What Is Good Nutrition?
Good nutrition accompanied by regular exercise is the key to excellent physical and mental health. An integral part of good health is eating a balanced diet. The way you feel and how your body works depends on the kind and amount of food you eat. The right amount of nutrients can’t be provided by a single food but by combining foods from different food groups. By doing this you can fulfill your body’s daily needs.
Food choices make a big difference to one’s health and well being. The risk of developing health problems can be lowered by choosing to fuel your body with healthy foods. . Big changes are not needed in order to get positive benefits. Small changes in eating habits and an increase in physical activity are all you need to start seeing a difference. High calorie treats such as Soda and sweets should be kept to a minimum. Variety, balance, and moderation are the key elements of good nutrition.
Physical inactivity and a poor diet are the leading causes of death worldwide. A typical unhealthy diet is too high in saturated fats, calories, added sugars and sodium and does not have enough vegetables, calcium, fiber, fruits and whole grains in it. Such a diet increases the risk of numerous diseases, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, heart disease, obesity, stroke and various cancers. Inactivity and unhealthy eating habits cause disabilities and affect the quality of life.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) make the following recommendations and they apply both to populations and individuals:
▪ We should aim for an energy balance and a healthy bodyweight.
▪ We should limit our energy consumption from total fats. We should also aim for more unsaturated fats and less saturated fats.
▪ We should consume essential quantities of vitamins and certain minerals.
▪ We should up our consumption of fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains and nuts.
▪ We should consume as little simple sugars as possible.
▪ We should consume enough vital amino acids.
▪ As well as making sure our salt is iodized, we should also limit our consumption of salt/sodium.
Knowing what foods are healthy and what can be done to ensure that you eat the healthiest diet possible is the first step. Eating a variety of good foods and limiting the amount of fat, salt and sugar are the main principles of good nutrition. The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) have developed the Australian Dietary Guidelines in order to advise people on the kind and amount of foods they need to have in order to be healthy.
The Australian Guide to Healthy Eating recommends eating from the following five groups (visually represented):
Alcohol consumption has many potential health risks. No more than two standard drinks on any day is recommended. You should also aim for at least two alcohol-free days a week. Fluid needs should be met by drinking plain water for optimal re-hydration. You should always aim to have at least 6 to 8 glasses of water daily.
Always bear in mind that your body is like a well-tuned vehicle that requires good fuel. Feeding it with the right fuel in the form of good nutritious food can help your body be fully functional and bursting with energy.
What Are The Benefits Of Good Nutrition?
Vitality and energy for life
Switching to a healthy diet will immediately increase your energy levels. As opposed to sugar rich diets which cause energy levels to spike and fall dramatically a balanced diet containing slow release energy sources, such as carbohydrates, will help you maintain consistently good energy levels all day.
Helps you maintain a healthy weight
If you focus on good nutrients, coupled with high quality, unprocessed foods, you will maintain a healthy weight. To prevent weight gain, you must eat no more calories than you burn each day. For weight loss, you must eat fewer calories than your body burns daily.
Imagine an old set of weighted weighing scales. Your daily calorie intake should match the amount your body burnt that day in order for the scales to stay level. When you do more exercise this side will become heavier and so the calorie intake can increase to maintain the balance. However if we do less exercise the scales will unbalance the opposite way so the calories will need to be lightened.
Boosts immune system
Boosting your immune system with the right food is important because this will lower your chances of getting sick or catching a cold. Foods such as citrus fruits, red capsicum, broccoli and almonds are high in vitamins and nutrients which play an immune-boosting role.
Eating healthily will not only delay the ageing process but also keep you fit and healthy. Many people look much younger than they actually are just because they have been eating the right nutrients. When you practice healthy habits, you boost your chances of a longer life.
Protects teeth and bones
Healthy, perfect teeth and bones even when you are in your late 60’s or 70’s are possible if you take a lot of care in terms of your diet. A diet rich in calcium keeps your bones and teeth strong which helps prevent bone loss associated with osteoporosis.
A diet low in fats, cholesterol and sodium can lower your risk of heart disease. Saturated and Trans fats increase your risk and should be avoided. Diets rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy can reduce the risk of you getting heart diseases.
Good nutrition increases blood flow to the brain, protecting brain cells and helping in the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease. You should avoid fried foods and favor baked, steamed and grilled foods for a brain healthy diet.
The benefits of good nutrition can be felt whether or not you are at your optimum weight. When you make the conscious choice to eat better and healthier, you will begin to feel better about yourself.
Better digestive health
Good nutrition helps keep the gastrointestinal tract healthy and functioning at its best. When gut health is compromised, we can face major health consequences. Your choice of foods can affect the way your body digests the foods you eat.
Consuming healthy beverages like water and low fat dairy along with fruits and vegetables can keep your body well hydrated. Staying hydrated helps you combat fatigue and also lowers the risk of bladder or kidney infections since water assists in flushing out any unwanted microbes that try to accumulate in these organs.
The greater variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, proteins and grains you eat, the better your chance of getting diverse minerals, vitamins and antioxidants that help promote overall health and good sleep.
Doing right by your body pays off for your mind as well. Eating a healthy diet as well as exercising can lead to decreased stress levels and an improvement in your cognitive functioning. What you eat has an impact on your brain, including the parts that regulate mood.
Like a car, your brain needs quality fuel to run efficiently. Working more efficiently can help you earn more, since high achievers are usually first in line for promotions and raises. In a study it was found that an unhealthy diet represented the highest risk for low productivity.
Fuel to perform daily activities
A diet deficient in foods that supply energy can lead to serious health problems. By ensuring proper energy, vitamin and mineral intake by means of the foods you eat, you’ll provide your body with the necessary fuel needed to do all the tasks required to maintain life.
Nutrients for the body’s cells
By eating foods from a variety of different sources, both animal-based and plant-based, you will be able to provide your body with the essential nutrients without which cells cannot function.
Growth and tissue repair
Your body demands certain nutrients for the growth and repair of tissue. Good nutrition provides the body with these necessities allowing it to maintain and increase body mass at optimum levels.
Preventing lifestyle affecting chronic diseases
Good nutrition can be used as a tool to combat chronic diseases of lifestyle. Achieve and maintain a healthy weight by following an energy-controlled diet to avoid chronic diseases like diabetes type 2, heart disease, cancers etc.
What is Lite n’ Easy?
Lite n’ Easy is a food delivery service that delivers great tasting, healthy meals for time poor people. When work, family, training or just general life makes finding the time to shop and cook for the healthy diet you desire impossible, Lite n’ Easy provides the perfect solution.
Lite n’ Easy makes it possible for busy people to eat well and lose weight at the same time. All the thinking, calorie counting, weighing and cooking is done by their team of experts. All you have to do is create an account, place an order, receive it and enjoy.
On the full meal plan, you are provided with your (own?) choice of meals. Each meal is prepared, packed separately and marked with the day it should be eaten on.
Below is an example of a meal plan for 1 day.
Lite n’ Easy is made up of a group of qualified and dedicated professionals who are passionate about eating healthy. They develop tasty nutritious meals for people who want to lose weight or simply a convenient way of eating well without having to either shop or cook. Their chefs place top priority on health without compromising on taste. They’ve created a range of meals to cater for all tastes.
Lite n’ Easy can fulfill all your nutritional needs. They want to make healthy eating as easy as possible by providing you with a range of flexible options to suit your exact needs. Taken from their website, Lite n’ Easy provides the following types of plans:
The meals are easy to order and can be delivered to your home or workplace, whatever is more convenient for you. They make sure your food is delivered to you on the same day every week. Finding out when they deliver is easy too. An option on their website lets you check delivery times for your suburb. You can even call them up for advice or assistance.
A vitally important part of keeping a healthy lifestyle is maintaining physical fitness. There are more benefits to exercise than just losing weight and staying toned. Our bodies are designed to be regularly active. Without regular work our muscles become flabby and weak which can cause problems later in life.
Everyone can benefit from physical activity. Not only will it help you maintain a healthy body weight, reduce the risk of diseases and maybe even curb your appetite! It is also the key to developing your strength, fitness, preventing injury and to all round improving the quality of your life.
Walking is considered one of the most easily accessible popular forms of exercise and makes a great starting point. Whatever exercise you choose, make sure that you start small and gradually work your way up. For having a sound mind in a sound body, exercise is essential.
No matter how busy you are, it is always possible to fit exercise into your routine with a little creative planning. Maintaining an active lifestyle should be your top priority. By taking care of yourself, you will be able to become the person you want to be in your job, with friends ,family and with the community. Going to work, getting the kids ready, doing chores etc. is what constitutes a normal day for busy people. Making room for exercise while doing all that can be a problem but it is not impossible.
Some ways in which you can stay fit despite being busy are:
▪ Working out efficiently by picking an exercise that can be done anywhere and anytime without requiring too much preparation or equipment.
▪ Catering to your own likes and dislikes and choosing a form of exercise that fits your personality, taste and lifestyle.
▪ Make a schedule and commit to it. Keep reminding yourself that working out is a priority worth keeping.
▪ Choose something over nothing by working out the least minutes possible out of your schedule even if it just for 10 minutes.
▪ Work out over the weekend to make up for lost time. An intense workout on the weekend can help reduce stress and improve your well-being.
Sports and exercise go hand in hand. Sports such as cycling, swimming, cricket etc. are simple, amusing and useful. Here we will be focusing on Mountain Biking as a sport and the benefits that come along with it.
What Are The Benefits Of Mountain Biking?
The sport of mountain biking is defined as riding a specially designed bike off road. The bikes are similar to other bikes in some ways but are incorporated with other features such as suspension, bigger tyres and specialised geometry that allow performance in rough terrain and enhance durability.
The recommended number of weekly minutes of exercise is 150. In a sport that encourages you to get out and explore whilst having lots of fun, often with a group of friends, this can easily be fulfilled in 1 weekend morning session without at any point feeling like a chore. For those that are less keen or tied down by time restraints 1 hour each morning of the weekend combined with a 30 minute cycle commute, walk, swim or gym session is enough to fulfill your weekly requirements.
Benefits of Mountain Biking Include:
Helps prevent diseases
Exercise is necessary for physical fitness and good health. Mountain biking reduces the risk of diseases and can improve your appearance by delay the aging process.
Mountain biking improves your stamina by training your body to become more efficient and use less energy for the same amount of work.
Strengthens and tones
Mountain biking develops your muscles, bones and ligaments for increased strength and endurance. It can improve your posture too.
Mountain biking can keep your body limber so that you can bend, reach and twist. Improving your flexibility reduces the chance of injury and improves balance and coordination.
A big day (or an intense Strava KOM chasing shorter sessions) out on the bike is a great way to burn lots of calories, key in managing weight control. If you burn off more calories than you take in, you lose weight.
A good workout can help you think more clearly. Mountain biking provides your brain with more energy and oxygen, which can boost your memory and help you learn better.
Studies have shown that exercise is a great way to combat stress as it causes the body to release endorphin’s also known as natural stress fighters. Mountain biking as a form of exercise heightens the benefit as it also gives the rider a rush of adrenaline. This further increases the number of endorphin’s released often leading to an almost euphorically happy feeling often likened to a natural high.
Enhances immune system
Mountain biking improves the body’s ability to pump the oxygen and nutrients around your body that are required to fuel the cells that fight bacteria and viruses.
Helps improve sleep
Mountain biking exposes you to daylight which helps get your circadian rhythm back in sync and can reduce the levels of cortisol in your body, thus improving sleep.
Boosts your bowels
Beneﬁts of Mountain biking extend deep into your core. It stimulate the contraction of intestinal muscles which helps protect you against bowel cancer and prevents feeling bloated.
Mountain Bikes is an activity that produce zero pollution. It helps you get in touch with nature without harming it in anyway. It allows you to quickly get off the beaten path and enjoy the solitude and majesty of nature.
Reduces stress on joints
Mountain biking is a low impact sport, meaning it puts less stress on your joints than other aerobic activities such as running. In addition to being low impact, mountain biking is also a non-load bearing sport.
Works out the whole body
Mountain biking uses the muscles of your whole body not just legs, thighs and calves. The balance required to stay upright strengthens your abdominal and core muscles. Climbing, maneuvering turns and holding on over rough terrain also strengthens your upper body.
Helps improve your social life
The mountain biking community expands across the globe. There are many opportunities to make new friends amongst the riding circuit. Mountain biking brings people together, to teach each other new skills, share thrills and spills but above all create memorable experiences in beautiful places.
Makes you happy and improves mood
Exercise helps stave off depression by releasing endorphins. Flying through the miles on a track will be sure to boost your spirit. It is proven to increase the chemical serotonin, an important neurotransmitter in the brain which helps prevent depression and anxiety. The enjoyment of mountain biking often helps to build confidence and self-esteem.
So there you have it. The combination of good nutrition, with Lite n’ Easy & exercise, with mountain biking, provides so many great benefits and can form the basis of a great long lasting, healthy lifestyle.
Try it today.
Click for more information on Lite n’ Easy
Click for more information on How to Start Mountain Biking
Keep in touch and get out on the trails.
About The Author
Rod Bucton, mountain bike fanatic from Mid North Coast, New South Wales Australia…discover the shortcuts to mountain biking for beginners and while you’re at it follow Rod on Facebook or Instagram.
Like any sport, bicycling involves risk of injury and damage. By choosing to ride a bicycle, you assume the responsibility for that risk, so you need to know — and to practice — the rules of safe and responsible riding and of proper use and maintenance. Proper use and maintenance of your bicycle reduces risk of injury.