Let’s be honest. Living your best life isn’t always easy. There’s no one way to crack the wellness code and that’s because there’s no single type of body or mind. How can one rule apply to every person hoping to achieve optimal health? Well, it can’t. But there is a common ground and it has to do with this question: Just how important is nutrition when it comes to your fitness and overall health?
No matter how hard you try, if you’re not paying attention to nutrition you’re doing yourself a disservice. You can’t exercise hard enough to beat poor nutrition. It’s just not possible. But you can come up with a plan — specific to your tastes, needs, and desires — that will help you integrate mindful eating habits.
So, just how important is nutrition in the realm of fitness and weight loss? Read here to learn the importance of your diet and eating nutrient-dense foods daily.
Fitness And Weight Loss: When It Comes To Health And Well-Being, How Important Is Nutrition?
Food and physical activity have always gone hand-in-hand when it comes to your health and well-being.
There’s a fallacy in the wellness industry: exercise alone equals progress. It’s simply not true. Nutrient-dense foods are absolutely a part of whole health. If you’re looking to improve your diet, eating the right foods is the biggest key to eating a well-balanced diet. If you neglect nutrition, you could potentially end up experiencing overall health challenges — especially as you age.1
Now, when it comes to your body composition and managing your weight, the foods you eat matter more than you may realize. Even foods touted as “good-for-you” might contain sugars and preservatives that may tank your physical activity efforts and health.
In fact, a recent study showed that the amount of sugar is actually higher in some of the low fat (reduced-calorie, light/low-fat and non-fat) foods on your grocer’s shelves than in the ‘regular’ versions of tested items.2
Your Food And Diet: Where Your Calories Come From Matters
Consistent attention to your nutritional health has got to be a top priority — especially when you’re trying to lose some weight and meet your overall health goals.
Calorie consumption matters. And so does where those calories come from. So, where should you be getting your calories?
- All-natural proteins
- Whole food carbohydrates
- Natural healthy fats
Emphasizing healthy unsaturated fats, whole grains, natural proteins, and fruits and vegetables can go a long way when considering caloric intake. Also, significantly limiting trans and saturated fats, processed grains, and sugary foods and drinks must be a part of any healthy diet plan.3
Eating A Balanced Diet With The Right Vitamins, Minerals, Nutrients, And Protein
Now, you can’t ignore the importance of the right vitamins and minerals when it comes to nutrition and overall fitness. Nutrients and vitamins and minerals like folic acid and vitamin D may help you achieve your goals, too.4
Vitamins from natural food sources can help you properly fuel your body and repair your cells and tissue after exercise. Natural foods won’t lead to addiction in the way that sugary processed foods can. Turns out sugar can actually mimic drug use by creating a “binge” pattern, not unlike that seen in compulsive drug abusers.5
But the fibers and nutrients in natural foods (even those with natural sugars) can help trigger your body’s leptin response (that’s the hormone that lets your brain know you no longer need to consume food for the moment). Leptin mediates long-term regulation of your body’s energy balance — it signals your brain that you’re full and therefore helps to suppress your food intake and potentially induce weight loss.6
But the question remains, which foods should you eat for best nutrition practices and overall fitness?
Eat These Nutrient-Dense Foods Daily: Vegetables, Fruits, Whole Grains, And Calcium-Rich Foods
A well-balanced diet can be fun to achieve and cooking with new vegetables and fruits is always exciting. Try including more of these great foods when focusing on better nutrition for overall fitness…
Mean Green Veggies — You just can’t beat vegetables like broccoli and leafy greens. These vegetables are bursting with antioxidants,
fiber, and a bunch of powerful vitamins and minerals. Broccoli, spinach, green cabbage, and kale are some of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. They’re also chock full of folic acid, which supports heart health.7
Foods rich in folic acid, such as cruciferous or leafy green veggies and certain whole grains, may induce a significant decrease in your risk for developing heart health concerns.8
And when it comes to bone-building calcium, broccoli and kale have got your back. Low calcium levels may lead to poor bone health. 9 So, stock up on calcium-rich veggies.
Healthy Fats and Protein — Healthy fats and protein can also fuel your body in great ways. Take salmon, for instance. It contains a good deal of omega 3 fatty acid and is believed to support heart health.10 Proteins like salmon (or eggs) are great right after a workout as they can support muscle growth and repair.
Whole Grains — When it comes to whole grains, think of foods such as whole wheat, brown rice, barley, rye, and oats. Many researchers believe that including whole grains in your diet can help you reduce the risk of metabolic issues, assist with heart health, and even help you avoid obesity.11 The bran of a grain is rich in dietary fiber and the germ of a grain contains plentiful vitamins, nutrients, minerals, and polyphenols (all of which may do wonders for your health and digestion).
In the end, you’ll see that nutrition truly matters when it comes to building a healthy lifestyle. Exercise alone just won’t do the trick if you’re trying to improve your quality of life. So pay attention to the foods with which you stock your fridge and pantry.
There are a variety of healthy and delicious foods that will have you feeling great. So, eat well. Live long. And enjoy the foods nature provides.