When asked about how to keep your body healthy, most people will probably say the same thing. Good diet and plenty of exercise. It’s usually more obvious how to use exercise to stay healthy, a mix of strengthening exercises and vigorous/moderate activity. But with the vast world of food, it can sometimes be hard to figure out what exactly is good for you. One diet will tell you to eat carbohydrates, another will tell you to avoid them at all costs.
If you’d like to find out more about types of food and their benefits to your body, keep reading.
A phrase drilled into all children from a young age as the key to being healthy, 5 A Day involves eating at least 5 portions (80g) of a variety of fruit and vegetables each day. Fruit and vegetables are key to a healthy balanced diet so eating around 400g a day will help lower the risk of serious heart problems such as heart disease and even some types of cancer.
Fruit and vegetables are a great source of vitamins and minerals, such as potassium, vitamin C and folate. They also are a great source of fibre, keeping your gut healthy and preventing the risk of digestion properties.
Dairy is frequently touted as one of the key food groups that will help keep your body healthy, and it has the science to back it up. Milk and other dairy products are an amazing source of nutrients that are especially beneficial for children and teens who are still growing. They are a great source of calcium, protein and vitamins that work to keep your bones healthy and your body thriving.
Just one serving of milk has around 8 grams of protein, which helps to build and repair muscle tissue and also contains plenty of essential minerals and vitamins such as phosphorus, potassium, carbohydrates, niacin, riboflavin and vitamins A, D and B12.
One serving of milk meets the recommended daily values of calcium, riboflavin, phosphorus, vitamin D, pantothenic acid, potassium, vitamin A and niacin. The mix of these nutrients helps to promote proper circulation, healthy skin, red blood cell production, good vision and the absorption of calcium as well as regulating fluid balance, maintaining normal blood pressure, converting food to energy, supporting body growth and helping to build and maintain strong bones and teeth.
Yoghurt is made by fermenting milk with a yoghurt culture, so it has many of the same benefits as drinking milk. However, it also has some additional benefits, such as helping to enhance healthy gut bacteria. This is due to the fermentation process that includes using live bacteria cultures. These living bacteria are known as probiotics, helping keep your intestines happy and healthy.
Not all yoghurt is healthy, as many have added sugars, sweeteners or other unnecessary additives that reduce the health benefits. If you are buying yoghurt, make sure you check the ingredients. For a healthy yoghurt, you ideally want one with less than 15 grams of sugar per serving and no artificial sweeteners.
There are different types of yoghurt if you’d like additional health benefits. Greek yoghurt has a higher protein content due to its thicker concentration, while skyr is an Icelandic-style yoghurt that requires 4 times the amount of milk to make but contains 2-3 times more protein.
Carbohydrates are one of those food types that diets just can’t seem to agree on. Some say no carbs are best for you, while others promote moderation and some say eat as many as you want. Carbohydrates are one of the three macronutrients that your body requires daily, along with proteins and fats. Carbohydrates are divided into three main types: starches, sugars and fibres.
You need carbohydrates as they are your body’s main source of energy and also work to keep the body healthy. They help fuel your central nervous system, brain, kidneys and heart muscles. If you’re not getting enough carbohydrates in your diet, this can lead to vitamin and mineral deficiencies, fatigue, headaches, nausea and difficulty concentrating.
Too many carbohydrates can cause high blood sugar and unwanted weight gain, so it is essential to eat an appropriate amount to keep your body healthy but not overdo it. To make the most of carbohydrates you should choose ingredients that are loaded with nutrients. Fibre-full carbohydrates help with digestion while protein-rich carbohydrates help with your muscle strength.
Carbohydrate-rich foods include whole grains, fruit, starchy vegetables, legumes and milk products. If you’re looking to eat fewer carbohydrates while still eating healthily, you should try to eat more non-starchy vegetables, nuts, seeds and soy milk.
A superfood is a marketing term used to describe food items that have amazing health benefits, often promoted as being some of the best food that you can eat. Sometimes claims are unsubstantiated and in 2007, the European Union actually banned products using ‘superfood’ on labels unless they had a clear health claim based on scientific evidence. But this hasn’t stopped the popularity of superfoods from growing every year.
One of the fastest-growing in popularity products advertised as a superfood is avocados. They contain a wealth of nutrients such as magnesium, which assists in regulating blood pressure and sugar. In addition, replacing saturated fat with the fats found in foods such as avocado can help reduce the risk of heart disease.
One of the most touted superfoods is blueberries, which has a high number of anthocyanin pigments that act as powerful antioxidants that may lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes and even degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Many other types of berries are known for their nutritional values such as blackberries, strawberries, raspberries and cranberries. They’re all low-calorie, high fibre and full of antioxidants.
Nuts are a great source of fat, fibre and protein, packed with all the vitamins and minerals a healthy body needs. While they can be high in fat, they are often linked to a lower risk of obesity and weight gain. Different types of nuts have different benefits such as walnuts for antioxidant power, cashews for cognition, almonds for health and brazil nuts for disease prevention.
Commonly sugars are thought to be the opposite of what is needed to help keep a body healthy, leading to high blood pressure, high cholesterol and heart disease. The key difference is the way sugar is used, and whether it is natural or added.
Natural sugars are found naturally in whole, unprocessed food such as in fruits or milk. Food containing natural sugars are commonly low in calories and contain important vitamins and minerals. The health benefits also help you digest the sugar slowly over time. Added sugar does not benefit from coming with the vitamins and nutrients that are good for you. Because of this, our bodies will digest them quicker, leading to an increase in blood glucose. Consistently high blood sugar is what leads to health problems.
As well as keeping your body healthy through the food you eat, the other best way to keep your body healthy is through plenty of exercise. It is usually recommended to get about 75 minutes of vigorous exercise or 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. Due to the different intensities of the exercise types, these amounts of time should have similar health benefits. This can be achieved in several ways, such as several short intense sessions or one or two longer sessions. Exercise is usually divided into two types, moderate aerobic activity and vigorous activity.
Moderate activity will raise your heart rate and make you breathe faster, with examples being brisk walking, hiking, riding a bike, dancing, water aerobics and any other activity that makes you feel warmer and puts in a bit of effort. Vigorous exercise makes you breathe hard and fast, with examples being running, swimming, sports, gymnastics and martial arts. Most moderate activities can become vigorous if you increase the effort you’re putting in.
If you’re looking for quality dairy products to keep you and your customers happy and healthy, work with the team at Freshways. We provide wholesale products to customers across the UK of all sizes, whether they be small businesses, cafes, hotels or retailers.
Freshways is an independent and family-run business that strives to build strong relationships with our customers, providing excellent service and the highest quality dairy products, including milk, yoghurts, eggs, cream and butter. We also provide a selection of everyday products including juice, bread, and milk alternatives from leading, well-known brands.
So get in touch today on 0208 746 2046 to talk through your requirements with a member of our friendly staff, or visit our website now to browse our full selection of products and order online.