Balanced Dieting: Achieve Optimal Health

Minding the Minerals: Balancing Micronutrients for Optimal Health

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The Key Role of Micronutrients in Achieving a Balanced Diet on the Sunshine Coast

The importance of maintaining a balanced dieting can’t be stressed enough. A well-rounded diet, rich in essential macronutrients and micronutrients, is crucial for optimal health and well-being. However, achieving this balance is easier said than done. Let’s discuss the common challenges faced by individuals in the Sunshine Coast while attempting to maintain a balanced dieting, and explore the expert advice of local functional medicine practitioner, Shelley Cavezza, PhD, for overcoming these hurdles.

Understanding Micronutrients and their Role in Balanced Dieting in Sunshine Coast

What are Micronutrients? Micronutrients are nutrients that our bodies require in small amounts but play a significant role in maintaining good health. They are mainly made up of vitamins and minerals that are essential for growth, development, and overall well-being. Micronutrients are not produced naturally by our bodies, which means we must acquire them through the foods we eat.

Essential Micronutrients and their Functions

There are many micronutrients that our bodies need, but we’ll focus on a few essential ones and their functions:

1. Vitamin A: This vitamin is vital for maintaining healthy vision, skin, and immune function. It also contributes to growth and development in children. Good sources of vitamin A are carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, and cantaloupe.

2. Vitamin C: As an antioxidant, vitamin C helps protect our cells from damage and aids in the absorption of iron from plant-based foods. It also supports the immune system and helps maintain healthy skin, teeth, and bones. You can find vitamin C in fruits and vegetables, such as oranges, strawberries, broccoli, and capsicum.

3. Vitamin D: Primarily obtained through sunlight exposure, vitamin D supports bone health by helping our bodies to absorb calcium. It also plays a role in maintaining a healthy immune system. Food sources high in vitamin D include fatty fish, such as salmon and mackerel, and fortified products like milk and cereals.

4. Calcium: Calcium is essential for strong bones and teeth, as well as proper muscle and nerve function. Dairy products, such as milk, cheese, and yogurt, are great sources of calcium, but you can also find it in leafy greens, almonds, and fortified products plant-based milk.

5. Iron: Iron is responsible for transporting oxygen throughout our body, as well as maintaining energy levels. There are two forms of dietary iron: heme and non-heme. Heme iron is found in animal products like red meat, poultry, and fish, while non-heme iron is found in legumes, whole grains, and leafy greens.

To ensure you’re getting the right amount of micronutrients, it’s essential to incorporate a wide variety of foods into your daily meals. A balanced dieting includes plenty of colourful fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, healthy fats, and whole grains, as these foods contain an array of micronutrients that our bodies need to function optimally.

It’s important to avoid heavily relying on supplements as your main source of micronutrients. While supplements can be helpful in some situations, such as a diagnosed deficiency or restricted diet, it’s best to obtain your nutrients directly from a diverse range of foods. Not only do whole foods provide necessary micronutrients, but they also contain fibre, antioxidants, and other beneficial compounds that supplements may lack.

Expert Advice from Shelley Cavezza, PhD, on Balancing Micronutrients and Healthy Eating in Sunshine Coast

If you’re looking for tips on effectively managing your micronutrient intake and improving your eating habits for balanced dieting and optimal health, look no further than Shelley Cavezza’s expertise. As a functional medicine practitioner specialising in nutritional and lifestyle medicine on the Sunshine Coast, she knows all there is to know when it comes to maintaining a healthy, well-rounded diet. Let’s dive into her top advice and get a sneak peek of a sample balanced menu for your daily nourishment.

Shelley Cavezza, PhD, is a highly accomplished functional medicine practitioner on the Sunshine Coast who has dedicated her career to helping individuals take control of their health through effective nutritional and lifestyle strategies. She focuses on getting to the root cause of health issues, identifying imbalances in micronutrients, and designing personalised plans to help her clients optimise their wellbeing.

Her expertise and unique approach to nutrition and lifestyle medicine has made her a well-respected figure in the field, with many individuals benefiting from her guidance and knowledge.

When it comes to ensuring proper intake of micronutrients, Shelley Cavezza, PhD, emphasises the importance of consuming a diverse and balanced dieting. Here are her top recommendations:

1. Eat a rainbow: Make sure to include a variety of colourful fruits and vegetables in your diet. Each colour represents a different nutrient profile, therefore providing a wide range of essential micronutrients that your body needs to thrive.

2. Prioritise whole foods: Base your meals around unprocessed, whole foods, such as lean protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats. This will provide your body with nutrient-dense energy sources and a stable supply of essential vitamins and minerals.

3. Consider supplementation: If you’re struggling to meet your micronutrient needs through diet alone, consider discussing supplementation with a healthcare professional. A tailored supplement plan can help bridge any gaps and support your overall health.

4. Listen to your body: Pay attention to any signs and symptoms that could indicate nutrient imbalances, such as fatigue, weakened immune function, or digestive issues. Understanding your body’s unique needs can help you address underlying deficiencies more effectively.

To give you an idea of what a balanced day’s menu might look like, here’s what Shelley Cavezza, PhD, recommends:

Breakfast: Greek yoghurt with mixed berries, chia seeds, mixed nuts and seeds, and a drizzle of honey. Pair this with a green smoothie made from spinach, kale, cucumber, and half a green apple.

Morning tea: A small handful of almonds or a seed-based slice with a piece of fruit on the side.

Lunch: Grilled chicken or tofu salad, including a variety of colourful vegetables such as capsicum, tomatoes, carrots, and beetroot. Dress with olive oil, lemon juice, and fresh herbs.

Afternoon tea: Vegetables like carrot and cucumber sticks with a small serving of hummus.

Dinner: Baked wild-caught salmon, roast pumpkin, sweet potato, and steamed green beans, topped with homemade pesto.

Dessert: A square of dark chocolate.

Shelley Cavezza highly encourages individuals to seek guidance from a functional medicine practitioner to create a balanced diet that caters to their unique needs and circumstances. This personalized approach can significantly contribute to balanced dieting and improving overall health and well-being.

To summarize, let’s note that micronutrients play crucial roles in maintaining optimal health and well-being, and an inadequate intake can lead to a variety of health problems. The significance of incorporating micronutrients into a balanced dieting can’t be overstated.

If you’re struggling to achieve a balanced diet rich in essential micronutrients, don’t hesitate to contact Shelley Cavezza, PhD, for personalised, professional advice on how to make meaningful dietary adjustments that cater to your unique needs and support a healthy, vibrant life in the Sunshine Coast. Click here to schedule a 15-minutes call with Shelley Cavezza, PhD, to discuss your personal balanced dieting needs.