Healthy Food Choices for Athletes
Food is any material food consumed by an animal to give them nourishment. It may be made by man or animal, and it is a primary source of nourishment for the body. The majority of people are familiar with the concept of food, but less well know are its vital roles in the human body and the various ways it can be digested. There are three primary ways in which food is made: eating, chewing, and vomiting.
Eating Food, also known as dieting, is the process of feeding the animals or plants with food. Food is generally of animal, plant or fungi origin, and often contains necessary nutrients, including proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, or even minerals. The more nutrients a food has, the better it will be for the animal or plant; the fewer nutrients will be absorbed and the less well for the human body. Because animals have a very different diet than humans, it is difficult to give them the same nutrition as we do. Digestion involves breaking down the food into a form that the body can absorb.
Chewing Food, or digesting, involves ripping of a piece of food into small pieces. In this way the nutrients are still passed along undigested, but there is no danger of complete digestion. It is this process that provides most of the nutritional value of food. Digestive enzymes break down the fat, protein, carbohydrates and other nutrients.
Vomiting Food is the process of throwing up after eating and is almost always caused by a deficiency in dietary fibre. Fibre is found in a number of different foods, but the best dietary fibre sources are beans, pulses, nuts and whole grains. Eating fibre will help to keep your digestive tract running smoothly, keeping the levels of nutrients steady and reducing the risk of vomiting after eating. The body also creates antibodies when it becomes infected with bacteria, viruses or parasites. These antibodies protect the body against these foreign invaders, so if you’re not getting enough dietary fibre you may find yourself more susceptible to illness.
Bodybuilders often use supplements to meet their nutritional requirements. These are usually comprised of protein, essential fatty acids, minerals and vitamins. Bodybuilders often eat very few fruits and vegetables, so protein is an essential part of their diet. If you don’t get enough protein and keep taking supplements, you could suffer from zinc and vitamin D deficiencies as well as muscle loss.
If you’re an athlete, you need to ensure you eat enough vitamin A, B, C, E, zinc, calcium and magnesium to stay healthy and active. Athletes who rely on artificial sports supplements to improve their performance may be doing more harm than good. If you want to build strong muscles and stay healthy, eat enough vitamin A, B, C, E, zinc, calcium and magnesium, and take a quality multivitamin daily.