Almost every cell in your body has been created from compounds ingested through your diet.
Your nutritional balance determines your size, weight, mood, health, energy levels and so much more. Nutrition determines the quality of the canvas, then you can use your personality, drive and mindfulness to paint on the masterpiece.
By consuming a healthy balance of macronutrients and micronutrients each day, you can eat yourself to optimal health and open up the door to a whole new level of vitality. The potential is already inside you; you just need to find the key to unlock it.
What are the different kinds of nutrients?
Most people are unaware of the full scope of nutrients that we need to optimise our body’s finely tuned composition for greater health and wellbeing.
There are literally hundreds of individual nutrients, and it could take years to fully understand how these all interact. However, something that I’ve learnt on my path to self-discovery is that you can make a real difference to your nutritional intake by focusing on the balance of just two main sub-categories; macronutrients and micronutrients.
The clue is in the name when it comes to the amount we require of each. We need a large amount of macronutrients and a smaller amount of micronutrients. But, which nutrients fall into which category? And, how do these nutrients interact with our bodies?
The macronutrient family includes proteins, carbohydrates and fats. These provide energy for the body and are essential for the growth and repair of tissues.
Major forms of macronutrients include:
Proteins – including Arginine, Glutamic acid, Glycine, Tryptophan
Carbohydrates – including Fructose, Glucose, Sucrose and Lactose
Fats – including Butyric acid, Caproic acid, Myristic acid and Cerotic acid
Micronutrients are vitamins, minerals and trace elements, these enable chemical reactions to occur within the body, helping to send signals that affect movement, sleep cycle, hormone levels and more.
These are some of the major forms of micronutrients:
Vitamins – Vitamins A through to K, Thiamine, Riboflavin, Folic acid and Niacin
Minerals – Iron, Chromium, Iodine, Manganese, Zinc
Water doesn’t fall into either category, but staying properly hydrated is another essential means of replenishing your system and boosting your energy levels.
I can give you the tools to adapt your diet and enhance your nutritional intake using the ‘If It Fits Your Macros’ (IIFYM) method, which breaks dieting down to a simple balancing act based on satisfying your macronutrient needs.
What are the most common symptoms of nutrient deficiency?
Both macronutrient and micronutrient deficiency can severely affect your body, mood and susceptibility to illness. Malnutrition can result in muscle wastage, stunted growth or cognitive development, or severe weight loss.
These are some of the symptoms that could be telling you that you’re malnourished:
- Pale or off-coloured skin
- Fatigue and weakness
- Breathing difficulty
- Unusual food cravings
- Hair loss
What steps can I take to optimise my nutritional intake?
There are whole sections in libraries dedicated to this topic, and I always welcome the opportunity to impart my knowledge through an in-depth nutritional therapy assessment. However, here’s a few nutritional ground-rules that should help get you started:
- Eat organic whole foods free from synthetic contaminants.
- Keep food as fresh and raw as possible. Don’t boil out the goodness!
- Shop at local markets, farm shops and health food stores to avoid processed food.
- Listen to your body! Many of your physical cravings happen for a reason.
- Break the cycle of emotional reliance on specific foods (chocolate is a prime offender).
- Cut out ‘hidden’ fats and sugars from soft drinks, alcohol and fast food.
- Adapt your diet one step at a time to help you stick to your new regime.
Boosting your nutritional intake isn’t out of your reach. There are minor changes that you could make today that would start to make a real difference. After all, you are exactly what you eat.Start with these simple pointers, then join me on a nutritional therapy programme that will help you eat yourself to optimal health and instil habits that will enhance all areas of your life.