Nutrition Handbook: Part 14 - Nutrient Density for Optimal Health and Performance

by Jason J. Duke - Owner/Artisan

Fresh Content: August 18, 2022 00:51

Nutrient Dense Foods Belong in Balanced Meals 

Nutrient density, an integral part of nutrition, is the overall concentration of nutrients that are needed and possibly required by the body to function, heal, grow, and develop. The bodily feeling of hunger is a craving for more nutrients which is satisfied by increasing nutrient density.

Unique plant constituents, including colored pigments, called bioflavonoids, found in vegetables, fruits, spices, and medicinal herbs promote nutrient density by adding their additional constituents as raw materials which support the functions of bodily systems, organs, glands, tissues.

Adding Supplements to Meals Benefits any Lifestyle 

Dietary supplements are added to complete meals to increase the variety and overall amount of available essential nutrients and constituents to support, maintain, and promote optimal health.

Nutrient Density is Important

The more nutrients someone consumes, the more available raw materials for the body, systems, organs, glands, and tissues to function and work for supporting a healthy bodyweight and for promoting health.

Balanced complete meals of various food groups are required to achieve a variety of essential nutrients in combination for optimal health, since different nutrients and constituents found in food and supplements have different functions that are used in the structures of the body.

Most Important Nutrient Dense Food Groups Contain Protein

The most important nutrient for the body is protein which must be consumed consistently at every meal. Foods, like eggs, meat, and dairy, contain plenty of protein as part of a balanced meal when used with other food groups to further increase the overall variety and density of nutrients, like fruits and vegetables for vitamins and minerals.

Protein Makes The Body, Emotions, And Mind Work 

Most nutrient dense foods to least nutrient dense foods:

  1. Eggs
  2. Meat, like Chicken, Beef, and Fish
  3. Dairy, like Milk, Cheese, and Butter
  4. Nuts, Beans, Legumes
  5. Vegetables
  6. Fruits
  7. Grains, Bread, Cereal
  8. Sweets, like Chocolate
  9. Junk food

Fruits, Sweets, Grains, Breads, and Cereals are Poor Nutrient Dense Sources

Although fruit has vitamins, it lacks many other nutrients and when overconsumed will take the place of better choices for nutrient dense foods; use fruit as a small portion of complete meals for flavor and medicinally for their unique constituents.

Grains, breads, and cereals are not dense in any amount of nutrients, except carbohydrates. This is why they are often fortified with vitamins and/or minerals before being introduced for sale. But even after fortification, these foods are still lacking in protein, fats, minerals, and unique plant constituents. 'Whole grain' is simply a marketing term for breads, pastas and cereals which will still lack a density of nutrients and are not often fortified, so they too will take the place of nutrient dense foods.

Sweets which are made with medicinal foods and herbs, such as dark chocolate, ginger chews, and herbal lozenges, which may be used sparingly with meals for additional health benefits.

Junk food has very little to no nutrients and should be avoided since junk food will replace any other nutrient dense foods that someone may consume as better choices.

Nutrient Density Supports a Healthy Bodyweight

Combining Foods Increases Nutrient Density 

Importantly, consumption of non-nutrient dense foods will lead to someone becoming overweight and lacking in healthy performance of systems, organs, glands, and tissues. Becoming overweight is a form of nutrient and fluid storage where the body compensates for lacking nutrients in an attempt to maintain healthy performance.

Becoming overweight is countered by eating complete balanced meals with nutrient dense food groups and additional supplementation of vitamins, minerals, and medicinal herbs, superfoods, tonics, and adaptogens. The more nutrient density someone eats, the more the body has available to support a healthy weight by not having to store as many nutrients as possible within fat and bodily water.

Fasting and Dieting is Counterproductive to Nutrient Density

Fasting and dieting for weight-loss and weight management do not promote nutrient density and are counterproductive to supporting a healthy weight and promoting healthy performance. Fasting and dieting for the prevention, management, treatment, and cure of health conditions and diseases is known as medical quackery.

Fiber is a Medicinal Non-nutrient Constituent

Fiber is not a nutrient and does not promote nutrient density. Fiber is mostly found in vegetables, fruits, and many 'whole grain' foods; overconsumption of any of these fiber filled foods as part of imbalanced complete meals will decrease the density of the nutrients in the diet. When someone eats fiber foods as part of balanced complete meals, with additional supplementation, they will receive enough fiber to assist the transport of digested food and bowel elimination.

Nutrition Handbook

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