For many years, the nutritionists and dietitians have emphasized on the importance of good nutrition for the maintenance of people’s health and wellbeing. According to established scientific literature, a well-balanced diet packed with important nutritional content is essential for the prevention of diseases, infections, and disabilities, for the promotion of mental health, for controlling one’s weight, and for maintaining healthy growth and metabolism.
What is metabolism?
To explain why good nutrition is important in metabolism, it is probably helpful to first review what is involved in this biological process. Simply put, metabolism is a set of chemical transformations that occur within living organisms in order to sustain life.
The two sets of metabolic processes
Metabolism is primarily divided into two distinct processes called catabolism and anabolism. Catabolism basically refers to the reactions and processes that occur within the body’s cells in order to break down nutrients and convert them into adenosine triphosphate, the energy currency of life. On the other hand, anabolism refers to how the body uses energy to synthesize complex molecules like proteins and nucleic acids, which are important for the building of tissues and organs.
From these rather technical definitions alone, you could probably already appreciate how good nutrition plays a big role in the metabolic processes. The food we eat is basically metabolized by the body to create energy, and the body also utilizes the very same food to create the building blocks of life.
You are what you eat
Your body’s chemical composition is approximately equivalent to the proportions of the components in the food you eat. In order for your body to function properly and maintain itself, it needs an optimum amount of these food-derived nutrients.
This is exactly what good nutrition is all about. It means providing the body with all the essential nutrients that it needs to maintain life and health. Poor nutrition, which can result from not eating the right kinds of food items, is an enormous contributor to diseases, disabilities, and deaths around the world. Take note that poor nutrition can be caused by diets that don’t have enough of the right nutrients. Conversely, it can also be caused by diets that may have too much of particular nutrients or even additives that may be harmful to the body.
How to optimize your body’s metabolism with the right food
Balance is key to eating a healthy diet. Essential nutrients like carbohydrates, fats, fiber, minerals, proteins, and vitamins can be obtained from a variety of food items from the five basic food groups. Water is also an essential nutrient, so it is equally important to make sure that you drink enough water on a daily basis.
The five basic food groups should be eaten in the following proportions:
- Lots of starchy food items like rice, cereals, pasta, bread, and potatoes. Wholegrain variants are preferable.
- Lots of fruits and vegetables. Having five servings a day is ideal.
- Some protein sources like lean meat, fish (preferably oily fish), eggs, and beans.
- Some milk and dairy food products.
- A small proportion of food that is rich in fat and sugar.
It is particularly important to maintain healthy levels of sugar and fat in the body. Too much of them can lead to hormonal imbalance and obesity, which are linked to other health problems like heart diseases, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and several types of cancers.