Updated: Sep 28, 2022
Who couldn't use more energy every day? Varying your diet each and every day may just be the key to find that energy boost! What we choose to eat is complex. Factors that affect what we eat include our tastes and preferences, our family’s tastes and preferences, cultural traditions, budgets, values, accessibility, convenience, time, social pressures, and sometimes the nutrition content and effects of the food. There is no one way of eating that works for everyone because we are navigating all of these factors when we choose what to eat. Our genetics can play a large role in how we process carbohydrates, proteins, and fats for energy and how we metabolize vitamins and minerals. Before we can even think about the role genetics has in how we process these nutrients, lets explore their roles in the body and where we find them.
Metabolism, which is what happens when you eat, is the sum of chemical reactions that take place within each cell of our bodies to provide energy for vital processes. To support metabolism, focus on habits within our control such as what we eat and how we move our bodies.
If you do ONE thing, remember VARIETY IS THE SPICE OF LIFE!
Step one, choose a variety of macronutrients. OK, GREAT! What the heck are macronutrients? Macronutrients are carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Macronutrients give your body energy, build and repair your body and keep your body running. Each nutrient is digested and then carried to cells. The body either utilizes these substances immediately for energy or stores them in adipose (fat) tissue, muscle tissue, or in the liver. Select a variety of foods at each meal. How do you support optimal metabolism? Choose a variety of foods!
Carbohydrates are the preferred energy source for the body. You get carbohydrates mainly from plant foods. This is also where you get your fiber. Fiber is important, we know that, but how much, what kinds, how often do we need fiber? Fiber comes in many plant forms including the skins and flesh of vegetables and fruit, as well as when eating whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. Where it's not found is in refined grains as refined means that processing has removed all the fiber, which is one of the many reasons why it is recommended to limit your intake of processed foods. Your body wants that fiber.
Protein is super important, it is literally used in every single cell in the body! It supports metabolism, blood sugar regulation, weight management, muscles, energy, mood, immunity, cardiovascular function, hormone production and more. Of the macronutrients, protein requires the most energy in terms of digestion. Protein is found in foods such as meat, fish, eggs, dairy, legumes including tofu, nuts, and seeds. Legumes in particular are being studied for potential metabolism-supporting properties. Choose adequate protein at each meal, ideally you want to space your protein throughout the day for better absorption and utilization.
Fats help the body run better. They are made up of fatty acids, which help the body direct a healthy inflammatory response, hormones, escort fat-soluble nutrients to cells for use and so much more. Some fatty acids are “essential” which means we need to get them in from food. Among these are omega 3s and omega 6s. Limiting saturated fats, like butter, cream, lard, cheese, high fat cuts of meat, poultry skin and most processed foods is beneficial for overall health. However, it is vital to get enough unsaturated fats, especially omega 3s regularly and ideally from a variety of foods. Salmon, sardines, anchovies, halibut and mackerel are the best fish choices when it comes to omega 3s. Nuts and seeds, especially walnuts, hemp, flax, and chia seeds are excellent plant based sources of omega 3s.
Vitamins are usually classified as water-soluble (the B vitamins and vitamin C) or fat-soluble (vitamins A, D, E, and K*). The body absorbs fat-soluble vitamins more easily in the presence of dietary fats, and these vitamins can be stored in the body’s fatty tissue. Vitamins and minerals are essential to keep your body running healthfully and effectively. The wider variety of foods you eat daily, the wider variety of vitamins and minerals you will be supplying your body and the more your body will love you. That’s right, your body wants and needs a variety of colors, from real food, daily. The bright, vibrant colors in plants indicate the different vitamins, minerals and something called polyphenols that are found in these foods. These colors represent their super powers. Polyphenols are
micronutrients that naturally occur in plants. You find them in foods like fruits, vegetables, teas, and spices. Studies show that polyphenols are powerful antioxidants. In this role, they prevent or reverse damage in your cells caused by aging, the environment, and your lifestyle. Over time, this damage is linked to an increased risk of
many chronic diseases.
Red foods help promote healthy hearts, skin, and reduce risk of certain cancers.
Orange and Yellow foods promote healthy vision, help build and repair healthy skin - both external and internal (digestive & urinary tracts, airways etc)...
Green foods promote hormone and digestive balance, support detoxification, healthy vision, and reduce risk of certain cancers.
Blue and Purple foods promote cognitive, oral and heart health, reduce risk of certain cancers.
White and brown foods promote liver, gastrointestinal health, and help reduce risk of certain cancers
Your daily goal each day should be to Eat a Rainbow in order to give your body what it needs!
Your body is made up of approximately 60% water. Your body uses and loses water through most of its work - detoxification, lubrication, temperature regulation, nutrient absorption - so you need to regularly replenish your stores. You can literally see a lot of your water losses through sweating and elimination daily. We’ve all heard the advice to drink 8 glasses of water a day but is 8 glasses right for you? And how big should your glass be?
Know Your Number! There is no perfect number when it comes to health, nutrition, and likewise, your daily water intake, but we can estimate a water range just for you! Your starting number = Half your bodyweight (lbs.) in ounces. So if you weigh 150lbs, that comes to 75oz/day. This amount will increase if you are losing more, such as if it is hot outside and/or you are sweating, you will be losing more water and therefore you have more fluid you need to replace. If you are interested in learning more. Click below for a FREE Rainbow
Evaluation and a FREE Nutrients for Life Handout.
Moral of the story, variety is the spice of life! Get your rainbow in daily and I guarantee you will look and feel better and have enough zest in life to tackle your day!
Contact us if you are interested in working with us to help you reach your goals, no matter what they may be!