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Nutrition - Lets start basic

Why do we need food?

Food provides our body with nutrients that is converted to energy for activity, growth, and all functions of the body such as breathing, digesting food, and keeping warm. It is also used for repair of the body, and for keeping the immune system healthy.

What are the most important nutrients?

There are 3 Basic Nutrients Required for Good Health

Number 1: Water

Water helps to maintain homeostasis in the body and transports nutrients to cells. Water also assists in removing waste products from the body. Adults should consume 25 to 35 milliliters of fluids per kilogram body weight.

100kg in bodyweight - 2.5/3.5 liters of water per day

Number 2: Macronutrients

These are your carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Macronutrients are nutrients that provide energy. Nutrients are substances needed for a number of bodily functions such as growth and metabolism. We need macronutrients in large quantities.

Number 3: Micronutrients

These are vitamins and minerals.

Over the course of my next few blog posts I'm going to give you an insight to how I eat for optimal performance, recovery and digestion. We're starting off with 5 foods that I use on a day to day basis and how we can start building a menu around a small but brilliant amount of ingredients.

Building your menu.

Water, Carbohydrates, proteins, fats are the building blocks to your menu, before we get caught up on how many calories or grams of food we need each day lets find out what foods our body digests well.

We want food that your body can utilise for all those important functions. What I like to call my COMPOUND foods.

  1. Rice

Rice contains mainly carbs and is very easy to digest. Although brown rice is a healthier choice than white, your body will digest the white variety faster. So personally I’ll eat white rice, and I find it soaks up flavours a little better if you’re eating/cooking with other foods.

White rice is a good source of magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, selenium, iron, folic acid, thiamine and niacin.

2. Chicken, Turkey, Beef, White Fish

Lean meats like chicken and turkey are easy on your stomach. They also contain high-quality protein, with a low fat content. Red meat contains higher levels of vitamins like iron, zinc and B vitamins. Leaner cuts of beef or venison, although more expensive, are much more nutrient dense than cheaper cuts like burgers/sausages which tend to have more fat, affecting digestion.

Lean cuts of fish such as cod, haddock and tilapia, contain high-quality protein with no carbs and almost no fat. There are also fish that contain more fats (which I think taste a little better) such as salmon, tuna and mackerel, which still contain high quality protein.

I also try to avoid meat that has been pan-fried or deep-fried as the oils used for cooking can upset your stomach and digestion.

3. Oats

Oatmeal is commonly made from steel-cut, rolled or crushed oats, though it can also be made from whole oats. Instant or quick oats are a little more refined, since they’re rolled and pressed a bit thinner than rolled oats. They are the most processed variety and they cook the fastest so that makes them the easiest and fastest to digest.

If you have celiac disease or are sensitive to gluten, you can buy oats that are labeled gluten-free. Studies have shown that most people with celiac disease can tolerate gluten-free or “pure” oats.

Oats are a great option for breakfast or a quick meal. They also contain a good level of calcium, iron and magnesium.

4. Eggs

Most of the nutrients are in the yolk, which consists mostly of fat, and the white contains mostly protein. Eggs are a good source of vitamin B12 and B2, vitamin D, antioxidants and trace minerals as well as choline.

It’s best to boil or poach the eggs instead of frying them in fat or oil, or fry them without any oils; any excess cooking fats may also disturb the stomach.

5. Sweet potato

Sweet potatoes are easy to digest as well since they mainly contain starch. They are soothing for the stomach and intestines, so you can avoid any difficulties of digesting them.

Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin A, (in the form of beta-carotene) vitamin B1, B2, B6, vitamin C, manganese, copper, pantothenic acid, potassium, dietary fibre, niacin and phosphorus.

In the next blog we will continue to build our menu looking at which fruits and vegetables to eat! Any questions don't hesitate to get in touch via any of our social streams.

 

Optimal Sports Performance, Walkmill Ln, Cannock WS11 0XE, UK