There are two topics that I believe that you should understand prior to going into a self-designed diet & nutrition program. The first is the Benefits of Vitamins and Minerals and the second is the importance of enzymes.
The Importance of Enzymes in the Diet
Enzymes are necessary for digestion and allowing the body to absorb nutrition
from the foods it takes in. So, those food that are rich in enzymes are fruits and
vegetables, in their natural state. Cooking eliminates active enzymes.
Try to incorporate foods with enzymes in their natural state with other foods as
a meal. For example:
-salads : lettuce, sliced cucumbers, radishes, celery bits, beets, onions, olives
-side dish: cottage cheese, pickles, olives, celery sticks with cream cheese
-desert yogurt, oatmeal cookies, grapes, pineapple slices/chunks, watermelon
Snack time is a great opportunity to train the apatite of the body to want health foods
and at the same time, indulge in enzyme rich foods. Some examples are:
dates, figs, watermelon, apples, oranges, crackers with cheese slices, grapes, celery
sticks with cream cheese, carrots, peanut butter and crackers, just to name a few.
Athletes eat constantly. They do not stuff themselves - but rather each small portions of
many different kinds of foods. This allows an athlete to tailor their intake to meet a specific
goal, for a purpose. This methods of eating allows the athlete to keep the digestive process
constantly active, thus - peaks and valleys in hunger are not longer reasons for over eating
and suppressing the want for variety in the diet mix.
BENEFITS OF VITAMINS AND MINERALS (source: nutrimart.com)
Vitamin A: Healthy skin, lungs, prevents infections, supports immune system
Vitamin B1 (thiamin): Energy metabolism, effects enzymes that influence muscles, heart
Vitamin B2:(riboflavin) Energy metabolism, effects enzymes that influence muscles, heart
Vitamin B3:(niacin) Energy production in cells, maintain nervous system, digestive system
Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) Influences normal growth and development
Vitamin B6:(pyridoxine) Break down of protein, healthy red blood cells, immune system
Vitamin B7: (biotin) Break down of protein and Carbohydrates, hormone production
Vitamin B9: (folic acid) Maintain DNA, important production of red blood cells
Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) Growth and development, helps with use of folic acid and carbs.
Vitamin C:(ascorbic acid) Protects immune system deficiencies
Vitamin D: Helps absorb calcium and bone structures
Vitamin E: Helps respiratory and circulation health
Vitamin K: Blood clotting, absorption of calcium
Calcium: Strengthens bone development and alertness.
Chromium: Reduces body fat, improves muscle tone
Copper: Growth, iron utilization, energy production, heart rhythm, thyroid, wound healing
Iodine: Necessary for the production of thyroid hormones which are necessary for metabolism.
*Iron:*Iron is a trace mineral that is essential for our health. Forming a part of the red pigment
called hemoglobin in the blood, it gives blood the dark red color and helps transport oxygen to
our cells. Apart from that, iron is also important for muscle protein and traces of it can be found
in liver, spleen, bone marrow and in our muscles.
Magnesium: Absorption of calcium, formation of bones and teeth
Manganese: Predominantly stored in the bones, liver, kidney, and pancreas. It aids in the
formation of connective tissue, bones, blood-clotting factors, and sex hormones and plays a role
in fat and carbohydrate metabolism, calcium absorption, and blood sugar regulation. Manganese
is also necessary for normal brain and nerve function.
Phosphorous: Required by the body for bone and teeth formation. Calcium alone can’t build
strong bones and tissues. It also allows proper digestion of riboflavin and niacin, aids in
transmission of nerve impulses, helps your kidneys effectively excreting wastes, gives you stable
and plentiful energy, forms the proteins that aid in reproduction. More than half of all bone is
made from phosphate, and small amounts are also used in the body to maintain tissues and fluids.
Selenium: It is essential for many body processes and is present in nearly every cell but
especially in the kidneys, liver, spleen, testes, and pancreas.
Zinc: Is an essential mineral found in every cell. It stimulates the activity of about 100 enzymes,
promotes biochemical reactions, and its many functions helps maintain a healthy