The truth behind eating: The first thing that comes to mind is that we eat because we are hungry. Sometimes we eat because we are tired, happy, sad, bored, the food looks so good, or just because its lunch time. These reasons are all physical and emotional reasons why we eat. But good nutrition is more than that.
Good Nutrition Provides Energy
The foods that we eat give energy to our body, which is what we need in order for our body to function. Carbohydrates are responsible for giving energy to our body. The body easily digests carbohydrates like sugar and starch which are broken down into glucose (think gas in your car). If you don’t have enough carbohydrates, your body can make glucose from protein or fat. But when you have too much carbs, the body is great at storing them as fat.
Good Nutrition Provides Raw Materials
Amino acids come from protein foods. The body uses the amino acids to build and repair the different parts of the body. Protein is the key to muscle health and growth. Protein is also needed for the components of the immune system, nervous system, hormones and organs.
Protein is the building block for muscle, and since the body can’t save it for later like carbohydrates and fat, it’s important to keep a constant stream coming, so the muscles stay strong and healthy. Protein construction is a never ending process, so if it doesn’t get a new supply often, the body will break down muscle from elsewhere in order to rebuild damaged areas – stealing from the biceps to pay the triceps.
Fats are also needed by the body to stay healthy. Membranes which contain fat surround all the cells of the body. The brain relies on fatty acids, and fats are needed to signal hormones. Don’t fear the fat!
Good Nutrition Acts As Little Helpers
The body also needs vitamins and minerals to help all the chemical reactions in the body. For example, vitamin B complex helps the body burn carbohydrates for energy, while Vitamin C keeps connective tissue strong and the immune system functioning, and Zinc contributes in the metabolic processes. A healthy balanced diet provides the body with vitamins and minerals, so if your body is deficient from one or more of these little helpers, then you have unhealthy diet.
Good Nutrition Fights Damage
Other substances found in the food that we eat act as warriors against invaders trying to damage our body. These warriors are called phytochemicals, and they are found in the colorful parts of fruits and vegetables. They help in protecting the body from sun damage, pollution, smoke and poor dietary choices.