When it comes to making choices for the overall health of our bodies, food plays one of the most predominant roles. While poor nutrition can lead to obesity, high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, and a host of illness and disease, good nutrition can be the most important tool to achieving optimum health and ideal weight.
Good nutrition comes in the form of a healthy diet; a diet focused around whole, natural foods such as fresh fruits, green leafy vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and low-fat dairy. A healthy diet should resemble a colorful palette – deep, vibrant colors that reflect the concentration of vitamins and minerals essential to good health.
Protein, a part of good nutrition, can be found in foods such as lean meats, whole nuts, and soy products. Healthy carbohydrates are found in whole grain breads, sweet potatoes, brown rice, and wheat pasta. Low-fat dairy provides adequate reserves of calcium. And Vitamin C is found in citrus fruits. Many people choose to eat only organic foods as a way to minimize additives and ensure that the foods they eat contain the highest nutritional value possible.
Additionally, experts agree that good nutrition includes adequate hydration. The drinking of at least eight glasses of water a day flushes the body of toxins, speeds metabolism, aids digestion, and acts as a natural appetite suppressant.
In combination with this diet regime, it is essential to minimize – and even avoid altogether – foods that are fried, processed, and high in salt, sugar, and saturated fats.
In the search for optimum nutrition it is important to first analyze the diet you currently follow. Look for ways to gradually add more natural foods to your diet and minimize those foods that lack fundamental nutrients and are highly caloric. If you find it difficult to make these adjustments, it may be beneficial to work with a nutritionist who can tailor a diet to your particular lifestyle.
Ultimately, nutrition that positively affects health, vitality, and longevity, means a commitment to a varied diet of vitamin and mineral packed food.