Across the world, every one of us is different. You might be a keen vegetarian, cheese fiend, strict vegan, dessert addict or meat lover, but we all have one thing in common – food!
Food is the staple part of our existence. It provides us with what our bodies need to function, grow and repair ourselves. So, it’s no wonder that it is such a hot topic across the media, health forums and social platforms. Every site and magazine we come across has diet plans and pearls of wisdom to offer, but how do we know what is best for us?
The more that we learn about what the properties of food can do for us, the more confident we can be to make better decisions for ourselves. Food and its nutrients can do so much more than just sustain our bodies, all we need to do is develop our knowledge and understanding of its compounds.
Food is made up of macronutrients, micronutrients and dietary fibre. Macronutrients are our proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Each of these macronutrients provide our bodies with energy (kilojoules, or calories). Micronutrients are the vital vitamins and minerals our bodies need to keep functioning. Dietary fibres are made up of soluble fibres and insoluble fibres, which also support various functions of the body.
Within all foods there are different nutrients. These nutrients interact with each other, and the reactions that they prompt in our bodies can also differ when grouped with different foods. This is why it is important to feed our bodies with a variety of different foods.
Nowadays, health stores and supermarkets offer your nutrients in a tablet or capsule, appealing to the ‘quick win’ nature of many people. However, nutritional scientists have conducted research which shows that when nutrients are isolated in this way, the benefits can be lost as they are not reacting with other nutrients and the body does not absorb them in the same way.
An example of this is iron. Iron is hugely important for our bodies; it allows the transportation of oxygen through haemoglobin to our red blood cells, and myoglobin to our muscles. Iron capsules and supplements are widely available, but studies have found that when consumed in an isolated form, our bodies find it difficult to absorb it. The danger of using supplements, is that the concentration of the nutrient is higher. Large doses of iron in this inorganic form, can cause constipation, nausea and damage to the gut wall. Our bodies are just not designed for isolated nutrients.
There is no single magic ingredient to living a healthy life. It is essential that we understand the importance of adopting a healthy and diverse diet as part of our wellbeing. Our complex bodies are capable of doing the hard work, it is up to us to enable and embrace it!
The ROWE® Team