The Benefits of Complete Nutrition25/09/2018
Do you have complete nutrition? The answer is probably no. Most people don’t get their daily allowance of minerals, vitamins, and amino acids. The truth is that it’s okay to have a bad day, a day that doesn’t fulfill all of your daily needs. Chances are, if you’re careful about your health, you’ll make up for your deficits later in the week. The problem comes when the nutrition deficits are ongoing.
For example, if you never get enough vitamin B, you’re going to start experiencing some significant health problems. Yet if on a weekly basis you do get enough vitamin B, then your system will balance out. It’s important to know that many nutrients, not all, are stored in your body for a duration. And your body does make some vitamins, like vitamin D. So complete nutrition doesn’t have to mean that you get 100% of every nutrient every day. What it does mean is that you do give your body the nutrients that it needs, and that is readily accomplished with a healthy diet. You don’t have to spend money on supplements.
Importance of Complete Nutrition
There are a number of benefits to complete nutrition, including but not limited to:
Stronger Immune System
When you have complete nutrition, your body has what it needs to function optimally. That means that it can focus energy on your immune system. When foreign invaders like bacteria and viruses hit your body, and this happens on a daily basis, your immune system kicks into action and isolates and kills the invaders. If you don’t have complete nutrition, your body has to compensate for that lack. When it has to compensate, it’s weaker.
You need a number of nutrients in your body for your metabolism to function well. Your metabolism is a complicated system of hormones, enzymes, and chemical reactions. It needs specific minerals and vitamins to manage different levels of the process. For example, your thyroid is a gland that releases hormones that impact your metabolism. When this hormone is low, your metabolism slows down. You feel lethargic, you get sick more often, and you gain weight. Vitamins B, C and D are important for healthy thyroid function, as are many minerals including selenium.
Because your cells and systems require essential nutrients, when you fuel your body with these nutrients it has what it needs to thrive. It’s not compensated. It’s not weakened. It’s able to function optimally. When you’re compromised and your body has to work extra hard, that’s when disease happens, which ultimately shortens your life span.
As you can see, complete nutrition is essential for optimal health. So why not take a supplement? Why rely on food when a pill can help you give your body the vitamins and minerals that it needs?
Why Not Just Take a Pill?
People take supplements for a variety of reasons. Common logic for some is that they eat healthy but they take a multivitamin for insurance. It’s a just-in-case option – a Plan B, so to speak. The other reason that people take supplements or a multivitamin is that they believe that they’re staving off disease.
Many advertisements for supplements will tell you that taking a multivitamin will help prevent heart disease. There are vitamins for men and sexual health, for women and memory loss and for teenagers too. There are even gummy candy-like multivitamins to make them more fun to take.
The truth is that vitamin supplements aren’t doing what they claim. Many studies have proven that supplements really do little if anything at all. And one large study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, showed that both multivitamin and mineral supplements did not work any better than placebo pills. In turn many doctors have stopped recommending that their patients take multivitamins.
Could It Be Dangerous?
Additionally, many people believe that taking vitamin and mineral supplements is causing vitamin poisoning. According to poison control centers, there are more than 60,000 reports of vitamin toxicity annually.
It’s Your Money
Think about the answer to this question…would you rather spend your money on food or on vitamins? Estimates are that 150 million people use supplements annually and they spend more than 20 billion dollars. How much did you spend on supplements last year? Would you rather have spent that on something else? Generally, people enjoy eating much more than taking pills. And nutritious food can and does taste wonderful. You can get the complete nutrition that we talked about, and you can do it without taking a supplement.
Signs of Incomplete Nutrition
It can be difficult to know if you’re getting the nutrients that you need. This is one of the biggest reasons why people say that they take a multivitamin. However, we know that supplements don’t really work and they rarely offer a benefit. A better approach is to pay attention to your body. Here are some signs that your diet is missing something.
One of the surest signs that your diet is deficient in something is that you’re low in energy. If you feel fatigued, it can be something as simple as not enough minerals or vitamin B in your diet.
Losing Your Hair/Cracking Nails
Dry and brittle nails and hair are often a sign of a nutrient deficiency. It could be that you’re low in protein or you could be low in biotin.
Muscle cramps are often a sign of mineral deficiencies. You may also be dehydrated.
If you notice rashes, acne, or small red bumps on your arms and legs, then it can be a sign of nutrient deficiency.
If you find that you’re getting sick more often or generally feeling unwell, look to your diet. Take some time to evaluate if you’re getting complete nutrition or if you might be lacking. Your digestion can be a big clue about your nutritional well-being. Talk to your doctor if you have digestive and/or elimination issues. It’s a direct reflection of your health and well-being and can be a significant clue about what is missing in your diet.
Getting Complete Nutrition
Awareness is the first step to improving your nutrition and leveraging food instead of pills. Become aware of what you’re putting into your body and how it makes you feel. What foods make you feel healthy and strong? What foods improve your digestion? What improves your sleep and what foods make you feel lethargic or cause cravings?
You can begin by keeping a food journal. Start learning about the nutrients in your food choices. What types of fat are you getting and are you eating enough protein? You might consider making a list of the daily recommended values for the major nutrients. From there you could start placing check-marks next to the nutrients you are getting from each meal.
Whether you measure and calculate and total your daily nutrients, or you simply keep an eye on whether you’re getting what you need, is up to you. What’s most important is that you’re aware of what you should be getting and that if necessary, you’re taking steps to improve your nutrition by making smart food choices.
This brings us to the final step and that is to set nutrition goals and to change your eating habits. For example, do you normally skip breakfast altogether, or just have a piece of toast? You’re missing an opportunity for nutrients. Change this habit and drink a smoothie or eat a piece of whole grain toast with an avocado on it. Take advantage of every snack and meal because they can be both delicious and nutritious.