Nutrition plays a huge role in how you feel, and understanding key nutrition facts will help you get a better idea of what to put in your body because when you know what kinds of food make you feel the best, you’ll want to eat healthy. Not to mention the fact that a healthier body and more-alert mind will improve the other areas of your life too.
Whether you never really learned about nutrition or you want to brush up on all things healthy, we’ve got you covered with this guide to understanding nutrition as it relates to you. Keep reading for the nutrition facts you missed in health class, plus everything you need to know about gut health, probiotics, and why you keep feeling hungry, even after you’ve eaten.
What Is Nutrition?
Nutrition is your body’s process of using the food you consume to maintain your health. When your food has the nutrients that your body needs, you’re able to have energy and repair tissues. Healthy food improves every area of your body (your teeth, hair, skin, heart) but it can also help you think more clearly and improve your attention span. And when you feel better and think better, you’ll be able to live better too.
Is Nutrition Different For Each Body Type?
The short answer is yes, nutrition is different for everyone based on their body types. Different bodies will require different levels of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients based on health conditions, exercise, or dietary restrictions. It can also change over time! If you’re thinking about making a change to your nutrition, make sure to speak with a doctor or nutritionist so that you’re still getting the nutrients that your body needs.
What Are The Best Foods To Pair Together?
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Pair foods from different groups to maximize the nutrition you consume in one meal. When making a plate of food, try and add a fruit, vegetable, grain, protein, and dairy product so that you’re consuming different vitamins and minerals.
Another good rule of thumb is to make your plate as colorful as possible instead of always eating foods that are the same colors. Since different shades represent the different nutrients and vitamins in the food, a colorful meal means you’re getting a variety of health benefits.
Do We Actually Need Carbs?
Yes, we do need carbs! But that means more than just bread and pasta. Fruits, veggies, and dairy products all have carbs, and the fact that there are so many sources is good because when your body breaks down carbohydrates, they turn into the energy that your body uses up.
What Does Counting Macros Mean?
Counting macros means that you’re tracking the macronutrients you consume (protein, carbs, and fat). When you keep track of them, you focus on getting the right balance to meet your fitness goals. Again, if you’re thinking about changing up your eating habits, consult a pro!
What Are The 5 Basic Nutrients?
Basic nutrients include proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water, all of which are important for different reasons. Proteins help with your body tissues’ growth and maintenance, while carbs provide your body with energy and your brain with fuel. Fats help your body absorb vitamins, which help with growth and development, minerals can help with your body’s muscle contraction, and water is important for just about everything that your body does.
How Can I Start Eating Healthy?
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Eating healthy is definitely a big part of maintaining a healthy nutrition, and that starts with your meal planning and your snacks. One of our favorite tricks is to use the 4-3-2 Rule while we grocery shop so that we know our fridge has fruits and veggies throughout the week. And instead of waiting to cut up your veg when you’re hungry, cut and prep them at the beginning of your work week so that you have snacks at-the-ready to eat whenever you want.
Our other favorite hack is grocery shopping on a full stomach — it helps us stick to our list and focus on what we actually want to get instead of grabbing everything we see on the shelves.
Why Am I Always Hungry?
If you’re always eating snacks that aren’t filling (a handful of potato chips on their own won’t cut it!) or you aren’t eating the right kinds of meals, there’s a chance you’re always hungry. Not only can a balanced, consistent diet help the way that your body functions, but it can also help you feel less hungry throughout the day because you’re giving your body what it actually needs.
It’s also important to learn to listen to your body’s cues so that you know what your body is craving. Eating smaller meals and snacks throughout the day can prevent that cycle of eating a huge meal that fills your stomach, and then feeling famished a few hours later. Check out our piece on Intuitive Eating to learn more.
What Is Gut Health?
Your gut includes your stomach and your intestines, and its job is to break down food for its nutrients and vitamins. Gut health can also strengthen your immune system and reduce any inflammation in your body.
How To Improve Gut Health?
Beyond eating a balanced and nutritious diet with plenty of fruits and veggies, probiotic foods like yogurt and sauerkraut can help your gut produce the good bacteria it needs to stay balanced. More sleep and less stress can also improve your gut health.
What Are Probiotics?
Probiotics are bacteria that help your gut stay healthy by balancing bacteria and improving both digestion and nutrient absorption. They can also help reduce the risk of diabetes and obesity, and reduce the symptoms of conditions like IBS.
What Is A Food Sensitivity Test?
A food sensitivity test is a tool that identifies reactions that your body has to certain foods to diagnose whether you have an intolerance or sensitivity to them. It usually uses a blood sample to measure your response to proteins.
Do Probiotics Help Acne?
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Probiotics can be beneficial for people who have acne since it can reduce inflammation, which is something that can make your acne worse.
Do Probiotics Stop Diarrhea?
They might not be able to entirely stop diarrhea totally, but probiotics can help calm it by restoring balance to the bacteria that’s found in your gut.
Do Probiotics Help With Infections?
Probiotics can help with certain infections by fighting off the bad bacteria in an infection with good bacteria.
Do Probiotics Cause Bloating?
Since it reduces inflammation, probiotics can actually help bloating instead of irritate it.
Check out our Health page for more nutrition facts and frequently asked question, and make sure to consult a doctor before making any big changes to your diet or nutrition.
Featured image via Yaroslav Shuraev/Pexels.
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