I started a new post last week about what your body needs everyday. I said that your body needs energy, materials for building and repairing, and alternating periods of activity and rest.
In the first part, I talked about your body’s need for a variety of energies. Most come either directly or indirectly from the sun and others come from the Earth that we live on. If you haven’t read it yet, I invite you to read about your body’s energy needs now, then you can come back here.
This time I want to look into the second part of what your body needs everyday, the materials that your body needs to build and repair itself. That would be the food that you eat.
Food Takes Care of Your Internal Maintenance
I have recently written a few posts about food. Because one of the biggest jobs that your liver does is filter out toxins, most of the foods that support the liver are those that help to cleanse and detoxify it.
Heart healthy foods are those that help the heart to do its job more easily, which is to pump blood throughout your body. Those foods help to remove products from the blood that can clog the blood vessels, clean up plaques that may already be there, and reduce inflammation that can also constrict your blood vessels.
Antioxidants and Inflammation
After writing about the foods for your heart I began to notice a pattern, and the next post cemented it for me. That next post was about foods that reduce inflammation. Most of the benefits you read about from food have to do with antioxidants. There are so many different kinds and everyone says that the one they’re talking about is the best.
Antioxidants do one thing, they prevent oxidation. Free radicals are one of the byproducts from processing food for energy. They are molecules that carry a positive charge and they will steal an electron from wherever they can get it so that they can become electrically neutral again. Those electrons will come from the tissues in your body. The process is called oxidation and is responsible for the appearance of aging.
Antioxidants carry extra electrons that they freely give up to neutralize free radicals before they can cause trouble, or afterward to repair the damage that the free radicals already caused.
The Bottom Line
What I learned from writing those posts is that real food helps the body and fake food harms the body. That probably seems like a no-brainer, but I think that’s really important. There are a lot of people talking about how this food is good for you and that food is bad for you. Over the years I’ve seen articles that say potatoes are really good for you and others say that they are very bad. Same thing for bananas, rice, soy, corn, most grains, you name it.
I think there is only one thing that you need to look at to determine if something is good for you or not – how does your body respond to it when you eat it. If your body says that it is not food then you will see some form of immune response. An increase in inflammation is a very good indicator.
If your body accepts it as a source of food then there will not be an immune response, no additional inflammation and possibly even a reduction in it. That’s all you need to look at. And different people could definitely respond differently to different things.
In general, fruits and vegetables should test well for most people and processed foods will likely not.
What Your Body Needs Everyday – Building Materials
When you think of building materials you probably see lumber, nails, bricks, cement and that kind of thing. They work great for building a house or similar structure, but we are talking about building supplies for your body. That means food.
When you think of building materials for your body you probably think of either protein or calcium. I’m going to talk about protein first. People get really excited about protein, but it really isn’t the protein that you need to get excited about. Your body builds all of the proteins that it needs.
What you want to make sure that you get is the full array of essential amino acids. Those are the things that your body builds its proteins from. Of course, the best place to get the building blocks for proteins is from existing proteins.
I just want to make sure that you understand that you don’t use the proteins that you consume directly. They are first broken down into their component amino acids so that your body can build custom proteins just for you.
A lot of people think that you have to eat meat, like beef, to get the protein you need. That isn’t true. Where do you think the cow got the amino acids to build its proteins? Cows break down a lot of grass protein, and from any other plants that they eat.
Likewise, we can get all of the protein we need from plants. It just takes eating a variety to get all of the amino acids that we need. I found a document online that lists plant sources for all of the essential amino acids.
Many people turn to protein shakes to supplement the protein in their diets. Most of the shakes that I am familiar with use either whey protein from milk or soy protein. People can have allergy issues with both of those. When I use one, the protein shake I take is made from pea protein. There are fewer allergy issues with pea protein and it is a better source of protein than soy.
What Your Body Needs Everyday – Calcium and other Vitamins and Minerals
Calcium is a mineral and is the other building block that people think of. It gets stored in your bones to make your bones strong, and your bones serve as a calcium reserve for other processes in your body.
The vitamins and minerals that you eat are used to help the body to perform its many life functions. For example, as I mentioned in my healthy heart post a few weeks ago, calcium ions are used to regulate nerve impulses, like those that pump your heart. Calcium is also used to buffer your blood against any acidic foods that you eat.
Your body cannot process calcium directly. It needs a variety of other vitamins and minerals depending on what it’s going to use the calcium for. Calcium is completely useless to the body without vitamin D. Actually, it appears that vitamin D is used in a lot of body processes, not just calcium absorption.
From what I have read, most people who are taking a calcium supplement are wasting their money. In most cases they get enough calcium in their diet and are actually lacking in vitamin D or some other nutrient that is need to processed the calcium.
Examples of Vitamin and Mineral Uses
Vitamin A is used to build and maintain your eyes and their ability to see. It also has some role in bone development and immunity.
There are 8 B vitamins and they do just about everything. They aid in building new cells, maintain your immune system, manage cholesterol, function as antioxidants, help you sleep, keep your hair, skin and nails healthy, and support the growth of an unborn baby.
Vitamin C is most commonly know as an antioxidant. It also helps your body to build and maintain your connective tissue, including your bones, blood vessels and skin.
Vitamin D. It would probably be easier to list the things that vitamin D isn’t involved in.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant and helps to support your immune system.
Magnesium regulates muscle and nerve function, maintain blood sugar and blood pressure, and helps to build proteins and bones.
I already talked about calcium.
I think you get the idea.
What Your Body Needs Everyday – Good Food
You do yourself the most good by making sure that you get a variety to healthy (real) food every day to make sure that you meet all of your body’s needs.
What do you eat every day to make sure that you are getting everything? Please share your thoughts in a comment below, and if you found this post helpful, please share it with your followers on social media.
Disclaimer – I am a distributor for some of the nutritional supplements that I use, so I may earn a commission if you order through any of the linked pages.