How Nutrients Work in Your Body
The magic behind the curtain.
How Nutrients Work in Your Body
The magic behind the curtain.
Cell Regeneration & Nutrients
Nutrients drive the magic of cellular regeneration - the foundation of healing. Your body is designed to automatically repair itself, giving you a new beginning every day. How cool is that? Regeneration occurs in most of your body’s tissues, and the rate varies quite a bit. Digestive cells regenerate every 2-3 days, skin cells are every 10-30 days, and bone cells are every 10 years. This process is critical to how well your body functions, how healthy you are, and how long you live. (The cells in your brain and your eyes do not regenerate, but - good news - they are designed to remain healthy if you consume nutrients.) If you aren’t getting your nutrients, you put yourself at risk for inflammation, rapid aging, chronic disease, and general body deterioration. When you eat nutrients, your organ systems perform well, your skin looks radiant, your immune system ramps up to protect you against disease, and you set yourself up for a long, healthy life.
Neurotransmitters & Nutrients
The brain controls all functions in the body. Your heart rate, breathing, digestion, mood, sleep, concentration, weight, physical and mental actions, organ functions are all controlled by your brain. How does your brain talk to your body? Through neurotransmitters - chemical signals emanating from the brain and nervous system that are carried throughout the body so you can think clearly and perform at your best. When your neurotransmitters are healthy, your body’s communication system functions beautifully. Neurotransmitters crave nutrients! The most critical are the amino acids tyrosine and tryptophan, choline, vitamins B6, B12, riboflavin, niacin, folate, and vitamin C. If you don’t get enough, you should be prepared for poorly functioning/failing organs, impaired cognition, and other physical problems.
Cofactors & Nutrients
Everything we eat needs to get converted to a usable form for the body. That’s where cofactors come in as our helpers. Cofactors are non-protein chemicals that assist with targeted biological chemical reactions. Some examples: Vitamin C is used to make collagen; Thiamin (vitamin B1) makes a cofactor that breaks food down into sugars and amino acids for your body’s usage; Iron-sulfur clusters are involved in the energy production for all of your body’s cells. Without adequate vitamins and minerals, cofactor production will be limited and adversely impact normal body functions, leading to serious disease and even death. A nutrient-rich diet provides the necessary vitamins and minerals to make cofactors so your body has the best helpers possible.
Immune Response & Nutrients
An active immune system is good - it’s how your body protects and heals itself. But an overactive system - caused by too much body fat - can lead to a lot of health issues like diabetes, heart disease and stroke, and arthritis. The root cause of changes in immune response is poor nutrition. When your cells don’t receive the needed nutrients, they become weakened, exposing the body to multiple disease states. The best diet for a healthy immune response is to consume the right nutrients and in the right amounts. A balance of dietary oils is absolutely essential. Omega-6s heighten the immune response and, during the past 100 years, have been massively overconsumed. Omega-3s, on the other hand, dampen the immune response and are generally under-consumed.You need more of them! A healthy diet should have a balance closer to 1:1 of omega-6 and -3. Today’s diet exceeds 10:1 in favor of omega-6s. And steer clear of trans (manufactured) fats and saturated (from red meat) fats - these dangerously heighten your immune response.
Antioxidants & Nutrients
Oxygen is critical for life as every cell in the body needs oxygen, but it can also be a source of major health issues. Under stress (like when a cell works hard like a brain cell), oxygen turns into a toxin called a free radical. Free radicals are unstable - they attack cell membranes by poking holes in them. When free radicals overwhelm your body, oxidative stress occurs. This increases your risk of neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, some cancers, and macular degeneration. But there’s good news! Your body can deactivate the toxic oxygen before it causes damage by including antioxidants like Vitamins C and E, and zinc and selenium in your diet.
Your Microbiome & Nutrients
“Listen to your gut” isn’t just a saying...it really means something. A lot is going on in there! A decade ago, there was little appreciation for the bacteria living in the intestine. In fact, for a generation, we have been killing off most of our bacteria by overusing antibiotics. But today we know that the microbiome is critical to our health and life. The microbiome is mostly in the gastrointestinal tract, helping us perform life-sustaining functions that we couldn’t perform without its help. It’s in constant communication with the rest of the body. A diet rich in sugar and fat and low in fiber reduces microbiome diversity and leads to GI disease, neurological disorders, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, impaired immunities, and conditions related to a heightened immune response (e.g., asthma, irritable bowel syndrome, allergies). A nutrient-rich diet increases diversity in the human microbiome and the effects are felt almost immediately. Within hours, fiber provides food for healthy bacteria and, within 2-3 days, nutrients start to support intestinal cell regeneration.
Energy & Nutrients
A nutrient-poor diet, rich in sugar, salt, and unhealthy fats is the major cause of low energy levels. This diet increases hunger, leading to over-eating and weight gain. Foods with sugar and caffeine that give a quick burst of energy are not a solution. Their quick energy pop is immediately followed by a major energy drop. A nutrient-rich diet, coupled with low intake of sugar, salt, and saturated and trans fats, increases sustained energy levels and promotes weight loss.
Anti-Aging & Nutrients
Throughout history people have searched for a magical way to stay young. But it’s been within us the entire time. Your body is designed to live long...120+ years. But we’re prematurely killing ourselves with inflammatory, nutrient-poor food. In fact, 80% of chronic disease is preventable! For millions of years, we ate to survive. Now we eat for short term taste-bud explosion and to numb our emotions...bored/stressed/sad/mad? Just reach for another cookie. It’s a recipe for disaster. Eating like that destroys the natural greatness of your body. Nutrients boost your power to live long and well - 120 years old is within your reach.
Taste Bud Regeneration & Nutrients
Taste buds dictate food cravings. There are studies demonstrating that we “develop” taste bud cravings for certain foods - we aren’t born to love sugar and salt. Just because a craving exists, it doesn’t mean it can’t be changed to crave something else. Everyone’s taste buds can be trained to consume all the nutrients the body needs, as our tongue’s cells (source of taste buds) regenerate. It’s easier to treat food addiction than other addictions (e.g., smoking, illicit drug use, alcohol). If you’re ready to jump on the rehab wagon, it only takes 8-12 days to change those cravings.
Protein Synthesis & Nutrients
Protein, protein, protein. You see it everywhere on food packaging. In reality, the body does not consume protein but rather amino acids, which make up protein. Amino acid consumption is critical to our health. The body is a protein manufacturing machine. Every minute, the body uses amino acids derived from dietary protein to make new cells. DNA dictates how many, and what proteins are to be made. All body tissues contain protein (like muscles, organs, blood cells, hormones, immune-fighting cells, skin, hair, and nails) and they need a continual supply of amino acids. Inadequate consumption of amino acids leads to slowed protein synthesis, increased disease risk, and even death.