KEY NUTRIENTS TO BALANCE YOUR DIET AND LIVE Healthily
Updated: Mar 29, 2020
Your goals and needs are unique to you. The journey to your desired results starts with balanced nutrition and healthy activity. But behind sustainable results there is dedication and a plan to keep you energised, focused and in control. So what should you consider including more in your diet to fast-track you weight-loss journey?
Vitamins and minerals
Vitamins and minerals are key micronutrients that are required for many of the chemical reactions your body performs every day. Many minerals – like Calcium and Magnesium – have structural roles in the body too.
However, the body can’t synthesise all the vitamins and minerals it needs to function at its best, which is why a healthy diet is so important. A balanced diet helps to supply the essential vitamins and minerals, but it can be difficult to consume all the necessary nutrients simply through food. Daily vitamin and mineral supplements can help to ensure you reach the recommended daily amount of each, every day.
What Should I Eat?
Most of the foods you consume will provide some essential vitamins and minerals. Some particularly nutrient-dense foods include fruits, vegetables and grains. Each nutrient has a different use in the body, so different people may benefit from increasing their intake of different vitamins or minerals.
Spinach is rich in vitamins C and E, which help to protect cells from oxidative stress, while phosphorus and calcium found in milk, yogurt and seeds help to support the maintenance of normal bones. Your B vitamins help the body convert food into fuel, and vitamin K contributes to the maintenance of normal bones and normal blood clotting.
Your body requires small amounts of fat in order to function properly, but there’s a difference between those that are good for you and those that are not. Unsaturated fats (e.g. polyunsaturated, such as Omega-3s) are considered better for you, since these fats can help to keep blood cholesterol within a normal range.
A diet high in saturated fat (from processed snacks and animal foods such as butter) can contribute to a rise in blood cholesterol levels. As fats are a very concentrated source of calories, the Herbalife Nutrition Solution recommends getting up to 30% of your daily calories from fat, with special emphasis on optimising your intake of the healthy types of dietary fat. The typical Western diet supplies far more total fat and saturated fat than we need.
What Should I Eat?
Healthy fats include those found in fish, nuts, olive oil and avocados. To ensure you’re getting those good-for-you Omega3s, aim to consume fish at least twice a week, including one portion of oily fish such as salmon or mackerel, as part of a healthy balanced meal.
A dietary supplement can also be useful in helping you gain the benefits of EPA and DHA (Omega-3 fatty acids): to keep your heart healthy and maintain normal brain function and vision, as well as the maintenance of normal blood pressure and normal blood triglyceride levels.
An essential component of every cell in the body, protein is a macronutrient made of 22 ‘building blocks’ called amino acids. Proteins have different functions in the body including contributing to growth in muscle mass and the maintenance of muscle and normal bones. Without enough protein, it can be difficult to sustain a balanced diet and reach your goals.
Aim to consume up to 30% of your daily calories from protein.
During exercise, your body requires more protein to build/maintain muscle, so keep in mind that protein needs may differ. An active male who consumes up to 2,000kcals per day and wants to build muscle should aim for up to 150g protein in his daily diet. For a woman who consumes up to 1,400kcals per day and wants to control her weight, the recommendation would be up to 105g of protein per day.
What Should I Eat?
A combination of vegetable and animal protein sources each day. Soy is one of the best vegetable sources as it is a ‘complete’ protein that provides all the essential amino acids. As other vegetable protein sources like nuts, seeds and lentils are not ‘complete proteins’, try to combine them to provide a better proportion of amino acids. For animal protein, high quality sources include fish, poultry, eggs and low-fat dairy products, which provide the additional benefits of Iron, Zinc and B vitamins.