On some level, most people know that eating nutritious meals ultimately equates to healthier living. It can start to get a little nebulous, however, when you’re talking about optimal nutrition and what that means in the context of your overall health.
In this blog, the highly trained registered dieticians at Cardio Metabolic Institute provide their insights on what optimal nutrition means and the health benefits it can bring to your life.
Optimal nutrition versus adequate nutrition
Every cell, tissue, and organ in the human body relies on nutrients for energy to perform its function properly. Nutrients come from the food you eat. In the best-case scenario, you eat a well balanced diet with lean meats, poultry, and fish along with lots of vegetables, legumes, fruits, and healthy nuts.
This healthy diet provides nutrients such as minerals and vitamins, which become energy sources on a cellular level. In contrast, if you eat meals and snacks loaded with processed foods, salt, sugars, and fats, your body doesn’t get what it needs to properly grow and thrive, which can compromise not only normal function, but also long-term health.
Adequate nutrition refers to eating foods that provide the bare minimum for survival. For instance, it’s possible to eat mostly junk food like salty potato chips, meals like high fat frozen dinners, and sugary snacks. In contrast, optimal nutrition means you’re consistently eating foods that properly fuel your body for top performance.
7 Benefits of Optimal Nutrition
Optimal nutrition works on a variety of levels, providing mind, body, and spirit wellness benefits. These benefits also feed into each other, having a more profound impact on long-term overall health, enabling you to live a long, productive life.
1. Helps maintain a healthy weight
The most obvious health benefit of optimal nutrition is that it’s much easier to reach and maintain a healthy weight. Avoiding being overweight or obese puts you on a healthy trajectory and lowers your risk of developing serious or life-threatening diseases and conditions.
2. Lowers risk for chronic conditions
Pairing optimal nutrition with making healthy lifestyle choices — exercising regularly and not smoking or excessively drinking alcohol — is a winning combination. It plays an important role in lowering your risk of developing chronic disease such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
3. Boosts natural immunity
Not only does optimal nutrition fend off chronic health conditions, but it also boosts your immune system. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables — which are sources of nutrients such as selenium, iron, zinc, protein, and vitamins C and D — support the function and growth of immune cells.
4. Improves healing and recovery from injury or illness
Many of the same nutrients that act as immunity boosters also come into play for wound healing. But that’s not all. When your body is properly fueled with nutrients, it’s better equipped to heal and recover more quickly from things like surgical procedures, illness, and injury.
5. Helps the digestive system function properly
Optimal nutrition also impacts your digestive system. Eating a balanced nutrient diet not only enhances healthy digestion, but it also staves away issues like irritable bowel syndrome. In fact, optimal nutrition is one of the best ways to enhance your digestion naturally.
6. Supports healthy muscles and strong bones
Getting optimal nutrition contributes to strong bones and healthy muscles, literally from your head to your toes. Strong bones rely on a steady stream of calcium and vitamin D found in dairy foods, green leafy vegetables, and fish. Food rich in protein and low in saturated fat builds healthy muscle.
7. Increases mood and energy levels
Remarkably, optimal nutrition also affects your mental health. When you properly fuel your body, your energy level rises and you simply feel better. So instead of reaching for that bag of chips or those fat laden cookies the next time you have a particularly challenging day, grab an apple, carrot, or a handful of natural almonds. Your body will thank you now and for years to come.
Nutritional support and guidance
While the team at Cardio Metabolic Institute knows the health benefits of optimal nutrition are numerous, we understand that changing your food choices may seem daunting. The good news is that you don’t have to go it alone.
Our registered dieticians provide personalized nutrition counseling and dietary planning at our offices in Monroe Township and Somerset, New Jersey, and we’ll be there every step of the way as you work toward a healthier you.
To get started, contact Cardio Metabolic Institute to book a nutrition consultation. Click or call today to begin your journey to optimal health.