Having established that your body needs a well balanced diet, with a good supply of carbohydrates, especially high - fiber low glyceimic index foods, bio-available vitamins and minerals, along with balanced portions of protein and fat, you need to know how to put it into practice.
Here are some basic guidelines for optimum health:
CONSUME FIVE PORTIONS OF FRESH FRUITS AND VEGETABLES EVERY DAY
This provides your body with a good source of vitamins, minerals and fiber, to maintain your body in peak condition to fight diseases. Fiber helps your food to move effectively through the body, keeps you feeling pleasantly full and satisfied and in control of your eating habits, and your energy levels steady.
EAT THREE MEALS A DAY
This is usually made up of one main meal, a smaller snack or lunch-type meal and breakfast. You may, however, feel that you need two smaller snacks, such as a piece of fruit, a small sandwich or a piece of cake, in between two smaller meals. It all depends on your body rhythms. Meals should be based on carbohydrates, such as pasta, whole-meal bread, wholegrain cereals, rice or potatoes, along with fruits and/or vegetables. The main meal should include a source of lean protein, along with carbohydrate and plenty of vegetables and fruits.
PROTEIN ... THE LEANER THE BETTER
Fish, shellfish, lean red mea (buffalo is fantastic if you can get it), wild game, poultry, eggs or pulses meet your body's protein requirements without overloading on fats.
FAT ... KEEP IT TO A MINIMUM
You can use butter, olive oil, sesame oil or walnut oil to enhance the flavor of your food or for cooking, but do try to keep the quantity low.
REFINED SUGAR ... DO WITHOUT IT IF AT ALL POSSIBLE
Too much sugar disrupts your natural energy balance, and can cause headaches; mood swings and – if eaten in large quantities – sugar sensitivity problems such as hypoglycemia and diabetes mellitus. It is much better to get into the habit of using the natural sugars in fruits to provide sweetness.
TAKE IN THREE - FOUR QUARTS OF WATER EVERY DAY
Water helps the fiber in your food to swell and perform its duties. It also helps to metabolize other nutrients from your food, keep your skin and hair healthy and prevent your body from becoming dehydrated.
LIMIT YOURSELF TO THREE CUPS OF COFFEE, TEA OR COLA PER DAY.
All such drinks contain caffeine, which inhibit the absorption of vitamins and minerals from the gut, causes your body to excrete vital nutrients and interferes with the fluid and energy balance mechanisms in your body. Caffeine also causes your body to be stimulated in an artificial way, which in the long run has the opposite effect of supressing your performance and general feeling of well
TRY TO EAT REGULARLY AND IDEALLY NOT LEAVE YOUR STOMACH EMPTY FOR MORE THAN FOUR TO FIVE HOUR
This helps to keep your gut functioning effectively. Regular eating helps your gut maintain a steady supply of digestive enzymes, protects it from excess acid secretion and enables it to metabolize food in the most efficient way, to keep your energy level and moods on an even keel
KEEP YOUR ALCOHOL INTAKE MODERATE
Some drinks, especially young red wines such as Beaujolais, contain anti-oxidant vitamins and minerals, which can help to reduce the risk of heart disease and some cancers. Beers and Champagnes can also provide beneficial nutrients. Drinking can be a very pleasurable part of a healthy lifestyle, but drinking to excess can cause liver damage, mood and energy-balance problems. Try not to drink on an empty stomach as this can cause your blood sugar levels to crash.