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The Importance of Balance

Written by Janine Tait on January 30th, 2016.      0 comments

The Importance of Balance
The Importance of a Balanced Diet - Janine Taite - Bestow Beauty
 
Our bodies require three macro nutrients for optimum health; fats, proteins and carbohydrates. These are the main components of our diet and we need to include a balance of all three for vital bodily functions to be carried out such as digestion, growth and development.
 
If you look back over the years you can see there have been times where one of these macronutrients has been highlighted by media as being detrimental to our health in some way. Often this is then taken to the extreme, research is misconstrued and ‘fad diets’ come out that are ‘low fat’ or ‘carb free’ or ‘high protein’.  Without doing any research ourselves many of us presume this is the correct information and can get caught up in these ways of eating which are not necessarily healthy.
 
Eating is an opportunity to nourish our bodies by eating whole foods with a balance of all three macronutrients. Since “macro” means large, macronutrients are nutrients needed in larger amounts than the micro nutrients like vitamins, minerals and phytonutrietns. It is these macronutrients that should make up the majoriy of our meals, along with fresh fruit and vegetables.
 
Good quality fats
Fat has been highlighted in the past for all the ‘bad’ things it does to our bodies, however eating healthy fats is essential for providing long lasting energy and supporting the development of hormones. Fat also plays an important part in protecting our vital organs and maintaing body temperature. It also enables us to utilise fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.
 
Cell membranes are made from fats and the right balance of healthy oils and fats allows your body to create strong and flexible cell membrances that can receive nutrients and excrete waste efficiently. Some high quality fats are also able to reduce cholesterol and aid in detoxification.
 
Essential Fatty Acids (Omega 3 and 6) are particularly important fats as they are not able to be produced by our bodies so are vital for us to obtain them from food. They offer huge benefits and can be found in most healthy fats. With regard to our skin, EFA’s are very healing and protective, helping to buffer your skin from the effects of the environment, keeping it smooth, supple and free from damage. EFA’s help to keep the skin moist and can help reduce inflammation.
 
Some healthy fats we recommend are
  • Nuts such as walnuts, pecans, macadamia nuts, pistachios and almonds
  • Nut butters (with no added sugar or salt)
  • Avocados
  • Fish (oily)
  • Seeds such as pumpkin, sunflower, sesame and chia
  • Organic butter
  • Olive oil
  • Bestow Beauty Oil
 
These are all better choices than margarine, mayonnaise, high fat meats, sweets and other saturated and trans fats. Your diet should consist of about 20 percent fat. Some examples of a serving size of fat in a meal would be a quarter of an avocado, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, a small handful of nuts and seeds or 2 tablespoons of nut butter.
 
Good quality protein
Every cell in the human body contains protein and it is essential in building, maintening and repairing your body tissues. All enzymes and most hormones, which perform vital functions, are proteins. Protein is also important to balance blood sugar levels that can lead to fatigue. Protein should consist about 10 to 35 percent of your diet and eating the right amount of protein throughout the day will help you feel fuller for longer, giving you more energy in the afternoon and keeping you full until dinnertime.
 
Include proteins such as
  • Chicken (free range where possible)
  • Eggs (free range where possible)
  • Fish
  • Kidney beans
  • Seaweed
  • Quinoa
  • Lentils
  • Chickpeas
  • Peas
  • Full cream milk
 
Protein should be consumed at each meal (3 times a day) to ensure you are getting enough. The recommended serving size is around the size of your palm.
 
Good quality sources of  carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are your body’s main energy source. When you eat them your body breaks them down into glucose which is then transported to the cells via your bloodstream.  Energy is needed for body functions such as digestion, breathing, movement and is the preferred source of energy in our brain, heart and central nervous system. For these reasons, it is important that your diet consists of at least 45 to 65 percent carbohydrates.
 
There are two types of carbohydrates, simple and complex. Simple carbohydrates are refined sugars (like white bread and other sweet foods with excess sugar) and have very little nutritional value to the body, and therefore, it is advisable that they be consumed in very small amounts. It is better to have complex carbohydrates that release energy slowly into your body.
 
Some of these include
  • Legumes
  • Vegetables
  • Kumara
  • Wholegrains
  • Brown rice
  • Fruits
  • Beans
  • Nuts
Carbohydrates are essential and should not be skipped as they contain B Vitamins which are needed for skin health and the use of EFA’s.
 

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