Metabolism — the Essence of Life

The word metabolism brings to mind “diet”.

It is consequently believed that metabolism is “fast” or “slow”. Therefore it is thought that metabolism is unchangeable.

Metabolism is related to the way our body reacts to fat. Ultimately, metabolism is a chemical reaction inside cells, the result is keeping them (us) alive.

After eating, food reaches your digestive system. The food is consequently broken down and absorbed into the bloodstream. This absorbed food enters the cell, where metabolism begins.

The result is some of this used for energy and some of it to replace damaged cells. Basically, you literally are what you eat!

You are what you eat

The key to metabolism lays in nutrition. Metabolism depends on nutrients broken down along the way to produce energy. The nutrients that you consume ensure the end product is energy for your bodily requirements, helping it function and maintain health. 

The food that we eat provides various substances essential for maintaining our bodies. 

Let’s break it down…

Proteins 

Proteins build tissue in our bodies. They are part of every cell in the body. Proteins carrying oxygen, they structure the cell and more. They are a crucial part of energy production.

Amino acids make up proteins. They are essential for the body. However, 8 amino acids cannot be produce by the body, therefore they must be consumed.

Foods with the best quality protein are eggs, dairy, meats, soybeans, vegetables, avocados and grains.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are found in sugar, cellulose (fiber), and starch.

Sugar and starch are a major source of energy. Fibers however contribute to the larger volume in our diet. 

The tissues in our body rely mostly on glucose for all of its activities. Carbs and sugars produce glucose through ingestion and metabolism.

50% of most peoples diet is based on carbohydrates. Examples of these are rice, wheat, potatoes, etc.

Lipids (Fats)

Fats are a condensed source of energy. They can produce double the amount of energy as proteins or carbohydrates.

Fats (in the right amount) have many health benefits. An example of this is healthy skin, protect internal organs and provide a reserve of energy.

Fats consist of unsaturated fatty acids. These are important to have in your diet. Consuming saturated fats and cholesterol, have been found to contribute to heart disease and arteriosclerosis (the blockage of arteries).

Conclusion

In conclusion, metabolism is complex, but key to survival. It goes beyond diet. It serves as a key element of our health and well-being, we are literally a direct result of what we eat. If we look after our bodies, our body will look after us.

Understanding how our metabolism works, we can provide our bodies with what it needs.

As a result, not only will we be in our best shape, but it will keep us healthy and living well.

Read more to learn what foods can boost metabolism.

About Nathan Dolton

Nathan is a fitness enthusiast and holds a BSc in Sports, Fitness and Coaching. Having participated in 2 IRONMAN competitions and ran 3 marathons, he is at the top of his game. His main interests are in the long term metabolic changes of the body for endurance athletes. He works as a personal trainer and is a keen blogger who is passionate about taking his knowledge and making it accessible to all. He believes in a well rounded approach to a healthy lifestyle of the body and mind.

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