Six things you need in a good diet.

The basics of a good diet for a good mood, a long healthy life and the prevention of degenerative disease.

Today, consuming a good diet for maintaining your health is of paramount importance. In these times of higher pollution rates, soil degradation, pesticides, sedentary lifestyles and the wide availability of fatty, sugary and processed foods, we need good food now more than ever before.

Without the benefits of key components of a wide variety of natural, fresh foods, we’re likely to suffer from a range of chronic degenerative diseases as well as acute conditions that can make life miserable for us and those around us.

But what exactly constitutes a good diet? There are some key components nobody can live without, and they are as follows: vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats, proteins and fibre.

Here’s what they are and what they do:


Vitamins are nutrients needed by the body in very small amounts for many of its essential metabolic reactions.

Until the 1900s, vitamins were obtained only through food (fortunately we can now get them in supplement form, too). Different food sources contain various amounts of vitamins, so if the only source of vitamins is food, changes in diet will alter the types and amounts of vitamins you consume.

Vitamins are essential for normal growth. Even in adults, vitamins are still essential for maintaining healthy tissues, cells, and organs.

They enable us to efficiently use chemical energy provided by food, and to process the fats, carbohydrates and proteins fats needed for breathing.

Extreme vitamin deficiencies happen when you either don’t get enough of a particular vitamin from your food or when you have an underlying disorder that stops you absorbing a proper amount of the vitamin.

Your lifestyle choices can affect the situation, for example, with smoking, drinking too much alcohol, or using drugs. Even athletes and sports people can become deficient in vitamins can become deficient in some vitamins due to excess oxidative stress

Restrictive diets can result in often potentially deadly diseases, such as beri-beri, pellagra, scurvy, and rickets; as well as more common ailments.

Today largely because of the degradation of the food supply we are not getting enough vitamins and nutrients for optimal health. Therefore we are not so worried about these deficiency diseases but more so about chronic degenerative diseases such as cancer, arthritis and heart disease.


Dietary minerals are chemicals needed by the body for many of its processes. These can be naturally occurring in food or added to the diet separately from food, as mineral supplements.

Examples of foods that contain minerals would be green leafy vegetables (for calcium); table salt and spinach (for sodium chloride); nuts, soy beans and cocoa (for magnesium); red meat, leafy vegetables (for iron); eggs, meat and legumes (for sulfur).

A large body of research shows we can often benefit from high quality mineral supplementation.

Vitamins and minerals are interdependent, which means they need the presence of one another to work properly. Taking a multivitamin without minerals is not nearly as effective as taking one with minerals.


Fats comprise a wide group of compounds that are important for human metabolic processes. Examples of edible fats are butter, margarine, cream and lard.

Fats can be good and bad.

They help keep you warm, for example, and play a vital role in maintaining healthy skin and hair. They insulate the body organs from shock, maintain body temperature, and promote cell function.

They also serve as energy stores for the body. In fact, they play a whole host of important and diverse roles in health and nutrition. Many are absolutely essential for life.

The vitamins A, D, E and K can only be digested, absorbed, and transported in conjunction with fats, and fats are sources of essential fatty acids, which enable the body to carry out many of its vital chemical processes.


Proteins form an essential part of all living organisms and participate in every process within cells. They cause biochemical reactions to happen, and are vital to metabolism.

Many have structural or mechanical functions, such as building and maintaining bone and keeping cells healthy for good cellular nutrition. They play an important part in the immune system, which keeps us free of disease.

Now you can see why the name protein comes from the Greek πρώτα ("prota"), meaning "of primary importance"!


Fibers are vital for holding body tissues together. Dietary fibers are the indigestible portion of plant foods that help move food through the digestive system.

Sources of fiber include corn, wheat, bran, flax seed, and vegetables. Fibre has clinically demonstrated properties of lowering blood cholesterol when it’s regularly included in the diet. It also stabilises blood glucose levels, helps synthesise cholesterol, helps with the absorption of minerals, improves immune function, and protects the colon.

On average, North Americans consume less than 50% of the dietary fiber levels required for good health. With a deficit of fiber, you are likely to end up suffering from one or more of: diabetes, obesity heart disease, high blood cholesterol, and numerous gastrointestinal disorders such as constipation, hemorroids, inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, diverticulitis, and colon cancer.

Fortunately, there are many types of soluble fiber supplements available to consumers for nutritional purposes, and despite what many people claim, fiber doesn’t bind to minerals or vitamins and restrict their absorption.

With all these available in easy-to-use supplement form, there’s no excuse for not getting enough.

Additionally you might like to obtain extra vitamins, minerals and enzymes by regularly juicing an array of organic fruits and vegetables.

You may want to take a closer look at the health benefits of juicing. Whatever method you choose make sure you get your proper share of the essential compounds listed above!

Medical references: 17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25

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