From time to time, we welcome new trends in nutrition as we all try to improve our health. At the start of the year, many have begun their climb to popularity, including this revived passion for ancient grains, natural food and protein.
The Comeback of 43 Essential Nutrients
Looking good and feeling good go hand in hand. If you have a healthy lifestyle, your diet and nutrition are set, and you're working out, you're going to feel good. We struggle with eating healthily, obesity, and access to good nutrition for everyone. But we have a great opportunity to get on the right side of this battle by beginning to think differently about the way that we eat and the way that we approach food.
Quinoa feels like a thing of the past today as more people are taking interest in bulgar, amaranth, sorghum, teff, millet, kamut, bulgar and buckwheat. These ancient grains are indeed making their comeback. Are they even familiar to you? We've had these grains for hundreds and hundreds of years, some of them dating from 6,000 B.C. Most of them have high fiber content and are helpful in the prevention of certain cancers, hypertension and heart disease.
It appears like all this hoopla about ancient grains these days has something to do with most of them being being gluten-free. With gluten-free diets being so hot, this comeback should be far from surprising. Moreover, people don't like the thought of eating genetically modified food, and these grains are the exact opposite and true to their origin.
Nutrients are not drugs and they can't be studied as drugs. They are part of a biological system where all nutrients work as a team to support your biochemical processes. I've never followed a vegan or vegetarian diet in the past, but I think I could do it. It would not be easy. I have worked with nutritionists who have said a vegan diet is not necessarily all positive for your health, because you need nutrients you only find in meats. I believe in a balanced diet.
Many brands out there are proud to tell the world that they have eliminated all "artificial" ingredients from their products.\A lot of brands in the market are eager to announce that they have stripped their products of all "artificial" ingredients. For example, they may claim that their products contain no preservatives or artificial sweeteners, and then start calling them "all natural." A spokesman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says these companies are cutting their ingredients based on what consumers demand. However, the Food and Drug Administration warns this still does not justify the claim, "all natural."
However, if you're convinced these ancient grains are worth trying, be wary of manufacturers that simply add ancient grains to their present products and sell them as "healthy." This is why you have to read the nutrition facts label carefully to know just what exactly you're consuming.
Pure and Natural
There are "linkages" or relationships between different basic nutrients. Selenium (a mineral) is linked to Vitamin E; they share many "duties" in the body and one can often be substituted for the other. Fats, carbohydrates and proteins can all be used to provide energy to the body and can be additive in meeting the energy requirements of an animal. (Protein will be converted to energy producing subunits if fed in excess of it's basic metabolic needs.) Calcium and Phosphorus must be fed at the appropriate "ratio" for maximal utilization and to prevent interference with other mineral metabolism.
You may see those words right now on a product label or they may be part of a company's marketing agenda, but they don't necessarily give you real benefits. For instance, a soda's artificial sweeteners being replaced with stevia doesn't automatically make it healthy. On the other hand, there are those products which have stayed true to their minimal ingredients and are full of nutritive value, and they very well deserve an "all natural" claim.
The Power of Casein Protein
Companies behind such food items as crackers, yogurt and cereal are proud to announce the protein contents of their products. Of course, our need for protein is multifaceted. For example, it builds and repairs muscle, helps satiate our appetite and is, in fact, important in weight maintenance. Snacking is the thing, and manufacturers are adding this macro nutrient to almost each food product they have. If, after thirty minutes of having a snack, you're hungry again, you probably need more protein.