Nutrients are substances in food that provide the body with energy, structural materials and other factors that support human function during growth, maintenance, and repair. They may also reduce the risk of developing certain diseases. This sounds pretty straight-forward, but the world of nutrients is, actually, a confusing one. After all, there are just so many! And they all do different things, come from different foods and are needed in different amounts.
Training is only half the equation when it comes to building muscle. In fact, if you are hitting the gym but not taking care of your diet, you are severely undermining your muscle building prospects! Even taking muscle building supplements can only partly make up for a crummy diet because you cannot build muscle without a steady supply of protein, carbs and other essential nutrients.
If you are serious about building muscle, putting some thought into what you eat will really pay off.
Breakfast is arguably THE most important meal of the day. After a restful and restorative nights’ sleep, your blood sugar levels are low and your body needs refueling. Breakfast, literally “breaking the fast”, will help set you up for the day, restore your energy levels and prevent that all-too-common mid-morning energy slump that leaves many people reaching for coffee and donuts at around 10am.
Go back in time a hundred years or so and grocery shopping was a very different undertaking to what it is today. There were no one-stop supermarkets – you had to go to specialist food shops like the grocers for your fruit and vegetables, the butcher for your meat and the baker for your bread. In many cases, you couldn’t even buy the specific food you wanted to eat but could only buy the ingredients to make it yourself. If you wanted a cake then you had to buy the flour, sugar etc. and get baking!
Breakfast, it is said, is the most important meal of the day. It is also often said that you should breakfast like a king and eat dinner like a pauper if you want to have high energy levels all day but avoid gaining weight at night. These expressions have been taken to heart and subsequently, there are literally hundreds of breakfast cereals available. But, does this mean that as breakfast is allegedly so important, breakfast cereals are the ideal foodstuff with which to break your night-time fast? Probably not.
One of the great truisms of nutrition is that you are what you eat. Everything you eat ultimately becomes part of you or passes though you and affects your body at a cellular level. If you eat good, healthy food then that is what you will be – healthy. If however, you eat nothing but fatty, sugary junk – your health will inevitably suffer.
There is another nutritional truism but this one tends to be less well-known – you should eat for what you are about to do and what you have done. This is especially true for exercisers. What you eat in the hours leading up to and immediately after your workout can have a profound effect on your performance and your recovery from exercise so it really pays to pay attention to what you eat at these times. Follow these simple guidelines to eating for pre and post-exercise.
One of the hardest aspects of eating healthily is giving up the foods you love. Often, the foods we enjoy most are the ones we know we should eat less of but as soon as we are told that we have to give them up, even for health or weight loss reasons, we tend to crave them more – it’s human nature!
In this article I’d like to share with you some smart food substitutions that allow you to modify those favorite meals to make them healthier so you don’t have to give them up.
Berries are a delicious and widely available food source that is not only juicy and packed full of flavor. They also contain lots of essential nutrients. We all know the importance of including fresh fruits in our diets, but did you know that eating berries can actually help to boost your brain power?
There are many different nutritional properties within berries that provide numerous health benefits, however it is the flavonoids that need to be praised for their brain boosting ability.
If you are a lover of food, like I am, then keeping your eye on your weight may be something you need to consider. With all the different diets out there, many getting mixed reviews, it can be a little overwhelming trying to choose one to try out, much less find one that actually works well for you. Especially when this means sacrificing the foods that you love.
Avocados are not only a deliciously diverse fruit (that’s right, they have a seed, which means they are a fruit!), they also have loads of nutritional health benefits too!