Newton’s Third Law of Motion is loosely referred to as ‘action-reaction’ and states that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. In other words the force exerted is the action, and the force experienced as a consequence is the reaction.
Whatever your body is like today is the result of the fuel that you have given it over the past year.
What you eat and absorb (action) will affect how your body regenerates (consequence), since your body is constantly regenerating. Some cells are replaced more quickly than others and some body parts never get replaced! Did you know that the lining of your gut is replaced every 3-5 days and your skin replaces itself every 28-34 days? Your fat storage cells shift roughly once every decade whilst we get new liver cells about once every 300 days. Everything works on a cycle of renewal and regeneration and your body is built from the building blocks of your food. By the time you finish reading this sentence, 50 million of your cells will have died and been replaced by others!
Just think about the last thing you ate, was it a protein based meal? Protein is the fundamental building block of the body and here’s a few of its tasks:
- From our bones to our muscles, arteries and veins, skin, hair, and fingernails – we are literally built from protein. Our heart, brain, liver, kidneys, and lungs are also built from tissue made of proteins
- Proteins help carry the oxygen that makes our blood red
- Proteins in the form of enzymes digest our food, synthesise essential substances, and break down waste products for elimination
- If we are lacking fat and carbohydrates, then proteins produce the energy we need for life
- Proteins are required to make your hormones, which regulate the delicate chemical changes that constantly take place within the body
- Chromosomes, which pass on our characteristics to our children, have protein in their structure
- Protein is needed to “carry” fat and cholesterol throughout the body
It is safe to say that if you are short of protein then you are lacking the very substance of life. As a Nutritional Therapist I always recommend to clients that by having a palm sized piece of protein with every meal you will balance your blood sugars and prevent those sugar crashes, it will keep you fuller until the next meal and prevent those snack attacks but also you are literally rebuilding your body with what you eat.
When clients complete a 7 day food diary for me I can instantly see how they are sowing an unhealthy future for themselves. 95% of clients that I see have a high carbohydrate diet with minimal protein and some vegetables and lots of high sugar fruit. Add alcohol into the mix and they are planting the seeds of insulin resistance, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, weight issues, fatty liver and possible metabolic syndrome or cancer. A high sugar diet may lead to inflammation in the joints and in later life to neurological diseases.
After lowering the amount of refined, processed carbohydrates, and then including protein with every meal, eating 5-7 portion of rainbow vegetables every day, oily fish 3 times a week and no more than 2 portions of low sugar berries per day, my clients are amazed at the change in their health! Within 6 weeks they generally begin to see a reduction in headaches, aches and pains, skin conditions, bloating, bowel issues, anxiety and stress levels.
Why are rainbow vegetables important in the diet?
Plants produce a group of chemicals called phytochemicals made up of antioxidants, polyphenols, bioflavonoids, beta-carotenes and others. These chemicals are part of a plant’s defence mechanism against pests, viruses and disease and when we eat a range of different coloured vegetables we benefit from them. Antioxidants, for example, donate electrons to free radicals to prevent them from damaging our healthy cells. Free radicals are rogue cells which drive inflammation in the body and consequently inflammation is a driver of chronic lifestyle diseases. Eating lots of rainbow vegetables every day (7-9 portions for women, 8-10 portions for men) has been shown to reduce your disease risk. By eating a plate of food consisting of 50% vegetables, 25% protein, 25% healthy fats and a small amount of complex carbohydrates you are sowing a healthy future for yourself. You are literally rebuilding your body from the inside out!
Make some different choices with your next meal. Don’t wait until Monday or next month or when you get paid. Change your body from today and watch your health improve!