Fad diets? Do this instead.
Everywhere we look, a new trend or fad is telling us to eat this or eat that. We all understand nutrition is the cornerstone of good health, but what foods bestow the best benefits?
Throw out the food pyramid
Outdated advice abounds when it comes to a balanced diet. The food pyramid is a prime example of a model that doesn’t work anymore – carbohydrates form its foundation in structuring a “proper diet.” Since the establishment of the food pyramid, we have learned that a diet high in refined sugars and heavily processed flour is rather unhealthy.
Considering how far we’ve come, by no means are other models with low or no carbohydrates – such as the Atkins diet – superior. Grains are important, but the types of grains, along with portions, are integral to building the right diet. Complex carbohydrates give us the energy our bodies need to function on many levels.
It is important to remember that carbohydrates, proteins and fats all play a vital role in our health. For example, carbohydrates help muscles perform, and they are the preferred energy source for all bodily functions. Cutting carbohydrates from your diet can result in many issues. One of the most detrimental side effects can be lowered performance and severe fatigue. Additionally, carbohydrates play a critical role in maintaining hydration. Those who cut carbs from their diets might see the impact in their skin’s elasticity and moisture.
Proteins form the building blocks of muscle and are crucial to the body’s ability to rejuvenate itself. This doesn’t just mean fixing sore muscles after a workout. It also means repairing the daily wear and tear from normal activities. The amino acids in proteins are necessary for fixing everything from muscles to skin, so don’t discount how important protein is for your appearance as well.
Thanks to years of misinformation, fats, also known as lipids, have garnered a terrible reputation. Healthy fats are incredibly important for health and beauty, but you need to choose them wisely. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, found in nuts, legumes and most fish, are responsible for maintaining healthy digestion, good cholesterol and beautiful hair, skin and nails. They also ensure the proper absorption of most other nutrients, as almost all vitamins and minerals require the help of fatty acids to dissolve in the digestive track and be absorbed into the body. In many ways, the quality and timing of your fatty acid intake is critical to how effectively you consume your vitamins and minerals.
Keep it colorful
We need an array of vitamins and minerals to stay healthy and maintain a youthful appearance. That’s why it’s important to include myriad colorful fruits and vegetables in your diet.
This philosophy is founded in science, as the various colors of fruits and vegetables help indicate their nutrients. Vitamin A, for example, can be found in bright red and orange foods like carrots and red peppers, while vitamin C is found in citrus fruits and dark, leafy greens. Green vegetables are loaded with vitamin K, folic acid and potassium. Blue or purple fruits and vegetables offer a variety of nutrients and contain some of the highest concentrations of antioxidants.
The issue with this approach is seemingly obvious: For most of us, adding a complete range of such fruits and vegetables to our daily diets would be quite difficult, due to both access and affordability. Moreover, there are certain foods not everyone can stomach, despite their health benefits.
Some of the most potent nutritional additives are not widely considered foods. Blue-green algae, for example, has been sought-after for centuries. This nutrient-dense plant is packed with antioxidants, minerals and other elements that are not found in most foods, yet it has a reputation for supporting maintenance of the body – both inside and out. The most commonly derived component is called spirulina. However, high-quality spirulina is not easy to come by, which is why supplements are so important.
Taking a multivitamin is a great way to help cover all your nutritional bases, but not all supplements are created equal. Look for supplements that contain a range of vitamins and minerals, as well as superfoods and other nutrients. The skin care and wellness company Jeunesse, a leader in the mainstream beauty and wellness market (who we’ve talked about before), offers several innovative supplements and superfood products.
Their AM & PM Essentials and Finiti supplements contain vitamins and minerals blended with herbs and extracts, but these classic supplement forms are not the only way you can get your vitamins. Jeunesse also has a signature MonaVie Active dietary supplement, which contains a fusion of 19 fruits, as well as RevitaBlū a refreshing mix formulated by a pioneer in stem cell research, featuring blue-green algae, sea buckthorn berry and aloe vera. These products are built on science, with a goal to invigorate your vitality from the inside out.
A balanced diet includes a healthful combination of carbohydrates, proteins and fats, supplemented with a good mix of vitamins, minerals and nutrients. But even with our best intentions, we can’t always stick to the perfect nutrition plan. Luckily, companies such as Jeunesse offer products designed by experts to help us meet our nutritional needs.