Taking care of one’s health and boosting the immune system is a good defense against illnesses. Since proper nutrition is essential for good health, one should pay more attention to what they eat. But how do you know if you are eating right and getting the nutrients you need? Is eating fruits and vegetables enough to keep you healthy? One way to find out is through food and nutritional testing tools that can show you the level of vitamins and minerals in your body.
As a general rule, nutritionists recommend eating a well-balanced meal as illustrated in the Food Plate. This will help ensure that your body gets a good mix of vitamins and minerals needed for your daily activities. But even with the food plate as a guide, some people still end up with nutrient deficiencies. This happens when the amount of nutrients in the food consumed is not enough or the body is not able to absorb certain nutrients from the food. Nutrient deficiency usually affects digestive health, bone growth, skin, and even cause dementia. But minor concerns like brittle nails, hair loss, and dandruff may also be signs of deficiency. The most common nutritional deficiency worldwide is iron deficiency which can cause anemia.
One way to check for any nutrient deficiency is to undergo nutritional testing. Nutritional tests are done to measure specific vitamins and minerals in your body and detect any nutrient deficiencies or abnormalities. Remember that it’s not just the lack of nutrients that can affect your health negatively, excess in vitamins and minerals can also cause health problems. As such, it will be in your best interest to have your nutrient levels tested once in a while. You can have a comprehensive test to measure levels of all essential vitamins and minerals in your body or opt for specific tests. Pregnant women, for instance, may opt for a Vitamin B-9 or Folate deficiency test and iron deficiency test only instead of a comprehensive one.
Nutrient requirements to keep the body healthy varies in each person. Thus, eating 3 square meals a day or adding fruits and vegetables in your diet doesn’t guarantee that you are eating healthy. A mix of factors like genetics, lifestyle, age, etc. all plays a role in determining one’s nutritional requirement. For instance, athletes may require more carbohydrates, fats, and proteins in their diet compared to those with less active lifestyles. There are also types of food that can be healthy for some yet harmful to others. One example of this is nuts which is considered as a healthy source of nutrients but can be deadly to those who are allergic to it. You can find out which food types are safe for you to eat by getting tested for food allergy, sensitivity, and intolerance.
Testing for food allergies is important especially for kids. Allergic reactions can be quick and lethal thus requiring equally quick remedy in case it occurs. The best way to protect your health is to find out if you are susceptible to food allergens and avoid eating them. The most common allergens are seafood, nuts, eggs, and wheat. Aside from food allergy tests, there are also food sensitivity and food intolerance tests that you can take to help you make better food choices for yourself. Foods that you are sensitive to may cause headaches, digestive problems, and joint pains. On the other hand food intolerance usually result in digestive issues like gas, bloating, constipation, or diarrhea.
Getting the body properly nourished is the first step to good health. As such it is important for homemakers to ensure that the family is eating right and getting the nutrients that they need from daily meals. Aside from getting guidance from your nutritionist, food and nutritional testing can also help you determine if you are on the right track to eating healthy.