Some Simple Nutrition Facts
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Nutrition is not rocket science. A few nutrition facts will make it very easy to understand what the average body needs, although calories can be tricky to determine and are based on the level of activity and age of an individual.
Foods are divided into certain categories. These include proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Muscle and blood need proteins. Energy is derived from carbohydrates. Fats are an essential part of brain function. The important thing is to balance these elements and choose good foods for their sources.
For instance, two thirds of carbohydrates should come from fruits and vegetables. They supply fiber, an essential part of intestinal health, as well as antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Most produce contains very little fat and leaves a person feeling fuller for longer. This is partly owing to water content, and also in part because of their fibrous nature. Fiber expands in the stomach when taken with water.
Carbohydrates may provide energy, but this will be a short-lived burst if not combined with protein. Whether you eat an apple or a piece of bread, this should be accompanied by nuts, nut butters, a bit of cheese, yogurt or sunflower seeds. At meal times, legumes, meat, poultry and fish are ideal sources of protein. Although only a quarter of a dinner plate (regardless of size) should be filled with protein, it is essential for prolonged energy and the provision of iron to the blood stream.
To increase the uptake of minerals and vitamins, drink enough water throughout the day. Studies suggest that 8 cups (about 2 liters) is the right amount, but this will increase if someone exercises a lot or the weather is hot. Another way to encourage your body to use vitamins and minerals is to eat certain ones in combination, such as Vitamin D and calcium, or Vitamin C and iron.