Nutrition BlogJuly 18, 2022
We all have been told it is important to have good nutrition and participate in physical activity, so why do we have this question? Well, nobody tells us why it is so important. The benefits of good nutrition go well beyond just having a healthy body weight or looking good in our clothes. Good nutrition can help reduce the risk of disease (heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, etc.), it helps reduce high blood pressure and high cholesterol, promotes a healthy immune system, and helps your body recover from illness/injury.
Some factors to consider when thinking about the benefits of good nutrition are the improvement of the amount of energy you have throughout the day. Proper nutrition allows your body to perform daily activities and challenges more efficiently without relying on depleted stores for energy. Nutrition also has a significant impact on our mood (the healthy carbs make us happy). Good nutrition can help us achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
According to nutrition experts at nutrition.gov we need to consume five main groups of food: fruits, vegetables, grains, proteins, and dairy.
How much fruit should we be eating? Well, that depends on many factors (age, sex, weight, height, etc.) but most of us need about 2 cups daily. Do you get two cups? It is recommended that we eat whole fruit rather than juices.
How many vegetables do we have to eat? Much like fruit, the number of vegetables we need depends on many similar factors. According to nutrition.gov some of us need to get as many as 4 cups per day. Paleo Power Meals can help here (shameless plug)!
Grains are tricky. They are similar regarding needs depending on factors that match fruits and vegetables. Now, most of us get enough total grains but fail to get the correct types of grains. Grains are categorized into two subgroups: whole grains and refined grains. Whole grains (oatmeal, brown rice, whole wheat) use the entire grain, while refined grains are milled to remove bran and germ. We should be getting at least half of our grains from whole grains.
Most of us are great at getting in our proteins! Although we are doing well here, it is recommended that we mix up the type of proteins we are getting. Let’s mix it up with some fish or beans. Come on guys; beans even have a great song!
Dairy, much like the others, is dependent on similar factors when determining the amount necessary for good nutrition. Most of us should be getting upwards of three cups a day. Time to get the cheese!
Our bodies are capable of performing amazing fetes, and all it needs from us is good nutrition. So, what is good nutrition? Well, good nutrition means that we give our bodies all the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients it needs to perform at their best. Hey, we don’t skimp on fuel for the car; why do we skimp on fuel for us?