In an ideal world, we’d be just like the humble polar bear. One unlucky seal or walrus and we’d be good to go for days, or even weeks. Unfortunately, our bodies require a much wider range of nutrients than what’s found on a chunk of meat and it’s important that we consume a balanced diet that covers these needs.
Carbs, protein, vitamins, minerals, fats and
acids are all integral parts of our diet that are essential for maintaining our
physical and mental health. While it would be quite time consuming (and costly)
to constantly ensure that our diet contains every single nutrient we can benefit
from, there are some that we need to be particularly mindful of.
We’ve put together a list of five important
nutrients that you should incorporate into your diet, as well as the foods that
Modern health trends usually allude to carbs
being something you should avoid. While this is partly true, they are essential
for a number of reasons. Carbohydrates are broken down by your body into
glucose, which provides energy. They also prevent your body from resorting to
protein as a means of gaining energy, helping you maintain muscle mass.
The key here is balance – stick to complex
carbohydrates, which are found in fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Complex
carbs take longer to break down, which prevents unhealthy snacking by keeping
you fuller for longer.
Just like carbohydrates, fat usually gets a
bad rep due to its association with body fat. This is true for certain types of
fat, such as trans fats, which are found in processed foods and should be
avoided completely. Natural fat, usually called unsaturated fat, is essential
for protecting your heart and organs. Unsaturated fats also aid with vitamin
Unsaturated fats can be found in fruits such
as avocados, as well as nuts and salmon. To further boost your immune system,
you could consider taking a supplement. These can be found through companies
such as Immunocorp
who provide not only nutritional supplements, but also powerful antioxidants
and skincare products.
Immunocorp’s products are categorized by your
health goals, whether it’s to get more sleep, lose weight, relieve pain or
improve your skin. They also offer discounts and free shipping is available for
orders over $75.
Vitamins are micronutrients that your body
only needs a small amount of, but are nonetheless essential. No single food
provides all the vitamins we need, so a balanced diet is important. Supplements
can also be considered if you’re particularly deficient in a certain vitamin.
The most important vitamins are Vitamin A, B, C, D and E.
Vitamin A is important for vision and skin
health, and B vitamins are important for a number of reasons including energy
and blood health. Vitamin C helps with muscle and bone structure, as well as
immune system support. The same applies to Vitamin D, while Vitamin E protects
your cells from damage.
There are seven minerals
that are essential for your health: sodium, iron, potassium, phosphorus,
calcium, magnesium and zinc. Sodium, in moderation, is important for
maintaining nerve and muscle function. Iron helps with carrying oxygen to your
lungs, while potassium is essential for bone and cardiovascular health.
We know that calcium is important for bone and
muscle health, along with nerve function. Calcium is found not only in dairy
products, but also certain fish such as sardines and salmon, as well as leafy
greens. Magnesium and zinc have a plethora of benefits for your health,
including immune system function as well as bone, muscle and nerve health.
Most of these minerals are found in the natural foods that we consume on a daily
basis. While supplements are usually unnecessary in this case, it’s worth
considering if you know you’re deficient in a certain mineral. As usual, avoid
any processed foods when it comes to getting your daily mineral intake.
Protein contains amino acids, which are
essential for slowing the ageing process as they act as the building blocks of
your cells. Protein is also important for muscle formation and creating new
hormones and enzymes in your body. There’s a rather extensive list of amino
acids out there, but out of the 20 that exist, only 9 are essential for your
Most types of meat provide all 9 of these
amino acids, while plant proteins tend to lack several of them. Essential
proteins can be obtained not only from meat, but also dairy, eggs, beans and nuts.
Certain meats are also healthier than others. Stick to lean meat wherever
Aside from the above-mentioned
nutrients, you should also be sure to incorporate the omega-3 fatty acids
contained in plant-based foods such as chia seeds and walnuts, as well as fish
such as salmon and mackerel. Finally, don’t forget to drink plenty of water, as
we all know it’s the number one thing our body needs.