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Nutrients Vs Antinutrients- Prevention or Fuel for Disease?

What you and your children eat has a huge impact on your mood, behaviour, sleep patterns and overall health and development.

Beginning in the womb from the nutrients provided by our mother and throughout our lifetime we nourish our bodies with food we eat to provide the essentials it requires for constant growth, repair, functions and maintenance.

This food is what provides us with macronutrients and micronutrients enable the body to produce enzymes, hormones and other substances essential for proper growth and development while maintaining energy levels, metabolism, cellular function, and physical and mental wellbeing.

Macronutrients are protein, carbohydrates and fats; and micronutrients are vitamins, minerals. As their names suggest, the macronutrients are required in larger amounts in the body, whereas the micronutrients are required in smaller amounts.

You may have heard the simplistic theory that all disease in the body stems from either a deficiency -of something or things our body needs; or a toxicity -too much of things that are harmful to our bodies. This makes sense.

Here is where Anti-nutrients come in to play, which are those substances that interfere with, or deplete the body of nutrients. These can be in the ‘food’ we eat that aren’t such good choices. We all know the naughty ones- sugar, alcohol, refined carbs and trans fats. Anti-nutrients are also in food additives and food colouring, as well as environmental toxins. Heavy metals such as mercury, cadmium, aluminium, copper and lead can surprisingly be found more commonly in daily exposure, such as cigarette smoke, food packaging, cosmetics, even light bulbs, and water pipes.

Studies have shown that these anti nutrients can contribute to headaches, aggressive behaviour, depression, even lowered IQ, as well as being associated with eczema, asthma. Certain foods and nutrients can protect against toxicity and help to eliminate toxins from our bodies. These are foods such as fresh fruits, vegetables, pulses, wholegrains, water, garlic, onions and eggs.

So the importance of the food we eat plays a huge part in our overall health and even on our mood, motivation, concentration and behaviour. Think about this for you and your children.

Are you providing your body with the nutrients it needs to prevent disease, or to fuel disease?

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