Habits of Health Weekly Meeting
Foundational Nutrition / Nutritional Basics
Foundational Nutrition should be considered a basic necessity for health – make it your number one consideration.
Our bodies are phenomenal, intricate, complex, instruments for which only God has the blueprints. We know some of the basics and are learning more each year, concerning the function of body parts, and how we are put together.
There is one obvious, glaring fact, and that is that we cannot continue to abuse, and over-use the body and expect it to function at a premium, (a 100% level) all of the time.
If you don’t make time for a healthy lifestyle, then you need to plan and schedule time to be sick.
There are people who are over-nourished (fat), under-nourished (skinny-skinny), totally out of shape physically (can’t walk around the block without being out of breath), depressed, high cholesterol, low energy, high blood pressure, hyperglycemic, and the list goes on and on, and they all have the same question: What herb, vitamin, mineral, potion, lotion, remedy, cure, drug, or what should I be eating, in order to get past this condition?
We are misled when we go to the health food store and find that Gotu Kola will improve memory, ginseng will provide energy, MSM (sulfur) will get rid of aches and pain, and this list goes on and on. There is truth in these statements, that these products have the capability of doing what the sellers of these herbs claim. However, if our bodies are out of balance, clogged up (require a detox or cleanse), stressed out, reacting to drug side effects, then chances are we will not see the results we desire.
Then how do we get the health we desire? The answer is back to basics. Setting a solid foundation and supplying the basic building blocks that the body requires for full functioning. The body needs a proper balance of the basic nutrients (Protein, Fat, Carbohydrates, Fiber, Water) in order to stay healthy – It also requires that we avoid some of the luxury items that rob us of energy. (Simple Sugars)
Nutritional Balance is a key to health.
The major components and how they affect us.
PROTEINS: Protein maintains and repairs cells. It’s responsible for growth, muscle repair after exercise, proteins contribute to hormone and enzyme production. Proteins make up part of the cellular membranes and nucleus, particularly in hair, skin, nails, tendons, ligaments, and muscles, all of which are mainly protein.
In starvation dieting (less than 900 calories per day), or in some cases a fasting diet, you use some of your own protein for energy, which is like being at sea and using your boat for firewood, especially if you continue to do strenuous exercise. Stored fat will also be burned to assist in the energy needs of the body. This will happen if you keep the cardio aspect in the Fat Burning Zone (HR 55% of Max).
The body can make all but eight of the amino acids in protein. The eight that can’t be manufactured MUST come from daily food intake or supplementation. Proteins containing all eight “essential” amino acids are called “complete” protein. The eight essentials include: phenylalanine, valine, leucine, isoleucine, plus lysine, threonine, tryptophan and methionine.
Most people are unaware that excess protein intake can result in making the body more acidic, which creates complications. We only need 20 to 35% of our daily caloric intake to come from protein. However, the more muscle you have, the greater the need for protein to support it. Ingesting some protein after a workout is recommended.
If you are dealing with weight issues, add some protein with every meal. Protein will help you feel full longer.
According to the book The China Study, it is dangerous to your health to consume more than 5% animal protein. Vegetable protein is a better choice, with the exception that you will get less vitamin B 12.
CARBOHYDRATES: Any food that is not a Fat or a Protein is considered a carbohydrate. The main source of carbohydrates is fruits, grains, and vegetables. These are complex carbohydrates, which are converted into blood sugar slowly, maintaining high energy levels and high metabolic activities.
“Simple” carbohydrates are “refined” sugar and its related products: sweets, alcohol, etc. Consuming too many simple carbohydrates results in unstable blood sugar, sugar blues or irritability, and hunger can result.
Food and drinks containing refined sugars are known to stimulate insulin production.
Our daily caloric intake of carbohydrates should be from 50 to 65% of our diet. The more complex the carbohydrates, the better it will be for you. Those low on the Glycemic Scale are also better choices.
FIBER: Considered a Carbohydrate, however, fiber has NO caloric content. All Fiber provides 0 Calories. The average U.S. intake of fiber is less than 15 grams a day; it should be 25 to 35 grams. Our over-refined food intake is responsible for many ills.
Fiber is of two types: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber gels in water and is found in beans, some fruits, vegetables, oats and barley. Research recently shows that soluble fiber helps to lower blood cholesterol levels and helps regulate the body’s use of glucose.
Insoluble fiber doesn’t dissolve in water and has as its main component cellulose for roughage or bulk. It’s found in wheat bran, whole grains, and many fruits and vegetables.
Fiber plays an important role in lowering cholesterol. It absorbs excess water, provides bulk, and softens the stool at the same time.
Some mild bloating and gas may occur for a short period of time when first introducing a high fiber intake to the body. Increasing water intake can minimize this bloating when it occurs.
The National Cancer Institute recommends 25 to 35 grams of fiber per day. This is about double the average amount consumed by individuals today.
Fiber is an inert carbohydrate. It provides no nourishment; the calories provided by fiber are zero. The grams or calories attributed to fiber can be subtracted from the total carbohydrate amount, if you are in the process of counting calories.
FATS: The average person eats too much fat. There are saturated and unsaturated fats. Saturated fats are found in animal meats, dairy foods, egg yolks, and shellfish. Saturated fats are solid at room temperature, whereas unsaturated fats come from plants and remain liquid at room temperature.
Fat was meant to work for us, to free us from the need to constantly eat. Our body fat is an excellent source of energy between meals. It cushions vital organs, insulates and carries vitamins A, D, E, and K. But the amount of fat the body can use is limited and too much fat can have an adverse effect on the body. The recommended intake of fat is 15 to 20% of our total calorie intake per day. Unsaturated (omega 3) fats are preferable (EPA – DHA). According to the American Heart Association, a daily intake of 1000 calories should contain no more than 28 grams of fat. For the average person, 45 grams of fat per day would be sufficient.
WATER: Our bodies are 60 to 65% water. Water is a catalyst for weight loss. Eight glasses per day (64 oz.) is a minimum recommendation, and this can be increased to 3 quarts (96 oz.) to expedite weight loss. To be accurate, the formula for defining the amount of water you need is: ½ ounce of water for each pound of body weight. If you weigh 150 lbs. then you should be drinking 75 oz. of water per day (150 divided by 2).
Depriving yourself of water through diuretics or poor drinking habits hinders the liver in metabolizing fat into usable energy.
Water is a natural diuretic. It prevents fluid retention because the volume of water excreted will always be more than the volume you drink. Water aids in toning the muscle and moisturizes the skin to prevent aging. As you increase your exercise and fiber intake, you will need to increase your water intake, as well. Because other beverages have ingredients that cause the body to assimilate them differently, you cannot count them (100%) towards your daily consumption of water. Since they do provide liquid you may want to count them as 50% of their volume.
MINERALS: Seven macro-minerals and more than a few trace minerals are necessary for health. The macro-minerals are Calcium, Sulphur, Sodium, Potassium, Chloride, Phosphorus, and Magnesium. Small amounts of trace minerals are necessary to assist in the assimilation of various vitamins and the proper function of many glands and organs. These minerals include zinc, iron, iodine, copper, nickel, molybdenum and tin. Some of the trace minerals, if taken in large quantities can be very detrimental to our health. These include aluminum, lead, mercury, and arsenic. Studies show that the soils now used for growing produce have been depleted of many of the micro-minerals (trace minerals). I recommend supplementation with a liquid (full complement) mineral supplement.
VITAMINS: Similar to minerals, with the exception that they are created by photosynthesis of the sun. These organic compounds are needed only in very small amounts in the human body. However, they are essential to life. Proven time and time again, lack of certain vitamins creates an unbalanced condition in the body, leading to Dis-Ease.
Vitamins regulate metabolism and energy release. They help build bone and tissue. Fat soluble vitamins include A, D, E, and K and water-soluble vitamins include C and B complex.
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One thing that has been established for certain, the soil no longer has the minerals it once had, therefore, any plants grown today have a diminished amount of minerals in them. Vitamins come from the synthesis of the sun and plant growth, so theoretically, the plants should be able to provide us with all the vitamins we need. WRONG, with the fear of passing along some viruses, bugs, bacteria, etc.,. The manufactures over-process the food and much of the vitamin content is destroyed. Not only that, most of the produce we find in the stores today was not allowed to ripen on the vine. It was picked green, packed in nitrogen, shipped to the stores, and allowed to ripen in the bin at the store. A plant can’t ripen with full nutrient content once it is separated from the root.
This leads me to the conclusion that everyone needs to supplement with minerals and vitamins. These are the essential building blocks that every cell in the body requires in order to stay healthy and duplicate replicate in a healthy manner. One of the fundamentals is that of minerals, both Macro Minerals and Micro Minerals are required for body processes to happen naturally. We need Calcium in order for the muscles to contract properly, for proper heart function, help the blood clot properly and maintain healthy skin. However, in order for calcium to be assimilated properly, we must have adequate amounts of magnesium and vitamin D available. We could go through each mineral individually and explain which other minerals and vitamins are required in combination to make them work, however, it would take pages and pages to do. Please understand the concept and know that if you’re missing just one mineral, you will be asking the body to rob it from another part of the body, causing depletion in that area.
In our ever-evolving progressive world we are exposed to more toxins, chemicals, and stress, and these perpetuate the build up of free radicals in the body. Free Radicals come from cellular oxidation (rusting from the inside). This cellular oxidation, toxins, and stress cause the polarity of a molecule to become positively charged, which then pulls electrons from surrounding molecules, creating unbalance in the body, which disrupts cellular health. Free radicals can damage DNA molecules, disrupt cellular function and deplete the body of its energy.
To counteract this, build up I believe we should incorporate an antioxidant to remove these free radicals. A true antioxidant provides a scavenging molecule, which provides an electron and converts the molecule that is positively charged into an inert state. You will hear different claims about individual ingredients, Vitamin A, C, and E, grape seed extract, white pine bark and others. It is my belief that something is better than nothing, but if you want to have the best you’ll need to have a combination of the best antioxidants available.
To enhance the digestive function, it is recommended that we ingest from 25 to 35 grams of Fiber every day. Research shows that those who try very hard get no more than 15 grams a day. Be aware that fiber comes in two different forms insoluble and soluble. Insoluble fiber is indigestible and as it goes through the intestinal tract if will act like little scrub brushes cleansing the colon. Soluble fiber on the other hand will absorb water and bulk the stool. Fiber will assist in regulating gastrointestinal transit time, increasing stool weight and will make elimination easier.
The fiber supplement I recommend is Kellogg’s – All-Bran Buds.
As we said earlier, you can either take time to be well or you need to schedule time to be sick. Remember that the health you enjoy in your life is an option. Make the choice to be healthy today!
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