This post has been contributed by Laura.
Maintaining a healthy body and mind is a vital part of life for just about anyone. What’s more, there are many different aspects to it. So many, in fact, that it can be difficult getting the balance right. Trying to keep your body in peak condition can be a real challenge. Nonetheless, it is a challenge which we all need to take. Staying in shape is a matter of getting various elements right, and in the right kind of balance. For many people, this is the learning curve of an entire lifetime. But that is fine - the main thing is that you do everything in your power to achieve it. One of the main elements to getting this right is ensuring that you get the proper intake of nutrients and minerals. For many people, this is beyond their everyday knowledge. However, learning some basics about these and what they can do for you is a fine idea indeed. With that information, you can work on trying to incorporate the right things into your diet. And with that will come a much healthier, happier way of being. Let’s look into this in a little more detail now.
We all know the importance of having a balanced diet. But how many of us know what that balance should look like. In fact, it goes far beyond the main food groups. That is one important level, but it is only one level. To achieve the right balance, we also need to look at the nutrients in the food we are eating. But what nutrients are necessary, and how can we ensure that we incorporate them properly?
Potassium is a main nutrient which is both essential and - in today’s world - in short supply. Most people’s diets do not contain anywhere near enough potassium. This is unfortunate, as it is a useful and vital substance which helps to boost the immune system. Potassium is what keeps our heart beating, no less. It is literally something we cannot live without. If you increase your potassium consumption, your blood pressure will lower dramatically. This in turn will mean that you are much less likely to develop osteoporosis, diabetes and heart disease. Your muscles’ functioning also relies heavily upon your body having the correct amount of potassium. So how do we get this vital nutrient into our bodies? Fortunately, there are some basic, everyday ingredients which contain plenty of the good stuff. Potatoes, bananas and spinach are all good sources of potassium.
The next most essential has to be fiber. This regulates the digestive system throughout its entire process - so it really is vital. Most diets are lacking in fiber these days, but getting it back in is simple. Sweet potato, or pretty much any root vegetable, will provide you with a good amount of fiber. Though it may sound disgusting, checking your excrement is the best way to ensure you are getting the right amount of fiber.
While not always necessary, supplements can help a great deal. This is particularly so if you are in the early days of regaining control over your health. There is a supplement for just about every nutrient and mineral available. One key point is to be careful when you are choosing your supplement. You want to ensure that you are getting what you need in the right amount, and with the right balance. Do your research. There are many differences between curcumin and turmeric, for example, though both might be helpful. Look into what those differences are before you make any decisions.
Done right, supplementing can give your immune system a real boost. Just be sure not to replace any real foodstuffs with an overabundance of supplements. As with anything, balance is the key.
Reducing Unnecessary Intake
It’s not just about what you do take in, however. If you want to get the right nutrients in your system, you need to think about what to avoid, as well. There are certain common bad habits which you would probably do well to avoid, or curtail. A couple of the big offenders are caffeine and sugar. These two are a common sight, with sugar being particularly prevalent in modern diets. But the truth is, they give you very little in return for their consumption. It might be worth considering cutting them out altogether. Or at the very least, think about cutting down.
Caffeine interferes with your hormonal production, and as such it is best avoided. Similarly, sugar is empty calorific content. Nutritionally speaking, sugar is pointless! Even if you can’t cut it out entirely, make sure to take steps towards reducing your sugar intake. You are bound to feel the difference in no time.