Food is fuel for our body, we need to give it the right nutrients and the energy it needs for its daily functions and to support our fitness goals.
As we saw in earlier posts, food is divided in 3 macronutrients which are proteins, fats and carbohydrates each of them provides our body with nutrients and our body needs them in large quantities and there are also micronutrients which our body needs in smaller quantities. This micronutrients are vitamins and minerals and they are essential for optimal health and preventing diseases, they all have an specific function in our body.
The best way to get this nutrients is through food but nowadays we need to consume a lot of highly nutritious food to get the amounts our body needs, the reason why is because the soil is depleted, we don´t get the same amount of nutrients in vegetables that some years ago, this is why many people decide to take supplements like multivitamins and minerals.
If we are deficient in any of them our body won´t work properly and in some cases the negative effects are not that bad; examples of this can be chapped lips, hair loss but things can get really bad and cause a lot of health issues.
All systems in our body from the digestive system, nervous system, circulatory system, skeletal system, muscular system, etc; they all need vitamins and minerals, some of them may need more vitamins, others more minerals but they all need some amount and all this systems work in conjunction, talking about how our body works can get really complex and I´m not an expert so we´re going to keep it simple with what we need to know not only to reach your fitness goals but to live a better life.
The reason why I don´t like diets that eliminate a food group is because of a lack of micronutrients, people who follow restrictive diets like ketogenic or vegan for example need supplements to give their bodies the nutrients they´re missing from the foods they´re avoiding.
Fruits and vegetables are loaded with nutrients and are low in calories, they are also high in fiber which also important this is why many fitness people that start following a weight loss program go with vegetables and salads and some of them avoid meats, fish and other proteins and also avoid fats which are crucial for our health.
We´ll find that there are 13 essential vitamins: Vitamin A, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B7, Vitamin B9, Vitamin B12, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E and Vitamin K. Their function is primarily focus on energy and supporting all the systems of the body to function properly. Minerals like calcium, potassium, sodium etc; some of their functions are focus on building and maintaining healthy bones, hair, teeth.
They are all needed in different quantities and apart from helping your body function properly they can help prevent diseases and infections by getting some systems strong like the immune system. If you are deficient of some vitamins or minerals your body tells; if we feel tired, weak, we lack concentration, suffer insomnia, feel fatigue that means that we´re deficient in micronutrients.
What we can do is follow a nutrition program based on real, fresh foods we don´t need to follow strict diets just make sure that our meals are cooked with real, fresh ingredients and avoid junk, processed and fast foods as much as possible. Processed foods lack nutrition that´s why in some products have been fortified with vitamins and minerals, also some processed products deplete our body from vitamins and minerals so the more you can stay away from them the better.
In another post we´ll talk about supplements but you need to consult with your doctor first before taking any of them. and actually the best step we can take today is start developing healthy eating habits, we need to focus on food first.
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