Good nutrition usually comes down to carefully choosing the correct amount and ratio of nutrients to correspond with your goals or general health.
Nutrients are organic and inorganic substances that are either created within our bodies internally or need to be taken in from an external source. They are essential for our bodies to function properly, these types of nutrients are generally categorised into “essential” and “non essential”, for example as i stated earlier, humans, guinea pigs (capybaras), primates and fruit bats are the only species that cannot produce vitamin C internally, since this is a vital nutrient for cell repair among many other things we must obtain it from an external source therefore is an essential nutrient, but that is just one, there are many more essential nutrients our bodies needs externally. Essential fatty acids, essential amino acids certain vitamins and minerals all make up an essential part of our diet we must obtain from our environment.
The big 3
Let’s start with the basic’s. The main nutrients most of us are concerned about when setting out on a fat loss, muscle gain or performance plan are: protein, carbohydrate and fat, these nutrients are calorie dense and also provide vitamins and minerals. Digestion is quite fascinating and there are so many complex physiological process’ which go on in our bodies everyday most people are completely unaware of. Our bodies seem to be on auto-pilot most of the time and digestion of foods actually start in our mouth by enzymes produced by salivary glands called amylase and lipase. Our bodies have a specific enzyme to digest each nutrient we eat, amylase breaks down carbohydrates into simple sugars, lingual lipase for fats, proteases for proteins and there are many other enzymes which tackle bacteria and toxins, that neutralise acids but digestion initially starts in the mouth and then that nutrient takes a very complex route through our body until it reaches its destiny and provides us with what use it can offer.
I will try to explain in an easy to understand way what happens when we eat these nutrients because it’s this understanding of what goes on in our bodies that makes us more aware of the health risks or health benefits we instigate when we put these foods in our mouth. Apart from the complex digestive process’ I’ll explain what happens when we eat carbs, protein and fat’s and I’ll briefly touch down on the importance of anti-oxidants too and after reading this you will have a much better understanding of why its important to eat the right types of foods. I will not cover everything involved in the path nutrients take but I will cover the general process in relation to most goals, so if you want to learn be prepared to knuckle down and get reading…ahem, reading glasses on?