© Heidi Bosch Romano

Nutrition: Fuel for the Body


There are six nutrients necessary to maintain excellent health:

  1. Water: more than half of the body is made up of water, it transports nutrients to the cells, carries wastes away, is used to regulate body temperature, and is the most important element our bodies need
  2. Protein (amino acids): needed for growth and repair of body tissues; enzymes (for digestion), hormones (for growth and metabolism) and antibodies (to fight disease and infection) are made of protein
  3. Lipids, Commonly Known as Fats (fatty acids): energy source; help the bones and teeth use calcium; carry vitamins A D E and K to the organs; lubricate and insulate the body; cushion the organs; needed for normal growth, heathy blood, arteries, nerves and skin; is part of most body tissues; needed to help form hormones and for digestion
  4. Complex Carbohydrates (sugars): main energy source for all body functions, break down lipids, regulate protein and lipid metabolism
  5. Vitamins: organic substances found only in plants and animals, work with enzymes in their various processes such as digestion, growth and metabolism. Vitamin D is created in the body from the exposure to the sun. We need it for strong bones and healthy skin. Although too much sun can burn, it is better to limit your exposure and cover up with clothing than to use harmful chemicals on your skin. (source: ewg.org)
  6. Minerals: help make bones and teeth strong; help regulate water balance and acid alkaline balance; keep the heart, nerves and brain functioning properly

Recommended Food Sources

  • Fats (lipids): from mono-saturated vegetable oils such as organic flax seed, olive and coconut.
  • Protein: from lean grass-fed beef, poultry or wild caught fish, eggs or combining legumes and whole grains.
  • Carbohydrates: from a variety of organic fruits and vegetables.
  • Fiber: from organic whole fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Water: fresh mountain spring water.
  • Herbs: organically grown, fresh (free from chemical additives)

Foods to Avoid

  • GMO or processed grains stripped of germ and bran, such as white flour or white rice (lacking nutrients necessary for good health)
  • Highly processed sugars (elevates and drops blood sugar levels too quickly)
  • Processed luncheon meats and bacon (treated with nitrates which are known to be carcinogenic)
  • Smoked meats (potentially carcinogenic)
  • Soft drinks, including diet (no nutritive value, are high in sodium and highly-processed sugars, and many contain unhealthful chemical additives)

Healthful Eating as Prevention to Disease

(Source: http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/nutrition-000357.htm)

  • Eating a high volume of folate containing foods such as leafy greens, dry beans and peas, fortified cereals and grain products, and some fruits and vegetables may lower risk of stroke and heart disease.
  • Eating small amounts of fish (not contaminated with mercury) in pregnancy may protect against early delivery and low birth weight infants.
  • Women with iron deficiency can improve their aerobic training ability by eating iron rich foods such as broccoli and/or taking iron supplements
  • Lutein and zeaxanthin (carotenoids, found in carrots, cantaloupe and yams) are good for vision, may prevent night blindness and reduce risk of cataracts (also wearing UV protected sunglasses)
  • Lutein from dietary sources such as kale and spinach may protect against colon cancer
  • Flavonoids (found in broccoli, citrus fruits, apples, onions, and carrots) may protect against certain types of lung cancer
  • Vitamin E may reduce the risk of angina (chest pain) and heart attack in people with atherosclerosis

Essential Fatty Acids

Omega-3 Fatty Acids
(Source: University of Maryland Medical Center)

Omega-3 fatty acids (found in fish oils; English walnuts; and flaxseed, linseed, olive oils) reduce inflammation and help prevent risk factors associated with chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and arthritis. These essential fatty acids are highly concentrated in the brain and appear to be particularly important for cognitive (brain memory and performance) and behavioral function.

Omega-6 Fatty Acids
(Types are found in sunflower, safflower, corn, cottonseed, and soybean oils; evening primrose, black currant, borage, and fungal oils; egg yolk; meats, organ meats, and other animal-based foods; and Spirulina.}

Omega-6 fatty acids are necessary for stimulating skin and hair growth, maintaining bone health, regulating metabolism, and maintaining reproductive capability. (Source: University of Maryland Medical Center)

The proper balance between these essential acids is one omega-3 fatty acids to four omega-6 fatty acids. The typical American diet contains an imbalance of 11 to 30 times more omega-6 than omega-3. This imbalance contributes to heart disease, cancer, asthma, arthritis, and depression.

Herb Medicinal Properties

(Source: theEpiCentre.com)

  • Garlic: a diaphoretic (helps you sweat), diuretic (removes excess salts and water), expectorant (helps expel phlegm) and intestinally antispasmodic (good for digestion), nature's antibiotic (fights infection).
  • Cayenne pepper: reduces blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels (heart healthy), reduces the platelet aggregation and increases fibrinolytic activity (anti-stroke).
  • Ceylon Cinnamon (Canella): antifungal/antibacterial, reduces blood cholesterol, anti-diarrhea, anti-gas, lowers blood sugar
  • Onion: antiseptic (kills germs) used for healing wounds, a diuretic (removes excess salts and water) and expectorant (helps expel phlegm)

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