The easy reasons why we eat are because we are hungry and our stomachs may be rumbling. Sometimes, we may eat because we are bored, sad or happy. These are only some of the physical and emotional reasons why we eat, but do you ever put much thought into why our bodies need the food?
- Good Nutrition Provides Energy
The foods you eat provide the energy your body needs to function. Just like you need to put fuel in your car or recharge your cell phone battery, your body needs to be fed energy-providing foods every day. The main form of energy for your body is carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are broken down into individual glucose, fructose or galactose units. Glucose is your body’s favorite form of energy.
- Good Nutrition Provides Raw Materials
Protein in the foods you eat is broken down into individual amino acids, which are used to build and repair the various parts of your body. Your muscles contain lots of protein, and you need to replenish that protein through your diet. Your body also needs protein for components of your immune system, hormones, nervous system, and organs.
Another raw material your body needs is calcium, which is essential to keeping your bones and teeth strong.
Your body also needs fats to be healthy. Fats are essential to signaling hormones and ensuring excellent function of our brains.
- The “Little Helpers”
Vitamins and minerals you get from your diet are just as important. They help chemical reactions in the body happen a lot faster. Vitamin A is needed for vision, Vitamin B helps your body burn carbohydrates for energy, and Vitamin C helps keep connective tissue strong and your immune system functioning.
Your diet needs to provide adequate amounts of all of these “little helpers” and many others. A healthy, balanced diet will provide you with lots of vitamins and minerals.
A healthy diet will give your body the right amount of energy, enough raw materials and all of the “little helpers” you need to stay healthy. Good nutrition will also provide phytochemicals and antioxidants that will help keep you feeling young, looking great and perhaps even disease-free.