The Art of Healthy EatingSeif Waziri
We all require food to stay healthy in our daily lives. By focusing on what we eat enables our health to improve as health is wealth. Different family settings have their own meals that they consume on a daily basis. Food varieties ranging from vegetables, fruits, rice, wheat, ugali, meat, fish are common on many Kenyans plate.
The biggest question however is what portion of food is healthy for us? What is enough? We find ourselves heaping large quantity of food on our plates us majority of it goes to waste. This is because our body requires a certain amount of nutrients level. Every human being has a different metabolism to the other. Metabolism refers to the process in which the chemical reacts in the body’s cells that change food into energy. Our bodies need this energy to do everything from moving to thinking to growing. A normal human being requires proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins roughage and mineral salts in his/her meals on a daily basis so that his overall health can improve. Out of these components certain nutrients potions
According to the FSC, a balanced diet for an average adult is made up of the following nutrients each day:
|Nutrient||Quantity Per Day|
|Saturated Fatty Acids||24 grams|
|Sodium (salt)||2.3 grams|
|Dietary Fibre||30 grams|
Carbohydrates are described as energy giving foods. They are the basic component of energy. They are broken down to glucose and glycerin to release energy. Sugars. They are also called simple carbohydrates because they are in the most basic form. They can be added to foods, such as the sugar in candy, desserts, processed foods, and regular soda. They also include the kinds of sugar that are found naturally in fruits, vegetables, and milk.
A) Starches. They are complex carbohydrates, which are made of lots of simple sugars strung together. Your body needs to break starches down into sugars to use them for energy. Starches include bread, cereal, and pasta. They also include certain vegetables, like potatoes, peas, and corn.
b)Fibre. It is also a complex carbohydrate. Your body cannot break down most fibres, so eating foods with fibre can help ou feel full and make you less likely to overeat. Diets high in fibre have other health benefits. They may help prevent stomach or intestinal problems, such as constipation. They may also help lower cholesterol and blood sugar. fibre is found in many foods that come from plants, including fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, and whole grains.
Proteins are the building blocks for cell multiplication. Protein is a macronutrient – macronutrients (sometimes called ‘macros’) are the nutrients we need in relatively larger amounts that provide us with calories. Macronutrients include protein, carbohydrates and fat. Protein provides 4kcal per gram. We need protein to help the body grow and repair itself.
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. When we digest proteins, they are broken down to amino acids, which the body uses to make new proteins. Some can be produced by the human body whereas others we can only get from the diet. These are known as essential amino acids.
Minerals are those elements on the earth and in foods that our bodies need to develop and function normally. Those essential for health include calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, chloride, magnesium, iron, zinc, iodine, chromium, copper, fluoride, molybdenum, manganese, and selenium. They act as supplements that are quite vital for organs functioning.
Fatty acids are long-chain hydrocarbons that can be separated into four categories: saturated, mono-unsaturated, polyunsaturated, and trans fats. More than 20 types of fatty acids are found in foods; Sources of fatty acids include fruits, vegetable oils, seeds, nuts, animal fats, and fish oils. Essential fatty acids, such as omega-3 fatty acids, serve important cellular functions. They are a necessary part of the human diet because the body has no biochemical pathway to produce these molecules on its own.
These key elements or components are quite important to foster a good healthy lifestyle. However it is important to note that, it is not enough to have it alone. We need to incorporate fitness, sleep routines, reduce stress for an optimum healthy lifestyle.
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