Eating Right: For Your Health

What we put in our bodies has an enormous impact on how they perform. What types of food we eat, how fast we eat, and the time of day at which we eat, all play a part on how our bodies break food down into fuel, a process referred to as metabolism.

The process of metabolism works through a network of enzymes, processes and hormones that work together to break down food. Strangely enough, the majority of the kilojoules that we burn per day are burnt while we are asleep, or if awake, not during exercise. The processes that make up your BMR – your Basal Metabolic Rate, include such functions as breathing, circulation, muscle contraction and controlling your body temperature. Altogether your BMR makes up for anything between 60 to 75% of all the kilojoules we burn daily.

Heart Disease and Over-Eating Directly Linked

Many people are falling prey to diseases that are a direct result of bad dietary practices, as can be seen in the recent spike in heart-related diseases in people under the age of 65 in South Africa. Many medical aid schemes are now even geared towards helping people who suffer from ‘chronic obesity’. Among the top killers in South Africa are heart disease and type 2 diabetes, both diseases linked to obesity.

Though burning 60% while ‘idling’ might seem like a surprisingly high amount, that shouldn’t mean that you now go and eat whatever you want because your body burns so many kilojoules while it is resting. On the contrary, a healthy metabolism only stays healthy if you treat your body right. Not only by exercising, but simply by eating the right foods you can optimize the body’s metabolic process.

Metabolism Boosters Abound

There are so many foods out there that are packed full of just what your metabolism needs. Obviously there is nothing better for you than a consistent and well-rounded diet, but when you need that particular boost, these are some foods that can give your metabolism the kick it needs:

• Lean meats, like fish and chicken. Because these take longer to digest, it naturally helps your body burn more kilojoules by consuming less food.

• Fresh fruit, and in particular grapefruit, helps to reduce insulin levels which in turn aid in weight loss and boosting the metabolism.

• Most vegetables, but especially hot peppers, such as cayenne and jalapeno peppers. They contain a chemical, capsaicin, which induces your body to release stress hormones. These in turn aid in burning those extra unwanted calories and by boosting your metabolism.

With so many ways and means of eating right, it may come as a surprise that so many of us are still stuck with our old ways of eating whatever is in front of us. If you unfortunately already suffer from a problem related the heart, or dietary related problems, look to a consultant that can provide you with helpful medical aid comparisons that will help you to find a medical aid scheme that can help put you back on the road to good health.