You should be getting around 1,300 mg of calcium daily. Read the Dietary Reference Intakes to see what else you should be aiming for!
There are six essential nutrients. You need a variety of all of them to balance your diet. Check out the Dietary Reference Intakes to learn the right amounts for you.
The amounts of nutrients and servings of food that we need to grow depend on our age, gender and activity level. Make sure you know where you stand.
Adolescence is about extremes — especially when it comes to height and weight. Good nutrition — getting ready-to-burn fuel and the right nutrients in the right amounts — is critical to your rapid growth. So, do you think what you eat right now is important? Oh yeah, and establishing healthy eating habits at your age is critical to helping prevent health problems later in life. Go on. Check out this info-packed Health Trek page to learn about nutrients and their role in your life.
We need food to live. We need it to grow. That's what getting hungry is all about. Your body is telling you, "Hey, it's time to feed me!" A smaller voice grumbles, if you listen closely, "And make it some good nutritious foods that replenish and fuel the whole machine, buddy." Keep in mind, your body can't make nutrients out of thin air, so it must be supplied by food. Nutrients are the important parts of food that give us vital energy so we can run, jump, yell and do all the wonderful things we do.
Go to MyPyramid.gov to use the MyPyramid Tracker. Enter the foods you have eaten and learn what types of nutrients you ingested and the amounts you need. This site is easy to use. You can pick from a variety of foods as you track your eating and learn how to create healthy habits. Your challenge? Log three days of food and three days of activity to get a baseline of what you normally do. Then set some goals for the areas that you need to improve!
Carefully consider the following list of nutrients, what they do for you and how often you munch (or should start munching) on them.
Carbohydrates – Supplies the major source of energy for the body.
Fats – Supplies energy, but they have many other benefits, including transporting nutrients and being part of many body cells. Fats provide storage and insulation for your body.
Proteins – Builds and repairs body tissues; supplies energy.
Vitamins – Are needed in very small amounts in the diet to regulate chemical reactions in the body. Vitamins do not provide energy but they help our bodies use the energy from foods.
Minerals – Perform many functions in regulating the activity of cells.
Water – Not one of the food groups, but important to you health. It helps digest food, carries nutrients from food throughout your body and helps regulate body temperature through perspiration. (water, milk, juice, fruits)
Nutrition helps make you who you are today and who you will be down the road. You're more in control of things than you thought! Download Health Trek's Dietary Reference Intakes. Then match yourself up to see exactly what your body needs and in what amounts — from calories to protein and vitamins to minerals. Find your gender, age and your activity level on the sheet. Follow across the same line to see the recommendations for what nutrients you should be getting daily.
Understanding how nutrients benefit your body will help you stay healthy. Tracking your intake and knowing the recommendations help you stay on course as you grow. You need to keep on top of all those crazy changes going on in your body like bone and muscle growth, increased energy needs, increased metabolic processes involved in sexual maturation, and keeping up with tremendous cellular growth. Hey, this is all good!
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