If you’re on a regime or a customized dietary plan you don’t consider eating as just a way to fill a hungry stomach or to satisfy the taste buds. The more important purpose of eating is to provide the body with its special nutritional needs.
Why are some people on a regime?
It is a common practice to have the same food for every adult member in a family or group. However, there are cases when a special eating plan or regime is necessary to support a healthy body as nutritional needs differ according to age, size, gender, health condition and types of activities. Following are examples of individuals who may need to be on a regime:
- Pregnant and breast-feeding women
Pregnant and nursing women must provide nutrition not only for themselves but also for the baby. Your doctor may prescribe a nutrition plan and supplements to ensure a healthy mother and growing baby.
- For muscle growth
People who are into body building need more of the key nutrients (protein, Vitamin D, Zinc) to pair with their exercise. A regular balanced diet may not be enough to provide the additional nutrients needed during exercise.
- Advanced Age or Seniors
Many changes happen to the human body, physically and mentally, as it gets older. For example, the bones will be more susceptible to fracture as they lose density. Metabolism will slow down and you wonder why you easily gain weight. There will be body functions that would be more difficult to do. Your doctor may ask you to give up some of the food you love.
An effective regime for seniors will help them stay fit for a longer time and slow down the decline in their overall quality of life.
- Health issues
Your blood test results show that your sugar and cholesterol levels are high or over the maximum acceptable level. In this case, it’s most likely that the doctor will not only prescribe medicine but also a regime that will lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
Factors that Determine Nutritional Regimes
There is no typical nutritional regime for athletes, pregnant women or seniors. Two people who are in the same age and gender may need different regimes. There are variations based on individual needs and other factors. Generally, nutritionists consider the following:
- Health status
- Capacity to follow the regime
- Goal – Will the regime achieve the desired results?
- Availability of the food and supplements needed for the regime
The nutrition expert should be able to explain the purpose of the various components of the regime so that you can correctly adjust or substitute while maintaining the quality of the regime. A regime that is difficult for the intended individual to follow is a failure before the implementation begins.
Nutrition To Take While On A Regime
The amount of the nutrients you need vary according to your age, physique, gender and types of activities. Unless it contradicts with the regime, you should take nutrition that basically includes the following food groups.
- Carbohydrates – your body’s energy source.
- Protein – helps strengthen the immune system, necessary for muscle repair and development and pH balance maintenance. Protein can provide energy to the body if necessary. It is found in fish, nuts, eggs, beans, dairy products and meat.
- Fat – if taken in the right amount, is an important part of a healthy diet. It insulates the body to maintain body temperature. It also cushions the body organs from physical harm.
- Vitamins – are compounds essential for optimum body functions. One of its main functions is to enhancement of the immune system. There are 13 vitamins, grouped into fat-soluble and water- soluble vitamins. The human body doesn’t make vitamins. They come from the food we eat.
- Minerals – belong to another group of nutrients that help the body develop and grow properly. Minerals are classified into the major minerals which the body needs in large amounts and the trace minerals which the body needs in small amounts.
- Water – is not only a thirst quencher. Among its major functions are to help regulate body temperature and to protect the tissues and body organs. Health professionals recommend drinking a minimum of eight glasses (8 oz.) of water daily.
Supplements to take while on a regime
Food is still the best source of nutrients. Supplements are recommended to fill in the nutritional deficiencies resulting from your food intake.
There are vitamin, amino acids, and mineral supplements available in liquid form, pills, tablets or capsules. They are considered food, not drugs.
Following are some of the widely-used supplements. Ask a nutritionist or doctor which ones will fit with your regime.
- Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) – They are called “branched chain” because of their chemical structure. BCAAs maximize muscle growth and reduce muscle breakdown in bedridden people. They can help prevent fatigue, improve exercise stamina and concentration.
- Creatine – helps provide the energy needed by muscles to work. It is usually taken to improve athletic performance. Doctors use creatine to treat various illnesses of the muscles and nerves. It is naturally found in seafood and red meat but synthetic creatine.is also available.
- Fish Oil – is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids which must be sourced from food and supplements. It is not produced by the body. Omega 3 lowers triglycerides, blood pressure and cholesterol levels. It is also used to treat diseases related to the heart, the blood system and kidney.
- Greens Powder – provides the vital nutrients that come from leafy greens.
- Vitamin D – is needed by people who don’t get enough exposure to the main source which is sunlight. Only small amounts of Vitamin D can be found in food.
- Whey Protein – is rich in BCAAs that make it effective in the repair of sore muscles. It is also used as milk substitute by people suffering from lactose intolerance.
Reminder: Always seeks your doctor’s approval before taking supplements if you’re on medication, pregnant or nursing a baby.
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