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Why Diet Matters - Part two

Monday March 2, 2020
Why Diet Matters - Part two

In part one of this series we looked at the science behind the effect of diet in the body, and the signs that you could be nutrient deficient. We continue by looking at how powerful the effect of a healthy, balanced diet can be on our body.

 

What you choose to eat is extremely important in contributing to health outcomes. In truth, every single body process is reliant on nutrients to function, and so, what you eat influences the level of health and life fulfillment, consequently, food selection and choice is a major Public Health priority.  


Let us take a look at how to optimise several important body processes:


Immune health

Strong Immune System

An immune system that functions optimally is of prime importance considering bacterial and viral exposures. A recent review authored by Phillip Calder, Professor of Nutritional Immunology (Human Development and Health) at the University of Southampton, UK confirmed the importance of nutrition in normal immune function and specifically outlines the nutrients, vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E, and folate, besides the trace elements, zinc, iron, selenium, magnesium, and copper and the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid that play important and complementary roles in supporting the immune system. For example, vitamin D is needed by every immune cell to function, it is no wonder that lowered vitamin D status is associated with long standing health conditions.


Brain Health

Brain Health

Drawing memories and information is the phenomenon of brain health and woe betide the days when the brain feels foggy. It can be irritating to go upstairs to collect an item only to have forgotten what you went for. Brain function is reliant on the abundant production of protein messengers called neurotransmitters, all of which are made from compounds in food. The neurotransmitters that signal mood and motivation are made from proteins in food, while motor skills, learning and memory recall are reliant on b vitamins and fats called phospholipids. In fact, studies show that increasing the quantity of dietary B vitamins and phospholipids has shown improvements in memory recall and also stall cognitive degeneration in those with mild cognitive decline.


Mood matters

Mood

To support mood it is essential that protein is consumed at most meals, especially proteins rich in the amino acid tryptophan. Tryptophan is the amino acid that the body uses to produce serotonin, the neurotransmitter that promotes the feeling of wellbeing. Furthermore, several botanicals have been shown to influence mood, especially theanine, a compound found in green tea, as well as lemon balm, an herb native to the UK and perfect for picking through Spring and Summer. Moreover, an often-overlooked common herb, sage, especially Spanish sage, which is also called Salvia Lavandufolia, is considered a traditional nootropic, complementary to both mood and cognitive performance.


Healthy Heart

Healthy Heart

The heart is considered the engine of the body, but it is also closely linked to emotions, for example, stress results in an increased heart rate and blood pressure, which soon normalises once the stressor has subsided. Possibly overlooked when considering heart health are the blood vessels and their interaction with the lungs, specifically in the oxygen uptake and carbon dioxide deposition. An array of research shows that B vitamins, Magnesium, Co-enzyme Q10, taurine and carnitine can positively influence factors of heart health. As such, vitamin B3 has been shown to reduce LDL-cholesterol and improve flow mediated dilation, a measure of blood vessel health and atherosclerotic plaque, while co-enzyme Q10 has shown to improve heart health and the quality of life in stage 4 cardiovascular disease patients.


Energy

Energy

The feeling of fatigue and low energy is a common complaint, intuitively, lowered energy can be a message from the body to take the time to relax and calm down. However, an increased energy requirement is present in several health conditions where either the facility to produce energy is impaired or the required energy to overcome a disease in is excess to physical production. Nutrients such as magnesium, ribose, carnitine and B vitamins are involved in cellular energy production and can be especially useful when an individual is stressed, depleted and feeling exhausted. Studies show that athletes who supplemented with magnesium had an increased Vo2max, this is a measure of oxygen utilisation in the production of energy during exercise.


So we can see how nutrient dense foods are required to provide the necessary wealth of nutrition and are important to our health. In part 3 of our series, we'll look in more detail at what goes into making up a 'Healthy Plate'


Others in this series:

 Why Diet Matters - Part one

   /  

 Why Diet Matters - Part three



This article is for information purposes and does not refer to any individual products. The information contained in this article is not intended to treat, diagnose or replace the advice of a health practitioner. Please consult a qualified health practitioner if you have a pre-existing health condition or are currently taking medication. Food supplements should not be used as a substitute for a varied and balanced diet.

 

  Viridian Multivitamins   Vitamins Explained  
 

 

TAGS: NewsLove the NHS, Love Yourself, Diet

 

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