower filter to remove the vast majority of impurities like chlorine so that my body would not absorb those chemicals while showering.
Almost immediately, I noticed a difference. I started to have more energy, less body pain, and fewer food allergies.
Personally, I follow the guideline that suggests I drink half my body weight in ounces of water daily.
Plus I add another glass or two of water on days that I am either more active or drinking alcoholic beverages. Coffee drinkers should also add another glass of water for each cup of java. This is necessary because drinking coffee, alcohol, or being active tend to dehydrate the human body.
Also people who eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, especially vegetarians. May not need quite as much water since they consume lots of water in their food.
Plus they tend to eat less protein, especially animal protein and sodium.
My typical daily intake of water is about 80 - 90 ounces daily.
In regards to other people with health issues. I am convinced that many of them will only improve after they start drinking sufficient amounts of water.
So make sure that you get a sufficient amount.
To do this, listen to your body.
Essential Fatty Acids
Essential fatty acids refer to the fats that we must get in our diet, because the human body cannot manufacture them.
These fats include:
· Omega 3 fats-Fish, krill, flax, walnut, and pumpkin
· Omega 6 fats-Most nuts and seeds
For the most part we tend to get more than enough of the omega 6 sources in our diet.
What we tend to need more of is the omega 3 fats, this is why we hear so much about the need for fish oil.
I personally choose krill and fish oil over flax oil because fish has already abundant amounts of DHA and EPA fats, whereas flax oil requires the body to make this conversion.
My body must not have the ability to make that conversion because I took flax oil for several years and then decided to try fish oil and rapidly became more mentally alert.
So for me the choice is obvious. Fish or krill oil over flax oil.
However, each person has their own unique needs.
A generally recommended nutritional dose for most adults is about 2-3 grams of fish or krill oil daily.
Amino Acids - Building Blocks of Protein
There are 22 amino acids 8 are considered essential meaning that the body cannot manufacture them so that they must be supplied through diet or supplementation.
These essential amino acids are:
Sources for amino acids are all of your protein foods: beef, chicken, pork, turkey, goose, cornish hen, wild game,
eggs, nuts, legumes, and seeds.
It is recommended that we eat approximately about 12-15% of our diet from protein.
However, I think that many of us especially those of us with digestive health issues may need a bit more, around 20-25%, while our body in repairing itself.
Of course, each individual will have his own basic and special nutritional needs.
Fiber is also important but I get my fiber through through diet by eating: vegetables, fruit, legumes, seeds, and nuts.
But if you find that you respond to fiber products then find one that works for you.
As you can see basic nutrition is a huge subject and I have just covered the basics.
But if you apply these steps you will be well on your way to a healthier you.
As always though check with your health care professional to help find the best nutritional approach for your unique situation.