Dr. Ryan Shelton, Zenith Labs, via FoxChronicle.com
Good nutrition is the backbone of good health. The body needs a healthy balance of fruits, vegetables, protein, carbohydrates, and other nutrients to survive. When people neglect to balance their diets, they could be putting themselves at risk of developing serious medical conditions.
Dr. Ryan Shelton Zenith Labs Medical Research Director explains how good nutrition can support overall health, giving examples of healthy foods and supplements that people can consume in order to keep their bodies working at optimum efficiency.
A Balanced Diet
The most important thing that people can do to support their overall health is to eat a balanced diet. People should balance whole grains, lean meats, fruits, and vegetables in their diet, leaving sugars, oils, and fats to be consumed in smaller quantities. The following is a breakdown of a healthy daily meal plan.
Everyone should always eat breakfast. It has been found that people who eat breakfast eat fewer calories throughout the day and have an easier time losing weight. Combining a whole grain with a healthy protein, fruit, and dairy or non-dairy milk is best for overall health.
A spinach salad with salmon and whole grains on the side is a balanced lunch. Another example of a balanced lunch is a sandwich with whole-grain bread, lean meat, and reduced-fat cheese with a side of raw vegetables.
Dinner can be a little heavier than lunch. A lean pork tenderloin with roasted and mashed butternut squash and a side of quinoa would make an excellent dinner.
Many people feel the need to snack during the day and snacking every 2 hours can be a good way to regulate blood sugar. However, snacking too much or on the wrong foods can cause health problems. Avoid candy, soda, baked goods, chips, and other treats as much as possible.
Vitamins and Minerals
People need to consume the US RDA of all recommended vitamins and minerals to stay healthy. Many people turn to supplements when they cannot get everything they need from their diet.
Here are some of the most important vitamins and minerals, with descriptions of how they help the body maintain health and wellness.
Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is a powerful antioxidant. It is thought to have an effect on the immune system and to have an impact on recovery from colds, cases of flu, and other illnesses. Vitamin C protects cells and keeps them healthy. It helps to maintain healthy skin, bones, cartilage, and blood vessels. It also helps with the body’s wound healing process.
Vitamin C may help to treat cancer. Antioxidants prevent the body from being damaged by oxidative stress, which could lead to cell damage. Cell damage could lead to cancer. Vitamin C may be a future treatment for colorectal cancer since it inhibits the growth of colorectal cancer cells.
Vitamin A is fat-soluble and present naturally in many foods. It is well-known for helping vision, reproduction, and the immune system. The vitamin is necessary for the kidneys, heart, and lungs to work properly, along with other organs.
There are two types of Vitamin A. The first is preformed vitamin A, which is found in dairy, fish, poultry, and meat products. Provitamin A or beta carotene is found in plant-based products.
Vitamin D is widely added to dairy products. People who do not get enough sunlight are in particular need of vitamin D, a nutrient that the body produces when exposed to the sun. This is especially true in northern or cold climates.
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Vitamin D is instrumental in the absorption of calcium and phosphorus in the body. Calcium and phosphorus are needed to promote healthy muscles, bones, and teeth. Without vitamin D, children could develop rickets, a painful condition. Adults could also develop bone pain caused by a condition called osteomalacia.
Vitamin B comes in many forms, including vitamin B6 and vitamin B12. The different forms of vitamin B help with energy and metabolism. B vitamins protect cell health, the growth of red blood cells, promote good eyesight, and support energy levels.
B vitamins are particularly important for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. These vitamins can aid in the development of the fetal brain and reduce birth defect risks.
For men, B vitamins increase testosterone levels, build muscle, and increase strength.
Companies like Zenith Labs sell supplements that can help people reach their optimal level of health. When combined with a healthy diet, supplementation can be an important part of preserving the body’s natural function.
Dr. Ryan Shelton Zenith Labs Medical Research Director emphasizes that good nutrition stems from whole foods, and that supplementation should be added to a healthy diet rather than substituting for it.