“Choosing a healthy diet helps to support maximum fitness and to protect against lifestyle diseases.” Kepha Nyanumba- Nutritionist, AAR Healthcare Ltd.
Healthy and wellness is an active process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a
healthy and fulfilling life. Wellness involves our recognition that we have psychological,
physical, spiritual and social needs that are necessary for us to have higher levels of functioning.
It’s the integration of the spirit, body and the mind; and the understanding that everything we do,
feel, think and believe has a direct impact on our state of health.
How Does Food Choices Affect our Health and Wellness?
One of the pillars of holistic health and wellness is proper nutrition. The food choices you make
will significantly influence your health throughout your life. Choosing a healthy diet helps to
support maximum fitness and to protect against lifestyle diseases. We have total control over our
diet and we need to choose foods wisely to ensure maximum athletic performance. The body
requires protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and water. A diet containing adequate
amounts of all essential nutrients is vital because various nutrients provide energy, build and
maintain body tissues and regulate body functions.
What is the Effect of a Highly Acidic Diet on Athletic Performance?
Highly acidic foods affect athletic performance by making it difficult for the body to repair worn
out tissues. Acidified body cells are robbed of the oxygen and energy that is required to maintain
a strong and healthy immune system that can quickly help your body cells to repair, regenerate
and replenish the cellular nerve energy, power, strength and endurance in your bones, muscles,
and ligaments, for the maximum performance of all physiological and biological functions of the
body. Acidified body cells rob you of the minerals such as the calcium required for strong
bones, and lead to bone diseases such as arthritis, osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis. It also
affects the levels of the macro-mineral such as magnesium, required for ultimate muscle function
and support that is needed for optimum strength, and calcium for skeletal support, so you won't
develop chronic back problems or herniated discs, or any chronic bone condition that may hinder
superior athletic performance.
How Does Food Combination Affect your Health and Wellness?
When food is properly combined, the digestive abilities are accelerated, and the nutrients are
quickly absorbed for optimum nutrition which provides the athlete, with power, strength and
endurance for peak, physiological or athletic performance. When foods are not properly
combined, indigestion is the result, the proteins putrefy, and starches and sugars ferment,
poisoning the body on a cellular level. It is important for body cells to maintain a high level of
cellular energy to attain, and maintain, optimum health through an alkaline medium.
What are Antioxidants?
Every day, your body is exposed to free radicals, unstable molecules that can damage the cells in
your body in a process often referred to as oxidative stress. Endurance exercise can increase
oxygen utilization from 10 to 20 times over the resting state. This greatly increases the
generation of free radicals, prompting concern about enhanced damage to muscles and other
tissues. Antioxidants are scavengers that neutralize free radicals. Although your body produces
its own antioxidants, they are often insufficient to protect against the total oxidative stress we all
experience. In fact, scientists have linked free radicals to many different types of diseases. Fruits
and vegetables provide the body with an added source of antioxidants that is needed to properly
wage war against free radicals.
How Can We Support the Body’s Detoxification System?
Detoxification is the way your body rids itself of toxins, a natural process that occurs 24 hours a
day. Many of the foods we eat and the beverages we drink may contain high numbers of
potentially harmful toxins. You can support your body's ability to detoxify through positive
lifestyle choices such as enhanced nutrition, limiting toxic exposures, increased physical activity
and stress reduction. In general, you need adequate intake and assimilation of all essential
nutrients: mineral, vitamins, amino and fatty acids.
What are the Recommended Dietary Interventions to Help Improve your Health
Status and Athletic Performance?
Athletic performance is closely associated with the nourishment obtained from your diet before
and during a marathon. From healthy lifestyle choices, eating the proper foods, and keeping a
positive attitude, there are many things you can do to boost your healthy status and improve your
It is helpful to watch what goes into your body. Processed foods, artificial sugars, food
colorings, and artificial flavorings can all be harmful to your body and reduce your
chances of achieving maximum athletic performance.
Raw organic foods will give your body the vitamins and minerals it needs to stay healthy.
Some healthy snack options would be carrots and low fat dressing, peanuts and apples.
Choose complex carbohydrates to ensure you have sufficient glycogen stores to
support your muscles performance.
Eating your vegetables in form of vegetable salad is more beneficial than cooking them.
When vegetables are overcooked, they lose all the important vitamins and minerals your
body needs to stay healthy. Daily intake of green leafy vegetables and fruits will make
you feel better, give you more energy, and will be very beneficial to your system.
Reduce to a minimum or cut out alcohol altogether. It acidifies the system and is,
naturally, a toxin.
Drinking plenty of water is very important for many reasons. It prevents you from
becoming dehydrated, and helps with detoxification of your body. It is recommended that
you drink 6-8 glasses of water a day.
Kepha Nyanumba (Nutritionist, AAR Healthcare Ltd)
Cell: +254 (0) 723-103 028 /+254 (0) 732 -234 161