Importance of Carbs for Optimal Body Function
To maintain a healthy and balanced diet, your body needs three macronutrients, nutrients the body needs in larger quantities that play a crucial role in fueling and supporting the body to keep it functioning: carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.
Nutrients act as a building block that provides your body with energy, promotes growth, and healing capabilities.
Let’s uncover the importance of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, how they contribute to the overall body function, and ultimately, their effects on soft tissue and nerve health.
Carbs, fats, and proteins
Having a balanced diet of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins is essential for your overall health and body function.
Wondering how? Let’s get into it.
What are they and what do they do for our bodies?
Carbohydrates, or carbs, are our bodies’ primary energy source. Carbs break down glucose which are simple sugars in our bloodstream. Our cells use the broken-down glucose to give our body energy.
There are two types of carbohydrates: simple and complex.
These carbs break down quickly and are in fruits, vegetables, and refined sugars providing quick bursts of energy.
These are found in whole grains and starchy vegetables and provide your body with fiber which aids in digestion and makes you feel full. Taking your body longer to break down, they release energy gradually, providing a steady source of fuel for your body.
Fats provide a concentrated source of energy and play an important role in your diet. It is important to consume healthy fats like avocados, nuts, seeds, and fish rather than processed foods.
Here is what healthy fats do for your body:
- Store energy
Fats are stored in adipose tissue, or body fat, and can be used when the body requires additional energy between meals or during physical activity.
- Protect and insulate
Acting as a layer of protection, fats cushion vital organs and serve as insulation to maintain body temperature.
- Absorb nutrients
Vitamins, like A, D, E, and K, are fat-soluble, meaning they require fat for proper absorption.
- Structures cells
Fats are a key component of cell membranes and contribute to their function and fluidity, or the flexibility of a cell.
It is no secret that proteins are the building blocks of life, but how exactly are they vital for a properly functioning body?
Proteins are made up of amino acids which are molecules that combine to create proteins.
Here are why amino acids are so important:
- Grow and repair
Supports the growth and repair of tissues, including the muscles, organs, skin, hair, and nails.
- Produce enzymes
Enzymes are proteins that help speed up chemical reactions, allowing us to digest and metabolize. For example, enzymes quickly break down large pieces of food you eat.
- Regulate hormones
Hormones help regulate various bodily functions, and many hormones are proteins or protein-based.
In simpler terms, think of hormones as the messenger and proteins as the builders. Proteins are involved in making hormones and making sure they are being delivered to the right places in the body.
Antibodies, which are, at their core, proteins, help identify and resolve harmful bacteria and viruses in your immune system.
How does this affect nerve health?
Macronutrients play an important role in supporting nerve health and here is how each one affects it:
The brain and nerves depend on glucose as their main energy source. The energy from glucose allows nerve cells to communicate with each other.
If you are lacking carbs, you are at risk of low blood sugar which can cause dizziness, confusion, and difficulty concentrating, all of which affect nerve function.
Fats are vital for nerve health because they form the protective myelin sheath which is a protective covering that promotes nerve signals to travel faster and more efficiently.
When you consume healthy fats, it supports the maintenance and repair of the myelin sheath, promoting optimal nerve function.
Fats help the production and regulation of neurotransmitters, which play a role in nerve communication.
Proteins are crucial for creating and taking care of nerve cells, serving as the basic building blocks for forming new cells and fixing damaged ones.
They are also necessary for making neurotransmitters, or the messengers that help nerve cells communicate with one another.
If there is not enough protein, it can disrupt the regrowth and function of nerve cells.
How does this affect soft-tissue health?
Macronutrients work together to support soft-tissue health and have a significant impact on soft-tissue health.
Carbs provide the energy needed for soft-tissue function and repair.
Proteins provide the building blocks and support the growth of tissues.
Fats contribute to soft-tissue flexibility and help reduce inflammation.
Here is how each macronutrient plays its role:
These provide energy for the body, including soft tissues.
During physical activity, carbs are broken down into glucose, which serves as the primary fuel source for muscles and soft tissue.
This supports optimal energy levels and performance, lessening muscle fatigue and promoting soft-tissue health.
Healthy fats, like omega-3 fatty acids, are important for keeping soft tissue healthy because of the special properties it must help reduce soft tissue inflammation.
These fats aid in recovery from exercise or stress-caused injuries.
Proteins are important for the development, repair, and upkeep of soft tissue.
Soft tissue, including muscles, tendons, ligaments, and the skin are made with proteins.
Protein also plays a role in collagen production, a key component of connective tissues that helps maintain soft tissue strength and flexibility.
So, what are you doing to maintain a healthy, balanced diet to support your nerve and soft tissue health?
The contents of this blog are not intended to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.