PEANUTS ARE LIKE FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS
Food contains energy, surprise! And that energy is measured in calories. Your body is always burning calories, even when you’re fast asleep. But, it burns a heck of a lot more when you’re doing things like rock climbing or running to catch a train. Think of your body like a bank account; eating food is like depositing calories in your account. And when you hike, high five or just gaze into the distance, your body will make "calorie withdrawals". If you deposit (eat burritos) more than you withdraw, BOOM - weight gain. But, if you withdraw (breakdance) more than you deposit, WHAM - weight loss. Things get more complicated when you add muscle or starve yourself, but we can talk about that later.
Ever wonder how you actually get energy from food? Well, wonder no more. Let us introduce you to the macronutrient. In the energy world, there are three giant, macronutrient stars; proteins, fats and carbohydrates. These big stars are in charge of growing, metabolism and other body functions, so yeah, they’re a big deal. There are other nutrients: vitamins and minerals, but they’re known as micronutrients. They’re basically understudies in the Broadway production known as "The Macros"!
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. You remember that tasty dinner you had last night? Well after dessert, your body broke down the food you had into amino acids. Those amino acids were then used to make proteins. Some proteins maintain your body’s structure, like bones, teeth and skin, while others maintain must-have functions like muscles, blood and other organs around your body. See, amino acids are the real deal! An important note to remember, aside from water, proteins are the most abundant type of molecule in the body. And we all know how important our friend H2O is!
Fats (who just so happen to belong to the macronutrient family) have a bum wrap people, take our word for it, fats are not all bad! Good dietary fats are pretty darn important when it comes to crucial roles in the body, lower your cholesterol and help your heart. Monounsaturated fats are one of the good fats. Good sources include: olive oil, avocados and peanut butter (we knew we liked monounsaturated fats for some reason!). Polyunsaturated Fats are the second half of this impressive duo and good sources include: walnuts, salmon and tasty, tasty soymilk. Now, get out there and add some good-fats to your diet.
One of the stars of the macronutrient family, carbohydrates, just so happen to come in two different versions: simple and complex. Now, both yield glucose for your body; both help maintain your blood glucose level; both pack the same number of calories; and both provide protection against bodily breakdowns. Simple carbohydrates provide your body with essential energy for things like color runs or pool parties. You can find these simple sugars in sugar, honey, fruits (like delicious apples), candy and cake. Yeah, cake! But wait, there’s a downside; foods that are primarily simple carbohydrates lack vitamins, minerals or fiber. Ugh, sadface. Foods that are primarily complex carbohydrates DO provide vitamins, minerals and fiber. You can find plenty of good ol’ complex carbohydrates in oatmeal, sweet potatoes or whole-wheat pasta.