1. Water – keeping hydrated is one of the most important things that you can do. Water is essential for survival, especially as it makes up 60% of our bodies. Out bodies rely on water and without it we would be dead.
2. Carbohydrates – Carbs normally get a bad reputation for being bad for you and not nutritional enough. However, in reality, carbs are essential for the body. They are broken down into glucose which fuels your brain and body. Carbs also ensure that your body does not break down proteins to gain energy, preventing muscle mass. Eating healthy and complex carbs are the ones that do not cause you to put on weight as they keep you feeling fuller for longer. Whole grains, fruit and vegetables are examples of complex carbs.
3. Protein – it is no secret that protein is good for your body. Not only does it help form muscles, but they provide all of the amino acids that your body needs.
4. Fat – again, fats have earned a bad reputation, however, the fats that are bad for you are trans fats. These are found in processed foods and baked goods and they have shown to significantly increase the risk of heart disease. However, unsaturated fats can help protect the heart and aid in the prevention of heart disease. Healthy fats, such as nuts, salmon, avocado and olive oil is also good fats that your body needs to protect against disease.
5. Vitamins – everyone knows the importance of vitamins, so it should come as no surprise that it makes the list. There are many different vitamins, all with their own unique quality and all have a vital role for maintaining optimal health. The vitamins that your body needs are:
• Vitamin A – this is vital for skin and eye health.
• Vitamin C – vital for bone and muscle structure and immune support
• Vitamin D – critical for bone and immune health
• Vitamin E – important for the body’s organs
• Vitamin K – builds strong bones
• B Vitamins – play a role in cell metabolism and are needed for good health
6. Minerals – Minerals also have their role to play with your body. Iron, for example, is key to blood production, helping to strengthen bones and teeth. Magnesium is a crucial component for more then 300 reactions in the body.
7. Omega-3 – this is needed to aid the heart function. Foods such as salmon and mackerel are active with omega-3 and do not require much energy.
8. Fibre – fibre has heart-health benefits, such as reducing blood pressure and inflammation. It also helps control blood sugar levels, helps you live longer and maintain healthy bowel movement.
9. Calcium – This is key for your bone health. Over 99% of the body’s calcium is found in the bones and teeth. However, calcium is also good for the muscles, nerve functions and the movement throughout the body.
10. Sodium – A lot of sodium can lead to high blood pressure in some people, so Sodium is very important for fluid balance and blood volume. It also keeps nerves and muscles working correctly.
11. Potassium – this helps maintain the fluid balance and blood pressure. It is also vital for muscle contractions, heart health and regulating the PH level of your blood to prevent it from becoming too acidic. While potassium is normally associated with bananas, there are in fact many foods that contain potassium, such as, spinach, tomatoes, potatoes, avocados, salmon and sweet potatoes.