You should already know that nutrition is very important to your quality of life. If you want to have a healthy life and lifestyle, you will need to have a healthy diet with proper nutrition. You might hear all the time that your nutrition greatly affects the way you live and your quality of life but have you ever really thought about why? Do you really understand why it is so important?
If you really want to take the steps to live the long life that you deserve and to be as healthy as possible and enjoy those years, than you need to learn all you can about the importance of optimal nutrition. What you eat really affects your body and health.
- 1. What is optimal nutrition?
- 2. What nutrients do you need to be healthy?
- 3. What foods give you these nutrients?
Importance of Optimal Nutrition
Optimal nutrition is very important to your overall health and fitness. Studies have shown that people can actually live longer if they have healthy nutrition. It is proven that there is a link between optimal nutrition and long life and long term health.
If you take a look at society, you will notice an increasingly large number of people that are overweight and obese. You will also see problems such as poor teeth and acne, dry, brittle skin, dry hair and other problems. You will find many people on medications for headache, stomach problems, acid reflux, constipation, heart disease, high blood pressure and more. What may be more alarming than the high amount of medications is the fact that most people receive very little information about what is actually causing their disease or condition. Instead, they get a pill.
What many people never know is that what they are eating (or not eating) can be causing these health problems. You also need to understand that you will have to make changes and adjustments to your intake over the years and stages of your life. Just like toddlers need a different diet from teenagers, you also need to alter your diet as you continue through all of life’s stages. Understanding what is best for you through each stage of your life is the best way to remain in optimal health.
Micro and Macronutrients
Many people hear that they need proper nutrition but just what does that mean exactly? What nutrients do you need to be healthy? Optimal nutrition will include a variety of different micronutrients and macronutrients. Micronutrients include certain vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Macronutrients include carbohydrates, proteins and fats that make up the foods you eat.
There is too often a lot of myth surrounding the nutrients, our bodies and how we use these nutrients. This is why it is very important that you get all the facts when planning to change your lifestyle and diet. Many people are suffering from malnutrition and may not even know it. Many overweight individuals may be suffering from malnutrition. Just because you are eating does not mean you are eating the right things.
Micronutrients are the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that your body needs to be healthy. The specific ones and amounts of each will depend on your body, sex, age and other factors. Every person is different so there is not one set plan that works for everyone. You need to learn what works for you. As you change, grow older, etc. this will change again and you will continue to have to adjust this.
Macronutrients are the carbs, proteins and fats that you get from foods. The amounts of these that you need will vary as well. This is where many myths come in about what you should or should not eat. The facts are that too much of anyone can be bad and not enough can be bad. It’s all about finding a balance. This means those “All-Carb” or “No Carb” diets that are so popular on the market are really not the best thing for you.
What you choose to ingest in your body has a big impact on your overall health and your general well-being. People now eat more fast foods and frozen dinners and other quick meals that are not very nutritious at all. Some of these foods even have additives in them that can make them addictive so that you want more and more. People typically eat out of hunger and many of these foods do not work to satisfy your hunger leaving you wanting more or something else. Yet, they still have many calories and fat and other things that your body does not need.
Make the Committment
If you are serious in obtaining optimal health to the best of your ability, then take a look at your lifestyle in general. Are you eating the right foods? Are you exercising? Are you getting plenty of fresh air on a daily basis? Do you have positive relationships? If you find yourself answering “no” to these questions, then make the commitment to change. Talk with your family, friends, or a nutritionist. Check to see if there are support groups in your area related to health and lifestyle changes. Look into joining your local gym. Do your research and then purchase the right nutritional supplements that will help you achieve your goals.
If you at least try to make a change in one area, more are sure to follow! You are now on your way to optimal health.
Monique Hawkins is an Associate with USANA Health Sciences. One of her passions is encouraging and supporting others to obtain optimal health and wellness. Visit her USANA website at www.whyusana.com/mhawkins and her new music box website at www.my-music-box.com
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