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Nutrition Archives - Suzanne Wallach

Nutrition – What Does Our Body Need?

Nutrition

Nutrition is defined as “the biochemical and physiological process by which an organism uses food to support its life.” It is a critical part of health and development. Nutrition comes from a variety of sources such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids, lipids, enzymes, carbohydrates, and more. Nutrients are substances required by the body to perform its basic functions (e.g., provide energy, contribute to body structure, and/ or regulate chemical processes in the body). These are vital, basic functions that allow us to detect and respond to environmental surroundings, move, excrete wastes, breathe, grow, and reproduce. Essential nutrients are compounds that must be obtained from our diet as the human body cannot make them or cannot make them in sufficient quantity. Essential nutrients are divided into two categories: macronutrients and micronutrients. Nutrients (i.e., carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins) that are needed in large amounts for the body to function optimally are called macronutrients. Micronutrients include all the essential minerals and vitamins and are required by the body in lesser amounts. There are six main groups of essential micronutrients and macronutrients needed by our bodies:

  1. Protein: 16 percent of the average person’s body weight is from protein. Protein is critical to the body because much of our body is built from it (e.g., organs, skin, tissues, bones, hair, etc.) and is essential for every bodily system. Good sources of protein include lean meats, poultry, eggs, fish, legumes, and dairy.
  2. Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates are necessary for a healthy body. According to the Mayo Clinic carbohydrates are the body’s main fuel source. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that carbohydrates make up 45 percent to 65 percent of total daily calories. Whole grains, vegetables, and fruits are all examples of healthy carbohydrates.
  3. Fats: Fat is an essential nutrient that boosts absorption of vitamins and helps protect organs. As explained by Harvard Medical School, fat supports many of your body’s functions such as mineral absorption, blood clotting, building cells, and muscle movement. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that 20 to 35 percent of your daily calories come from fat, whereas the World Health Organization suggests keeping it under 30 percent of your calories. Salmon, walnuts, avocado, and flax seeds are all healthy sources of fat.
  4. Vitamins: There are 13 essential vitamins, each with its own unique functions, that the body needs to stay healthy. Vitamin A is vital for skin and eye health, Vitamin C for bone and muscle structure and immune support, and Vitamin D for bone growth and cardiovascular and immune health. No food provides every essential vitamin. Therefore, a diverse and well-balanced diet is required to ensure a normal and healthy functioning digestive tract. Vitamin supplements can also be a great way to fill in the gaps.
  5. Minerals: Minerals are another essential nutrient, with each essential mineral fulfilling a different role. They are necessary for many body functions, including building strong bones and teeth, regulating your metabolism, and staying properly hydrated. Some of the most common minerals are sodium, potassium, calcium, iron, and zinc. Calcium, for example, is essential for bone health, muscle and nerve function, and circulation. Calcium is found in dairy, leafy greens, and fish such as sardines and salmon. Sodium keeps nerves and muscles working correctly. Sodium can be found naturally in nuts, vegetables, meats, and legumes, but intake should be limited to around one teaspoon of salt.
  6. Water: Water is essential for survival, especially as it makes up over two-thirds of the healthy human body. Water lubricates the joints and eyes, aids digestion, flushes out waste and toxins, and keeps the skin healthy. Experts recommend drinking a minimum of 64 oz of water, daily.

Treatment In Calabasas

Calabasas is a city in California. It is a well-known suburb of Los Angeles, located west of the San Fernando Valley and north of the Santa Monica Mountains. Over the past decade, the city of Calabasas has grown in its reputation for luxury as well as for privacy which makes it a hidden gem for residential living for society’s elite, and one of the most desirable destinations in Los Angeles County. It is also home to a plethora of highly qualified mental health clinicians providing an array of therapeutic services and treatment options.

The information above is provided for the use of informational purposes only. The above content is not to be substituted for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment, as in no way is it intended as an attempt to practice medicine, give specific medical advice, including, without limitation, advice concerning the topic of mental health. As such, please do not use any material provided above to disregard professional advice or delay seeking treatment.