So check this out, your body has the amazing ability to take the foods you eat and literally turn them into you. Pretty cool don’t you think! Whether you eat an apple, a steak or a kale salad, your body is able to break that food down into its chemical parts and reassemble those parts into your cells and the energy you use all day. This is flat out awesome considering outside the plant and animal kingdom, nothing else can do that!
Here is the deal though, your body is only as amazing as the material it has to work with, like a fine tuned machine, the quality of the food you put into your amazing body has a huge impact on your overall health. An apple is not just an apple, nor is a steak just a steak. As stated above, your body is able to break those foods down into their chemical parts, like macronutrients and micronutrients. So what makes these nutrients so important, lets take a closer look!
What Are Macronutrients:
Macronutrients are nutrients that provide calories or energy. Derived from the prefix makro (Greek), which means big or large, used because macronutrients are required in large amounts. There are three broad classes of macro-nutrients which make up your primary food sources know as proteins,carbohydrates and fats.
The main function of macronutrients is to provide energy, counted as calories. While each of the macronutrients provides calories, the amount provided by each varies. Carbohydrates provides four calories per gram (I think we are all pretty well versed here),proteins;also four, while fats provides nine calories per gram.
Macronutrients also have specific roles in maintaining the body and contribute to the taste, texture and appearance of foods, which helps to make the diet more varied and enjoyable.
Macronutrients broken down:
- Carbohydrates – are required for energy. As diabetics we all have varying opinions on carbohydrates and the amounts that we like to ingest , but glucose, which is a monosaccharide, is the most essential source of energy in the body. The brain works entirely on glucose alone. When an immediate source of energy is required, glucose is converted into glycogen which is stored in the liver. When energy is needed it is converted into glucose again and used to release energy. Carbohydrates provide 4 calories of energy per gram.
- Fats – have the highest caloric content. This means they provide the largest amount of energy when burnt. When measured by a calorimeter, fats provide about 9 calories per gram, making them twice as energy-rich than protein and carbohydrates. Extra fat is stored in adipose tissue and is burnt when the body has run out of carbohydrates. Fat is also needed to take up fat-soluble vitamins.
- Proteins– are the third and last source of energy. They are the last to be used of all macronutrients. In cases of extreme starvation, the muscles in the body, that are made up of proteins, are used to provide energy. This is called muscle wasting. Proteins also provide 4 calories per gram.
According to several research studies, cranberries are one of the foods with the highest antioxidant content, since they are an excellent source of phytonutrients anthocyanins, proanthocyanidins, resveratrol and tannins that give them their blue, purple and red pigments.
They are rich in vitamins A, C and E; and a good source of organic acids (such as malic, succininc and citric acids), selenium, manganese and copper, just to name a few important trace minerals. They also provide moderate amounts of the B vitamins, folate and iron. So how do these powerful berries compare to other types of super fruits? Lets take a closer look!
Several aging-related conditions, such as degenerative disorders of many organs and tissues and certain types of cancer, are associated with cellular damage from free radicals. Due to their high content in antioxidants, cranberries can help prevent and fight such free radical induced damages and hence protect the body against the risk of developing aging related diseases and conditions.
Cranberries and Cardiovascular Health:
Cranberries lower the risk of developing heart related ailments and improves cardiovascular health. The flavonoids and antioxidants present decrease the threat of atherosclerosis, a condition in which the arteries get constricted owing to the accumulation of fat in it. This obstructs the flow of oxygen rich blood to various parts of the body which can lead to heart attack or stroke. These compounds suppress the oxidation of low density lipoprotein and encourage the formation of blood platelets.
Let me just start out by saying that I love lentils and as a fellow type 1 diabetic, so should you! Add these little gems to your meals and increase your fiber and protein intake. Lentils are inexpensive, easy to prepare and contain many vitamins and minerals. Eat the low-fat food and help prevent chronic conditions, such as heart disease. Serve them as a main meal or as a side dish and satisfy your hunger while providing your body with lasting energy.
Lentils And Dietary Fiber:
Lentils are a high-fiber food. One cup of plain and cooked provides 230 calories and just under 40 grams of complex carbohydrates, of which 15.6 grams are fiber, an amount equivalent to 62 percent of the daily value for fiber. While lentils contain significant amounts of soluble and insoluble fiber, they’re especially rich in the soluble type. Soluble fiber dissolves into a substance that binds to cholesterol and other fatty acids and promotes their excretion through waste. Soluble fiber also slows the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream to promote normal blood glucose levels. A 2009 analysis of several related studies published in the journal “Diabetologia,” found that lentils and other legumes improve blood glucose management in diabetics.
There are many papaya benefits for your health and this beautiful yellow orange tropical fruit is proof that nutritious food can also have an amazing taste. Papaya is a rich source of antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals and special digestive enzymes that have a remarkable effect both internally and externally.
If you’d like to improve your skin, relieve digestion problems, protect your eyes and heart and possibly lower your risk of many diseases like cancer, then consider the many benefits of eating super fruit!
Papaya is a great source of proteolytic enzymes that are very important in digesting food. The most important of these proteolytic enzymes is papain. Papain breaks down proteins in food, allowing for better digestion. Papain is used in prescription of digestive enzymes to treat individuals with cystic fibrosis or pancreatic conditions; producing for them what the body cannot produce naturally. Eating this amazing fruit is also a benefit because papain taken orally treats less serious digestion disorders such as bloating and chronic indigestion. In these cases papain is extracted, dried and sold as tablets.
I have to admit, I’m a sucker for pickled beets, but are beets really healthy for you? Not only is beetroot great for boosting stamina and making muscles work harder, it also contains potassium, magnesium and iron as well as vitamins A, B6 and C, and folic acid
Beets also contain carbohydrates, protein, powerful antioxidants and soluble fiber. What’s more, just three baby beetroot equal one of your recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables a day.
Read on to find out more about how ruby red beets can help you maintain a healthy lifestyle
Helpful To Reduce Blood Pressure & Strokes:
Research has shown that beetroot can help reduce blood pressure as well as its associated risks such as heart attacks and strokes. This is because the high content of nitrates in beetroot produce a gas called nitric oxide in the blood which widens blood vessels and lowers blood pressure. A daily dose of 250ml of beetroot juice or 1 to 2 cooked beetroot (approx. 100g) can help dramatically reduce blood pressure and its associated risks.
Beetroot And Diabetes:
As diabetics, we are already sweet enough, but hey, we are still human and have sugar cravings just like everyone else. Step away from the chocolate! A great alternative for us diabetics or anyone recently diagnosed with diabetes to help fulfill those sweet craving is a little beetroot. Since it contains sugars, is fat free, low in calories and has a medium glycemic index it can be a perfect alternative and just what the doctor ordered. A medium glycemic index means that it releases sugars slowly into the blood. This in turn will help prevent spikes in our blood sugars as well as help with our sugar craving.