|February 2009||Page 1 Of 1|| |
|Health Benefits Of Good Nutrition|
Posted On 2009-02-25 , 12:52 PM
Eating is a necessity, however, it has become a part of our social lives as a source of pleasure. The routine of mealtime has separated our "eating habits" from why eating is a necessity. The purpose of eating is for "nutritional needs".
Hunger is the natural stimulus for eating, but, that has been surpassed by habit.
Food is the raw material from which the body develops its energy; builds, restores and maintains itself in good working order. Our choices determine what the body receives.
Even though the government agencies and medical researchers have developed dietary guidelines, we choose NOT to put these guidelines to use. Hence, we have contributed to widespread health problems, especially, heart disease, cancer, digestive disorders and last, but not least, obesity.
There has been a decline in the consumption of plain nutritious food, and the quality has been altered too. The food industry has, so called, "denatured" much of our food with modernization involving chemical additives and refining techniques. Not to mention the convenience and affordability of going through the drive-thru on the way home from work. (A bad habit.)
Poor nutrition can cause nervous disorders, effect mental and physical development and may increase food allergies. Obesity also is a matter of widespread anxiety and one of the most serious risk factors in many types of illnesses.
Changing to a good diet should not be a stressful adjustment. Fad diets are not the answer either, they can deprive you of essential nutrients and lower your metabolic rate.
What counts is a good ratio of nutrients, nutritious quality foods and take in consideration of your individual requirements. For instance, pregnancy, taking the pill, certain medications and of course, your age. Infancy, childhood, adolescence and the elderly all have different requirements. Dietary adjustments are also needed during illness. (You should also combine a balanced diet with a regular exercise program.)
The simplest rule is to choose foods as close to their natural state as possible, they yield the full range of nutrients that the body needs. The basic nutrients provided by food are: carbohydrates, protein, fats, vitamins and minerals.
Herbs are forms of food which can improve your health due to their vitamin and dietary mineral content. Herbs work in harmony with foods, restoring balance in the body and speeding up healing and are used best as dietary supplements.
Do you have a comment, thought or question? Would love to hear it.
|What Are Antioxidants?|
Posted On 2009-02-13 , 11:46 AM
Antioxidants are a group of vitamins, minerals and enzymes that protect the body from the formations of free radicals by neutralizing them before they can travel freely through the body wreaking havoc. Free radicals kill some cells and destroy the protective outer membranes of others. If a free radical gains access to the cell's interior, it can damage its genetic code (DNA) that controls cell reproduction. If the DNA is altered, the cell either cannot reproduce itself, or an abnormal cell is formed.
Many plants produce antioxidants as part of their natural protective mechanism. Therefore, a diet rich in plant food is likely to provide a variety of antioxidants. Several essential vitamins and minerals have strong antioxidant properties. These include vitamins A, C and E, selenium, gamma linolenic acid (GLA), L-cysteine, L-glutathione, superoxide dismutase (SOD), and some food additives that prevent rancidity and darkening are also antioxidants. A few examples include BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole), BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) and lecithin.
Since antioxidants help neutralize free radicals, it is believed that they may be instrumental in preventing many diseases. And there is speculation that antioxidants may fight off or delay much of the deterioration that occurs with normal aging. There have been studies that indicate that antioxidants may play an important role in both the prevention and treatment of diseases. (Including heart disease, cancer, lung disease.........just to name a few health benefits.)
In general, foods are considered a better source of antioxidant vitamins and minerals than pills. Although the body metabolizes artificial vitamins and minerals in the same way as natural nutrients in foods, the natural nutrients contain numerous essential substances that are not found in pills.
To assure adequate intake of antioxidants, consume a varied diet that includes fresh or lightly processed vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, and other plant products.
Herbs containing antioxidant actions include basil, chaparral, comfrey, gingko biloba, ginseng, gotu kola, kelp, licorice, purslane, sage and tea.
|February 2009||Page 1 Of 1|| ||