Help your body help you
What is metabolic health?
Your metabolic system turns what you eat and drink into usable energy for your cells, or gets rid of it through waste. It involves many organs that rely on what you eat to function properly. If your metabolic system isn’t working at its best, you could experience health issues, such as high blood sugar, high blood pressure and low “good” cholesterol—all of which contribute to heart disease.
Metabolic health = energy for life
Think of your body like a car: you have to fill it with the right fuel to make it run. In the same manner, what you put into your body helps you tackle all your daily tasks—and more!
The food you eat determines how good you feel and how much energy you have. Eating a variety of lightly processed or unprocessed, nutrient-rich foods will help you gain the energy to get through your days and fuel your activities.
Poultry, fresh fish, fruit, vegetables and nuts are excellent natural energy sources. Here are a few other suggestions on what nutrients to seek and where you can find them:
- Calcium. Your body needs calcium to convert food into energy. Options include milk, cheese, yogurt, almonds and dark green vegetables such as broccoli and spinach.
- Potassium. This mineral helps supply nutrients to your body’s cells. You can find it in bananas, nuts, potatoes, turkey and fish.
- Fiber. Fiber helps regulate your digestion and blood sugar levels. Sources include whole grains, bran foods, beans, peas, carrots, apples and strawberries.
- Magnesium. Your body uses this to convert carbs, fats and protein into energy. High-magnesium foods include beans, nuts, brown rice, avocadoes and dark chocolate.
- B vitamins. These help your body produce energy and new cells. All of the following foods contain a form of B vitamin: whole grains, oatmeal, eggs, mushrooms, salmon, carrots, chicken, pork, cauliflower, nuts and spinach.
You can easily take care of your metabolic system simply by choosing the right foods.
Keep it moving!
It’s ultimately your diet and level of physical activity that determine your health. Being active is key to maintaining metabolic well-being. Lack of exercise and too much sitting are major causes of poor metabolic health. Experts recommend getting some sort of physical activity at least five days a week, but every little bit helps.
Exercise can include anything from aerobics to taking the stairs a few times. Check out these quick facts about what exercise can do for you instantly:
- Help control weight
- Boost good cholesterol levels
- Improve your mood
- Help you sleep better
- Have fun
With a healthy diet and active lifestyle, you’re taking care of your body so it can take care of you.