Dieting is not simply a matter of reducing food intake. While it’s true you need to cut back on calories, you still must maintain good nutrition.
Nutrients such as vitamins don’t supply energy. Instead, they supply building materials for your body. Think of calories as the fuel in your car. Nutrients are oil, brake shoes, and air filters. You need nutrients to function properly; it’s the excess calories that need to go.
Poor Nutrition: What are its Effects?
Poor nutrition – a lack of proper nutrients – affects your body in a host of ways. It reduces your immunity, making you more susceptible to illness. It impairs mental faculties. A malnourished or undernourished child will not develop properly, both physically and mentally. Poor nutrition also contributes to depression and other forms of mental illness.
What are the Benefits of Good Nutrition?
Proper nutrition maintains the body and gives your body the tools it needs to heal when injured. This has a host of effects, including keeping your teeth in good condition, ensuring your immune system is operating at its peak, improving performance during exercise, and booting mental focus and clarity.
Six Superfoods Packed with Nutrition — all for 30 calories or less per cup
Some foods are high in nutrients and vitamins but low in calories. Here are a few to add to your menu:
- Arugula. This dark leafy green vegetable has a hot, pepper-like flavor. Add it to salads. It contains a great deal of fiber, plus vitamins A, C, and K. And at four calories, you can’t beat it for weight loss.
- Watercress. This leafy plant is used both in salads and as a medicinal. It is used typically for treating coughing, bronchitis, and other lung-related issues. It comes loaded with vitamin A and C, and delivers
4 to 7 calories.
- Spinach. It wasn’t the 7 calories in spinach that made this dark vegetable the source of Popeye’s strength. It was the nutritional value. A cup of spinach can supply a whopping 56 percent of your daily vitamin A requirements, and 14 percent of vitamin C.
- Zucchini. Hailing from the squash family, this vegetable yields 20 calories a cup. Zucchini can be included in soups and stews, sauteed in stirfries, and even baked as zucchini fries.
- Fennel. Fennel fronds look similar to dill and are often put in salads for an extra hit of flavor. The bulbs taste a bit like licorice. If you haven’t tried fennel, now is the time. Delivering 27 calories, fennel includes folate, vitamin A, vitamin B6, and a host of other nutrients.
- Asparagus. This long stem of a vegetable, among other things, helps your body metabolize alcohol; it can act as a hangover remedy. But more importantly, it contains large quantities of iron, protein, folate, and
assorted vitamins including K and B6. A cup of asparagus contains about 27 calories per cup.
Pitfalls when Pursuing Good Nutrition
Foods like these make great additions to a meal. They can bulk up your dinner, giving you a satisfied feeling of having a full meal without adding significant calories.
Be careful, especially with salads and stir-fries, of what you’re using as dressings and oils. Even a salad can be turned into a high-calorie meal if the dressing is high in fat.
Click here for more low-calorie vegetables that offer good nutrition.