Each food you eat has a direct impact on your health. A healthy diet contributes to a long healthy life and vice versa. So, what is good nutrition? What is the importance of nutrition in our health?
What Is Good Nutrition?
Good nutrition is eating a balanced diet that contains the nutrients needed to support the health of the body, from bones to enzyme and antibody production, to building and repairing cells and organ systems.
Why Is Good Nutrition Important?
Good nutrition fulfils your body's nutritional requirements, including vitamins and minerals that positively impact your overall health. The benefits of good nutrition are:
- Maintaining a healthy weight.
- Reduced risk of many chronic diseases, including type-2 diabetes, heart disease, cancers, and osteoporosis.
- Reducing high blood pressure and cholesterol.
- Boosting your energy levels and mental well-being.
- Improving your immune system- your body’s ability to fight illness & infections.
How Can Good Nutrition Boost Your Health?
When you eat a healthy diet, you deliver important nutrients, vitamins, and minerals to your body cells. This healthy eating leads eventually to the good health goal. Good nutrition can boost your health in many aspects, including
When you follow a nutritious diet that includes whole grains, leafy greens, vegetables, and proteins, you are less prone to obesity and malnutrition. Furthermore, you should eliminate high-fat diets, processed foods, and packaged foods from your eating plan as they increase your risk of being overweight.
Reduce The Risk Of Chronic Diseases
A healthy diet minimizes the risk of developing many chronic conditions, such as type-2 diabetes, heart disease, and kidney failure.
Boost The Immune System
A balanced diet that contains essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals keeps your immunity at peak performance. It can effectively protect you against many illnesses and immunodeficiency issues.
Boost Your Cognitive Functions
Foods rich in iron and omega-3 fatty acids can improve your mental well-being. They support your memory, concentration, and mood as well.
Suppose you eat a healthy diet that includes different food groups with a specific daily calorie intake depending on your physical activity. In that case, you nourish your body with plenty of antioxidants. Moreover, you reduce the stress over your body that can be present by overeating.
How To Incorporate Good Nutrition In Your Diet?
A well-balanced diet should include different food groups to nourish your body with various nutrients. An excellent example of a nutritious diet is the Mediterranean diet. A healthy eating plan should contain the following five food groups:
Whole grains are complex, unrefined carbohydrates such as oats, wheat and brown rice. They contain fibre, vitamins, and minerals. Also, they boost your energy levels. However, some people who suffer from coeliacs or those who have gluten sensitivity should seek gluten-free alternatives. Gluten-free carbohydrates are buckwheat, quinoa, rice, and starchy vegetables (pumpkin, squash, potato and sweet potato).
Fruits And Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are rich in fibre, vitamins, and antioxidants. Additionally, fruits contain natural sugars that can be alternatives to sweets and candies. Consider eating whole fruits instead of fruit juices because they are high-fibre, and have no added sugars.
Proteins classified into animal and plant proteins are responsible for building muscle tissue, antibodies to fight infections and neurotransmitters for cognition and brain health. Animal proteins include red meat, fish, chicken, and eggs. In comparison, plant proteins include nuts and legumes. People who consume plant-based diets should ensure having more than one plant protein within their diet as some plant-based foods do not contain complete amino acids (proteins) and are deficient in some nutrients like zinc and vitamin B12
Dairy Products or Calcium-fortified Beverages
Dairy products (e.g. milk, yoghurt, and cheese) provide your body with calcium, phosphorus, potassium, vitamins A, D, and B12. Choose fat-free or low-fat selections to minimize your intake of saturated fat. You may also opt for calcium-fortified almond, cashew or coconut beverages as alternatives to dairy products.
Fats have different categories, monounsaturated fat, polyunsaturated fat, and saturated fat. The fats we obtain from foods like olive oil, nuts, fish, and seeds are healthy fats that reduce blood fats like cholesterol and triglycerides and boost your energy and mental health. However, saturated fats found in meats, poultry skin, and trans fats found in baked goods and pastries and some fast foods are unhealthy fats. They can elevate blood cholesterol levels and increase your risk factors for stroke and heart disease. Try to avoid or limit eating these fats.
When And How Much Should You Eat For Good Nutrition?
Aim for five meals per day. Avoid skipping meals because it causes low blood glucose levels, headaches, and mood swings. Also, skipping meals encourages overeating or bingeing at meal times- thus increasing the risk of obesity.
Start your day with a healthy breakfast around 8 a.m, then have your lunch at noon. Take a healthy snack around 3 p.m and light dinner around 6 p.m. Furthermore, avoid eating before bedtime, as your ability to utilize these calories are limited.
Moreover, watch food portions on your plate and ensure to include different foods. According to Health Canada, divide your plate into two halves. Fill the first half with vegetables and fruits and divide the second half into two portions, one for whole grains and the other for proteins.
Also, according to the Canada Health Dietary Reference Intake, it is recommended to eat 130 grams per day of carbohydrates, 46 g of protein for females, 56 g for males, and 30 g of fibre for males and 21 g for females.
Consider Seeing A Nutritionist
Nutritionists can create a well-balanced meal plan depending on your condition and nutritional requirements. They can adjust your plan and incorporate healthy foods into your meals and support you emotionally to help you achieve your goal without relapses. Moreover, Seniors need specially tailored meal plans that contain certain nutrients and reduced salt intake to fulfil any nutritional deficiencies and reduce the risk of developing many diseases.
How Can You Pick The Right Nutritionist For You?
Search for a certified dietitian nearby and look for the client's feedback. Also, Mednow offers a free nutrition consultation service where you will find many registered nutritionists. Book a 15-minute consultation to get a meal plan or nutrition advice. Also, they would help you choose the best supplement or vitamin to maintain a healthy life.
In a nutshell, good nutrition is consuming a healthy diet that includes all food groups to take the most benefits from the food you eat. Try to figure out how many calories you need per day and stick to them in addition to keeping daily physical activity. If you don't know how to begin your good nutrition journey, book our 15-minute free nutrition consultation to guide you to reach your goal.
This article offers general information only and is not intended as medical or other professional advice. A healthcare provider should be consulted regarding your specific situation. While the information presented is believed to be factual and current, its accuracy is not guaranteed, and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the authors as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Mednow or its affiliates.Get Started