National Nutrition Month: The Best Foods To Stay In Peak Physical Health
The Best Foods To Stay In Peak Physical Health
Nutrition directly affects your physical performance, whether you’re a weekend warrior, elite athlete, or simply trying to exercise more. Your body does a lot throughout the day, so having a comprehensive diet plan that matches these demands is essential for optimal performance. In honor of National Nutrition Month, our team at Island Sports Physical Therapy would like to discuss some of the best foods you should eat to stay in peak physical health. These tips follow USDA guidelines for proper nutrition. Every individual’s nutrient and caloric needs will vary. Please consult with a nutritionist or medical professional to determine what is best for your health.
Nutrition And Physical Health
The more demand you place on your body, the more attention you’ll need to take on what you’re fueling it with. If you do not eat a balanced and nutritious diet, you may not perform at your best. For example, failing to load up on carbohydrates before a strenuous workout or endurance event can cause your body to burn fat as a substitute for fueling your energy. You may even start burning protein, which deprives your muscles of strength. No matter what your physical goals are, lifestyle changes can help tremendously.
Nutrients In Your Diet
Your body requires a consistent mix of nutrients to function at its best. The two primary categories for nutrients include micronutrients and macronutrients. Micronutrients consist of vitamins and minerals. Some micronutrients help regulate the actions of each other, while others are beneficial in trace amounts. Many athletes gravitate toward B-complex vitamins since they help increase energy, but fueling your body with a healthy mix of vitamins C, A, E, and K will keep you functioning at your best.
Macronutrients include proteins, fats, carbohydrates, fiber, and water. Carbohydrates, protein, and fats help your body create energy. Carbohydrates burn first and are beneficial for endurance training. Protein helps strengthen your muscles, including the heart. Fats are stored in your body as a reserve fuel supply but serve several vital duties in the body. Fats can help manage inflammation, lubricate your joints, promote brain health, and produce hormones. If you are dealing with pain and inflammation, dietary changes combined with therapeutic exercises can help reduce your symptoms
Planning Healthy Meals
Eating a balanced diet can help you get the nutrients you need to fuel your everyday activities. When it comes to choosing proper foods to boost your performance, choosing vegetables over sweets is not enough. You’ll need to eat the right foods at the right times of day to stay in peak physical health. Without calories from the healthiest food sources, you may struggle to achieve your performance goals. Plan a nutritious meal by choosing one or more of these foods from each of these categories:
- Whole Grains.
- Starchy Vegetables
- Non-Starchy Vegetables
- Brown Rice
- Nuts and Seeds
- Olive Oil
- Peanut Butter
- Coconut Oil
- Lean Red Meat
- Greek Yogurt
- Whole Eggs
- String Cheese
Your nutritional needs will largely depend on your schedule and exercise level. Being mindful of what you’re asking your body to do will help you determine the type of fuel you need. To perform at your peak all season long, you’ll need the right fuel.
Our experts at Island Sports Physical Therapy understand the importance nutrition has on your physical health. If you have questions or concerns about your workout performance, be sure to contact our office today to schedule an appointment and get started on your journey toward peak physical health!