"Food is our body's fuel," "If we don't use high-grade fuel, we can't expect high functioning." -Rebecca Solomon, RD, CDN, Director of clinical Nutrition at Mount Sinai Beth Israel in New York City.
The first step to reaping the benefits of healthy eating: understanding which nutrients your body needs and how to get them everyday.
The human body needs a long list of nutrients everyday. The essentials though are called "macronutrients" and your body needs them to stay healthy and perform at it's best.
HERE ARE THE TOP 5
Carbohydrates- Main function is to provide energy. Carbohydrates are the body's main energy source and the brains only source of fuel. Your body breaks carbohydrates down into glucose, which cells require to create energy.
The best sources of carbohydrates are whole grains and foods made from those grains such as whole wheat bread, barley, oatmeal, bulgur, cornmeal, and rice.
Protein- Main focus is to repair and build tissue. Protein is an important source of energy for the body. It consists of amino acids that act as the body's main building blocks for tissues such as muscle, skin, hair, and bones. Protein also assist in many reactions of the body including the production of hormones, antibodies and enzymes.
The best sources of protein are lean meats, seafood and poultry, nuts and seeds, eggs, soy products, beans, and peas.
Fats- Main focus is to provide backup energy. Your body uses fats for energy when carbohydrates aren't available. You also need fats as insulation to help your body absorb fat-soluble vitamins and to protect your organs.
Fats comes in both solid and liquid forms. The USDA notes that the best sources of healthy fats are the liquid monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats found in olive oils, sunflower oil, canola oil, nuts, seeds, soybean oil, avocados, as well as fatty fish that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
Water- Main focus enables vital bodily functions. Water is the most important essential nutrient. It is involved in many of your body's vital functions and it distributes other essential nutrients to your cells.
The institute of medicine recommends that men consume about 125 ounces of water daily and women 91 ounces a day. About 12 cups for men and 8.8 cups for women a day.
Vitamins And Minerals- Main focus is to maintain optimal health. You need vitamins and minerals for numerous physiological functions that help you survive. They're essential for normal development and growth.
Vitamins and minerals come from a variety of foods such as fruits and vegetables, dairy products, and lean protein sources.
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