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What is nutrition?

Proper nutrition is the cornerstone of a healthy lifestyle. It not only fuels your body for daily activities but also contributes to disease prevention and your overall wellbeing. A well-balanced diet will help you in all areas of your life, not only for your physical health; during a workout, a walk or performing day-to-day tasks, but it also can help to keep your brain healthy and positively influence your mental health. However, it’s a topic that is not understood by a large number of people and is often a key reason for not hitting goals that you are setting yourself in the gym. 

Nutritious pancakes

Why is nutrition important?

At its core, nutrition is the science of nourishing your body to promote optimal health and wellbeing. It encompasses the intake of essential micro and macronutrients, which are substances essential for your body to function, grow and adapt. These nutrients include carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals. Understanding the role each nutrient plays in your body is fundamental to making informed choices and fuelling your body to be the best you can be. Your nutrition, good or bad can affect on:

  • Energy levels

  • Cellular function and repair

  • Disease prevention

  • Weight management

  • Organ function

  • Mental health and brain function

  • Healthy aging

  • Athletic performance

  • Long-term wellbeing

A selection of nutritious packed meals

What are macronutrients? 

There are three macronutrients that make up your diet, carbohydrates, proteins and fats. You need to consume elements from all of these groups in order for your body to function properly, but have you ever wondered what each of the groups actually do?

What are Carbohydrates?

Have you ever wondered what do carbohydrates do? Well, carbs are your body's primary source of energy. These foods include potatoes, bread, beans, pasta and cereals. Whilst we typically think of items such as bread and pasta, carbs are also found in whole grains, fruits and vegetables, typically in the form of a complex carbohydrate. These are elite carbs which provide sustained energy and essential fibre for digestive health and are incredibly important to your diet. So, think again when deciding to cut carbs out of your diet entirely. 

What are Proteins?

Next up, proteins, which have become the buzzword of the fitness industry in the past few years as proteins are crucial for muscle repair and growth. They are the building blocks of the human body, contained in every cell providing structure, function and regulating your body so are incredibly important. A few examples of protein sources include dairy products, meat and fish, seeds and nuts and legumes such as beans and lentils.

What are Fats?

The most demonised of all the macronutrients are fats which we often feel that we need to avoid entirely for a healthy diet. Contrary to popular belief, fats are essential for overall health and brain function, helping the body to absorb fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamins A, D and E. In addition, they provide your body with energy and support cell function. Typical fats include butter, cheese, cream, chocolates, cakes and biscuits, but there are healthier sources of fat too including avocados, nuts, and olive oil.

A selection of nutritious fruit and vegetables

What are micronutrients?

Vitamins and Minerals:

Micronutrients are the vitamins and minerals that your body needs for healthy growth, development and disease prevention. These micronutrients play a vital role in various bodily functions and include iron, zinc and magnesium. If you consume a diverse range of fruits, vegetables, and whole foods you can ensure you get a spectrum of vitamins and minerals necessary for optimal health without the need for supplements. However, certain deficiencies can really take their toll on your overall performance meaning supplementation may be necessary. 

Understanding and prioritising nutrition is the key to unlocking your full potential in terms of health and fitness. On your journey towards a stronger, healthier, and happier you, nutrition will play a key part so should be given just as much thought and attention as your workouts themselves. If you’re looking for support in managing your nutrition plan, get in touch as we are here to help you to reach your goals, be it through our personal training in Barnstaple, or through our online nutrition coaching


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