Let’s start with the basics. What is food? Food contains energy, or technically, chemical bonds that when broken are used to create fuel for our cellls.
Food contains much more than just calories, it contains micronutrients, macronutrients, phytochemicals, zoochemicals, fibre, water and also probably many things that haven’t even been discovered yet! All of these play crucial roles in our body even if they don’t directly fuel it. As you can see, food is much more than just energy.
Food sends messages to our cells to trigger different responses including releasing different hormones, some of which are triggered before you even begin eating!
Food is also a story! How often do you hear someone say “I’m a foodie” or have someone bake for you when you’re busy? Its how a lot of us show we care, how we celebrate and how we comfort ourselves and others. Its how we socialise, sometimes our eating habits are centered around how we feel about ourselves.
Micronutrients – Vitamins and minerals i.e Vitamin C, magnesium.
Macronutrients – proteins, carbohydrates, fats
Phytochemicals – nutrients found only in plants
Zoochemicals – nutrients found only in animal products
What is good nutrition?
- Good nutrition controls energy balance
We need energy coming in to fuel our body. Both our day-to-day functions and our exercise. Without adequate energy in our body can begin to shut down some processes such as reproduction and inhibit brain function to conserve what energy is has.
- Good nutrition gives us nutrients
We all know that a plate of vegetables has more nutrients than a plate of chips. Thats a given. The vegetables have a high nutrient density, the chips have a low nutrient density. Nutrients help our body function at its best, most of the time try to choose bright or deep colour vegetables and fruits, bean, lean meats, eggs and grains over low nutrient foods such as chips, lollies, soda, pastries etc
- Good nutrition helps us perform at out best
Each choice you make will have an outcome. Before and after think about your choice, will the outcome make you feel good?
- Good nutrition focuses on food quality
Regardless of what ‘diet” you follow. Almost ALL focus on improving food quality and reducing processed, low-nutrient food.
- Good nutrition is balanced and positive
If you are feeling negative or restricted regarding your eating it is most definitely unsustainable for you long-term. Negative feelings and restriction regarding food can turn into more serious eating disorders.
Do your current food choices make you feel good?