When it comes to nutrition, I can understand there may be an oversaturation of information about what nutrients are essential, making it hard to know what to trust and implement into your daily life and onto your plate.
I strongly believe in food as medicine and consuming the right kinds the right way will not only help our bodies but heal them as well.
Food contains important components such as vitamins, healthy fats, and protein sources to reduce inflammation, improve immune function, provide energy, and promote healing. So we must take advantage of the countless benefits food holds to enhance our health.
Let’s focus on the following essential nutrients we all need for our health to excel: proteins, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. We’ll take a look at the role they play in the health and nutrition of our bodies and the kinds of foods we can absorb them from.
Include These Three Essential Nutrients For A Healthy, Nutritious Meal That Heals
Proteins are nutrients made of amino acids found in many types of foods like vegetables, legumes, and beans.
Protein builds and repairs body tissue such as hair, nails, bones, muscles, cartilage, blood, and skin. You need protein for digestion because it produces enzymes and breaks down food to fuel the body with energy to move and function on multiple levels. Proteins assist in hormone production and other body chemicals, and help regulate blood sugar levels.
Sources of protein are in foods such as:
- Tempeh (fermented soy)
- Black Beans
- Get Loved Up Protein
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Consider carbohydrates as the most important component of many types of food, think potatoes, quinoa, brown rice, tempeh, and beans. Because carbohydrates are responsible for most of the body’s energy source, the primary source being glucose, carbs provide the right amount of energy for a balanced and healthy body and brain. Consuming healthy carbs enhances the mood by boosting serotonin levels and maintaining a healthy cholesterol level and blood pressure. It is also a good source of dietary fiber, helping digest and regulate healthy body weight.
Sources of carbohydrates can be consumed from these foods:
- Pretty much all fruits
3. Healthy Fats
One of the biggest misconceptions around nutrition is that all fats are bad. But the truth is a good level of healthy fats, also known as “unsaturated fats,” are necessary for optimum body function, being its leading energy source. When looking to eat healthy fats, you can find them in foods like avocado, nuts, seeds, olives, and coconut oil.
Healthy fats or unsaturated fats lower unhealthy cholesterol in the body, reducing the risk for heart disease and stroke. Omega-9 fatty acids in healthy fats reinforce good cholesterol and restore and sustain healthy arteries for better cardiovascular health.
Healthy fats also help build the cell membrane, create healthy cells, maintain brain health, strengthen myelin (the fatty sheath surrounding each nerve), and allow the brain to carry messages throughout the body easily. These fats help the body by quickly absorbing specific vitamins for healthy hormones and hydrated skin.
Sources of healthy fats are found in foods like:
- Avocados (no more than one recommended)
- Coconut oil (no more than 1 Tbsp. recommended)
- Olive oil (no more than 1 Tbsp. recommended)
- Nuts and seeds
- Nut butter like almond, pistachio, sunflower seed, tahini, and cashew
Are you looking for recipes and restaurant recommendations? Follow my YouTube channel filled with my favorite vegan foods.
If there are any dishes or places that you enjoy, drop them in the comments below. I would love to explore and add more to my list.