Are you in good or bad health ?
What are the factors that determine the direction of your health ?
Does nutrient intake affect your health ?
These are some of the yardsticks that should be used to check our health wellness or illness.
What are Nutrients ?
Basically, there are 2 types of nutrient that are present in our body.
- Substance that provide energy
- Substance that support metabolism
Hence, nutrients are substances that nourish our body. These sources of nourishment can be found in most of the food that we eat and formed the best natural nutrients.
However, in cases of essential nutrients (nutrients that cannot be produced by the body), we can get them from vitamins or diet supplements as an alternative source.
Sources of Nutrients
Also known as ascorbic acid, vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant. It helps to protect the body against free radical damage. Besides that, it is also a good nutrient for the healing of wounds and an agent that prevent many diseases.
Sources of Vitamin C
- a cup of chopped broccoli
- a cup of sliced green pepper
- a cup of chopped cabbage or tomato
- Brussels sprouts, kiwi fruit, cantaloupe, cauliflower
Calcium is a nutrient that supports the body structure and its functions. It is also an important nutrient for the health of the bones and teeth. Besides that, calcium also acts as a crucial agent that sends messages between the brain and the rest of the body. In addition, it helps to release hormones and enzymes for almost of the bodily functions.
Sources of Calcium
- Fish like sardine and salmon
- Milk, yogurt, cheese
- Firm tofu
The important presence of iron is in the delivering of oxygen to the body. The lack of iron will make a person feel fatigue. Decreased iron also means decreased immunity.
Sources of Iron
- a cup of cooked soybeans or lentils
- kidney beans, black eyed peas
Vitamin A increases the quality of our vision. It also boosts the immunity and contributes to the health of the reproduction system.
Sources of Vitamin A
- dried apricots, mango, cantaloupe
- black eyed peas
- cooked broccoli
Vitamin D is crucial for the absorption of calcium. Thus it is an important nutrient for the process of bone growth.
Sources of Vitamin D
- cod liver oil
- egg, tuna, sockeye salmon
Folic acid is a synthetic form of folate. Folate is a water-soluble B vitamins present naturally in food. However, in cases where folate deficiency is detected, folic acid is used as a supplement.
It is normally used for treating low blood levels and its complications such as anemia, inability of nutrients absorption by the bowel.
Besides that, folic acid is also used in handling ulcerative colitis, liver disease, alcoholism, kidney dialysis, colon/cervical cancer, heart disease and stroke.
In pregnant women, folic acid is used to prevent miscarriage and birth defect.
Sources of Folic Acid
- beef liver
- asparagus spear
- lettuce, avocado, broccoli
- cooked spinach
- cooked Brussels sprouts
Potassium is a vital mineral for the efficient functions of the heart, kidneys and other organs. It also helps in the lowering of blood pressure.
Sources of Potassium
- white beans, soybeans, lentils, kidney beans
- non-fat yogurt, tomato puree
- banana, white potatoes
One of the essential minerals in the immune function is zinc.
The process of wound healing also calls for the presence of zinc. Hence, zinc is important for the process of normal growth and development.
Sources of Zinc
- Animal source – lobster, beef, dark meat chicken
- Non-meat source – baked beans, yogurt, cashews
To sum it all, eating a balanced diet is an important factor in the development of a healthy body. A balanced diet helps to reduce the risk of developing illnesses such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, cancer and many preventable illnesses.
Therefore, we have to be conscious and pay more attention to what goes down our throat to the stomach.
Below is a guide to a daily healthy diet consumption.
- Fruits – one and a half to 2 cups per day
- Vegetables – two and a half to 3 cups per day
- Protein – five and a half to 6 oz per day
- Grains – 5 to 7 oz per day (whole bread, pasta, brown rice, oatmeal, whole wheat cereal instead of refined grains)
- Dairy – 3 servings (milk, yogurt, cheese) per day (recommended low fat, fat free or reduced saturated fat)
Last but not least, it is in the interest of every one to stay healthy and live well. Hence I hope that the above information helps you to move in that direction. So, does nutrient intake affect your health? The obvious answer is, Yes! nutrient intake affects your health.
Should you have any further suggestions, views or comments, I would very much like to hear from you. Feel free to pen your ideas. Looking forward to your response.
Your friend in health,