Good Nutrition and the Body
Good Nutrition and the Body is an important aspect of proper energy balance. In my article Energy Balance and Weight Management I discussed the importance of good nutrition and the energy values of the foods we eat. In that article I also mentioned that good nutrition and the body are important because eating a diet consisting of mostly processed and synthetic foods the body losses its ability properly regulate it functions.
Good nutrition and the body plays a major role in maintaining proper energy balances. When these energy balances are out of line it can have an impact on the reproductive system, brain activity and cognitive functions, metabolic functions, and functions the are used everyday to help fix and repair the body. Let’s take a look at good nutrition and the body and the adverse effects of not striving to live a fitness lifestyle.
Good nutrition and the body directly affect the reproductive system in both men and women. Fluctuations in energy balances can have negative affects and changes in the reproductive system. When there is an energy deficient in the body estrogen and testosterone production become very limited. This can directly result in reduced fertility in both men and women and also can result in other reproductive dysfunctions such as: irregular periods for women, impotence in men, and an overall reduced sexual desire in both men and women.
The same adverse affects to the reproductive system can take place when the energy balance is positive. As the fat tissues stores fill-up and the total overall body fat percentage increases, harmful effects start to manifest themselves in the reproductive system. Obese people have been shown to have a reduced and imbalance in their concentration of sex hormones. For couples who are trying to get pregnant, you can see that good nutrition and the body go hand-in-hand.
Brain FunctionGood nutrition and the body demands that a high amount of energy is used for normal brain functions. The brain (along with red blood cells) cannot store glucose for energy and therefore demands an endless supply. When there is a negative energy balance in the body it can slow down the brain metabolism. When this happens the brain is not operating at its peak performance and the negative repercussions of this can be: an impairment in cognitive processing, memory problems, creative thinking and problem solving issues, just to name a few. Not only are there cognitive issues, there are also emotional issues that can take place. These can range from: mood swings, depression, increase in tension and stress, anxiety issues, an overall body tiredness, and a decrease in overall energy levels.
Resting metabolic rate (RMR); is considered the level of calories/energy that is needed to sustain the human bodies vital functions at rest. Good nutrition and the body’s RMR are directly proportional to each other. When the body’s calorie intake is low, the RMR also lowers, and inversely; when the body’s calorie intake increases so does RMR. When the energy levels are reduced and the RMR is lowered the negative affects this has on the body is that there is a lowering of thyroid hormone output, a reduction in the thermic effect of feeding, and a loss of muscle mass. And when calorie intake is more than needed, RMR increases and the exact opposite effects happen in the body.
Understanding how good nutrition and the body work together is important especially if you are trying to loss weight. If you start to count calories in a plan to loss weight you must realize that with fewer calories that you consume, your body will adapt and lower its RMR. The end result is the “diet” (which I do not believe in) that you think you are on increasingly become more difficult to lose weight because the body is burning less energy with it new lower RMR.
Everyday Bodily Repairs
Good nutrition and the body again go hand-in-hand. Energy is needed everyday to maintain, repair, and resynthesize of muscles and liver glycogen; and secondarily promote the synthesis of proteins. For an active person who is in negative energy balance, this situation can have serious affects of the restoration and maintenance of the body. In my article Metabolism and Metabolic Rate I discuss that the body Basil Metabolic Rate uses 70% of all energy needs just for non-activity and movement functions. Therefore, if your body goes into negative energy balance it will used the calories it does have for just maintaining life functions while shutting other systems down, and not putting forth any energy to repair the body.