Certain nutrients are necessary in our diets if we are to keep the body healthy. These nutrients need to be consumed daily, if not at every meal. To bypass even one nutrient would put the cells of the body in an adjustment mode wherein it makes do with what it has, or sources this nutrient from an area in the body which becomes depleted. Traditional meals or marketed meals were not constructed with these facts in mind. Most people are therefore malnourished because they do not bother to inform themselves, and because they do not take the time to source meal ingredients and prepare their own meals according to the best knowledge available. Many depend on meals prepared for convenient buying. Others eat for taste and for fullness of stomach but not for nutritional value. Here is a breakdown of the nutrients that should be present in foods consumed daily:
Amino acids: This article gives a comprehensive background into Amino Acids. They can be divided into (a) Essential Amino Acids which must be obtained from food sources. They are: histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, valine. (b) Conditionally Essential Amino Acids which are produced in the body but which if low in the body, must be supplemented from food sources. They are: arginine, cysteine, glutamine, glycine, proline, serine, tyrosine. (c) Non-Essential Amino Acids which can be synthesised in the body from other amino acids, fatty acids and glucose. They are: alanine, asparagine, aspartic acid, glutamic acid, selenocysteine.
The functions of Amino Acids, according to the above-linked article are: (1) A source of energy. Glucogenic Amino Acids can be converted into glucose ie all except lysine and leucine. Ketogenic amino acids can be converted to Ketones which can be used for energy by the brain during fasting or in low carbohydrate diets. These amino acids are: isoleucine, leucine, lysine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and tyrosine. (2) The human body converts certain amino acids into other amino acids, proteins, glucose, fatty acids or ketones. (3) Amino acids act as chemical messengers or neurotransmitters in the nervous system (aspartate, GABA, glutamate, glycine and serine). (4) Amino acids act as precursors of other neurotransmitters or amino acid-based hormones (eg tyrosine is a precursor of dopamine, epinephrine, norepinephrine and tyroxine while aspartate, glutamate and glycine are precursors of nucleic acids which are part of DNA).
Foods that contain all 9 essential amino acids are called Complete Proteins. The article linked above gives the following information on Complete and Incomplete Proteins:
"ANIMAL FOODS with complete protein include liver (chicken, pork, beef), goose, duck, turkey, chicken, lamb, pork, most fish, rabbit, eggs, milk, cheese (cottage, gjetost, cream, swiss, ricotta, limburger, gruyere, gouda, fontina, edam) and certain beef cuts . Animal foods with incomplete protein include certain yogurts and beef cuts.
PLANT FOODS with complete protein include spinach, beans (black, cranberry, french, pink, white, winged, yellow), soy, split peas, chickpeas, chestnuts, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, avocado, potatoes, quinoa, a seaweed spirulina, tofu  and hummus . Common plant foods with incomplete protein: rice (white and brown), white bread (including whole-wheat), pasta, beans (adzuki, baked, kidney, lima, pinto, snap), peas, lentils, nuts (walnuts, peanuts, hazelnuts, almonds, coconut), sunflower seeds, kamut."
If you do not use complete proteins, then combine them so, in the end, you get all of them. If you eat meat or use animal products ensure that they are not grain-fed or factory-farmed. Free range and grass-fed are best. The grain-fed factory farmed animals and birds are treated with antibiotics and hormones which negatively impact on human health. Processed meats are said to be too dangerous for human consumption. Meats held together by Meat Glue can be dangerous to your health. Dangerous chemicals are used in meat production.
According to one study, there is danger in consuming meat and meat products. Certain methods of cooking meat eg grilling and frying have been linked to the production of cancer-causing chemicals. This is not to detract from the health-giving properties of bone-broth and gelatin. Good sources of Complete Proteins are grass-fed whey and hempseed. The real problem with meat, like carbs and sugar, is that they feed bacteria and boost their populations. One has to use probiotics or fermented foods to counter any increase in bad bacteria. Amino acids in the form of Complete Proteins, with or without Conditionally Essential amino acids and non-essential amino acids must be used by every human being every day. It is a common mis-perception that protein supplements are only for those who do bodybuilding or fitness training.. For more details on the roles of individual amino acids see: http://www.biblelife.org/amino.htm In addition, there is good information here, here, here, here, and here.
Carbohydrates: This article lists the principal functions of carbohydrates:
(a) Energy Production. This is what the article says about energy production....
"The primary role of carbohydrates is to supply energy to all cells in the body. Many cells prefer glucose as a source of energy versus other compounds like fatty acids. Some cells, such as red blood cells, are only able to produce cellular energy from glucose. The brain is also highly sensitive to low blood-glucose levels because it uses only glucose to produce energy and function (unless under extreme starvation conditions). About 70 percent of the glucose entering the body from digestion is redistributed (by the liver) back into the blood for use by other tissues. Cells that require energy remove the glucose from the blood with a transport protein in their membranes. The energy from glucose comes from the chemical bonds between the carbon atoms. Sunlight energy was required to produce these high-energy bonds in the process of photosynthesis. Cells in our bodies break these bonds and capture the energy to perform cellular respiration. Cellular respiration is basically a controlled burning of glucose versus an uncontrolled burning. A cell uses many chemical reactions in multiple enzymatic steps to slow the release of energy (no explosion) and more efficiently capture the energy held within the chemical bonds in glucose."
(b) Energy Storage: The article linked above says that, "If the body already has enough energy to support its functions, the excess glucose is stored as glycogen (the majority of which is stored in the muscle and liver). A molecule of glycogen may contain in excess of fifty thousand single glucose units and is highly branched, allowing for the rapid dissemination of glucose when it is needed to make cellular energy".In addition, it says that, "The liver, like muscle, can store glucose energy as a glycogen, but in contrast to muscle tissue it will sacrifice its stored glucose energy to other tissues in the body when blood glucose is low. Approximately one-quarter of total body glycogen content is in the liver (which is equivalent to about a four-hour supply of glucose) but this is highly dependent on activity level. The liver uses this glycogen reserve as a way to keep blood-glucose levels within a narrow range between meal times. When the liver’s glycogen supply is exhausted, glucose is made from amino acids obtained from the destruction of proteins in order to maintain metabolic homeostasis."
(c) Building Macromolecules: "Although most absorbed glucose is used to make energy, some glucose is converted to ribose and deoxyribose, which are essential building blocks of important macromolecules, such as RNA, DNA, and ATP...... Glucose is additionally utilized to make the molecule NADPH, which is important for protection against oxidative stress and is used in many other chemical reactions in the body. If all of the energy, glycogen-storing capacity, and building needs of the body are met, excess glucose can be used to make fat. This is why a diet too high in carbohydrates and calories can add on the fat pounds....." (source).
(d) Sparing Protein: "In a situation where there is not enough glucose to meet the body’s needs, glucose is synthesized from amino acids. Because there is no storage molecule of amino acids, this process requires the destruction of proteins, primarily from muscle tissue. The presence of adequate glucose basically spares the breakdown of proteins from being used to make glucose needed by the body." (source)
(e) Lipid Metabolism: "As blood-glucose levels rise, the use of lipids as an energy source is inhibited. Thus, glucose additionally has a “fat-sparing” effect. This is because an increase in blood glucose stimulates release of the hormone insulin, which tells cells to use glucose (instead of lipids) to make energy. Adequate glucose levels in the blood also prevent the development of ketosis. Ketosis is a metabolic condition resulting from an elevation of ketone bodies in the blood. Ketone bodies are an alternative energy source that cells can use when glucose supply is insufficient, such as during fasting. Ketone bodies are acidic and high elevations in the blood can cause it to become too acidic. This is rare in healthy adults, but can occur in alcoholics, people who are malnourished, and in individuals who have Type 1 diabetes. The minimum amount of carbohydrate in the diet required to inhibit ketosis in adults is 50 grams per day." (source).
Lipids and amino acids are other legitimate sources of energy for the body. Considering the dangers of using too much carbs,one has to include good fats (lipids) and amino acids in one's diet both for energy and for their own contributions to body wellness. There are many good articles which discuss the the issue of how much Carbs, Protein or Lipids to consume, such as this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, etc.
There are good carbs and bad carbs. Good or complex carbs take longer to digest, usually contains some fiber, and do not produce glucose spikes in the body. They have a low glycemic index. Simple carbs are bad carbs because they flood the system with glucose. This leads to a 'low' when that glucose is metabolised. They have a high glycemic index. Refined carbs like white rice, white flour and sugar, have the fiber stripped away. Carbohydrate consumption is linked to obesity, diabetes and heart disease.One should avoid wheat and factory-farmed flesh completely. Wheat spikes blood sugar, contains gluten which affects the wellness of the digestive system, and contains phytic acid which prevents absorption of minerals by binding to them. Read more here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here. In his dietary protocol, Dr Sebi recommends grains like amaranth, kamut, fonio, quinoa, rye, spelt, tef and wild rice. But grains on the whole are a poor choice of food. Also see here. For healing, he recommends completely avoiding wheat. He suggests carbs from fruits, vegetables, beans and dates or sweeteners like maple sugar. Another reason for avoiding wheat, and possibly other grains, is the fact that the crops are sprayed with glyphosate/round-up to dessicate them. This could be the reason for all the digestive issues associated with wheat consumption, according to this article. Read more about this here, here, here, here and here. In their defence, farmers insist that the practice is not widespread, contrary to what the USDA is saying. Wheat is also associated with Type 2 diabetes. White flour is whitened with Chlorine Dioxide, a bleach, which reacts with the proteins in wheat to produce Alloxan which kills the beta cells of the pancreas. Read more on that here, here, here, here and here. So, to escape the glyphosate, one can use organic flour. To escape the Alloxan and lack of nutritive elements, one can use organic whole wheat flour. But then, the problems associated with gluten remains. The best use of wheat is in the form of wheat-grass juice. It is considered to be a superfood. It might be wiser to dump gluten-grains and conventional rice and use foods like wild rice, yams and other root crops (eg sweet potatoes, red potatoes, taro etc), cooked green bananas, along with fruit and vegetable sources of carbs. The what are the nutrients in the particular food, and does that food have a high nutrient density.
Carbs are acidic in nature and one should limit one's consumption to 30%-40% of your meal. The body is naturally alkaline at a pH of 7.4 and that should be maintained. Meat is also acidic and should be limited. An alkaline diet is necessary if one wants to escape the thralldom of acidic diseases.
This (below) is basic information on acid/alkaline balance......
"Human blood pH should be slightly alkaline ( 7.35 - 7.45 ). Below or above this range means symptoms and disease. A pH of 7.0 is neutral. A pH below 7.0 is acidic. A pH above 7.0 is alkaline.
An acidic pH can occur from, an acid forming diet, emotional stress, toxic overload, and/or immune reactions or any process that deprives the cells of oxygen and other nutrients. The body will try to compensate for acidic pH by using alkaline minerals. If the diet does not contain enough minerals to compensate, a build up of acids in the cells will occur.
An acidic balance will: decrease the body's ability to absorb minerals and other nutrients, decrease the energy production in the cells, decrease it's ability to repair damaged cells, decrease it's ability to detoxify heavy metals, make tumor cells thrive, and make it more susceptible to fatigue and illness. A blood pH of 6.9, which is only slightly acidic, can induce coma and death.
The reason acidosis is more common in our society is mostly due to the typical American diet, which is far too high in acid producing animal products like meat, eggs and dairy, and far too low in alkaline producing foods like fresh vegetables. Additionally, we eat acid producing processed foods like white flour and sugar and drink acid producing beverages like coffee and soft drinks. We use too many drugs, which are acid forming; and we use artificial chemical sweetners like NutraSweet, Spoonful, Sweet 'N Low, Equal, or Aspartame, which are poison and extremely acid forming. One of the best things we can do to correct an overly acid body is to clean up the diet and lifestyle.
To maintain health, the diet should consist of 60% alkaline forming foods and 40% acid forming foods. To restore health, the diet should consist of 80% alkaline forming foods and 20% acid forming foods.
Generally, alkaline forming foods include: most fruits, green vegetables, peas, beans, lentils, spices, herbs and seasonings, and seeds and nuts.
Generally, acid forming foods include: meat, fish, poultry, eggs, grains, and legumes."
You can get many lists of acid/alkaline foods on the web eg here, here, here, here, here, here, and here. One should print a chart one can easily work with and start composing your meals. It is not satisfactory if one relies on already prepared meals from the market system. One should avoid pre-done meals, fast foods, convenience store and deli-created meals. To get wholesome and toxin-free foods (if the latter is at all possible), one should source ingredients and prepare the meals oneself while configuring the meals to one's health target. A meal for losing weight is not the same as one designed to help the body heal itself from specific illness.
The field of Nutrition must be researched if one is to look at it with fresh eyes. Accepting the old paradigms and fulfilling them in one's daily menus, leaves you in the same dietary ditch. The cells need to be properly nourished or they starve, become congested and leaves the body prone to unwellness or disease. Some of the best websites for researching nutrition and health related matters are:
http://draxe.com/ (go to Articles)
http://www.westonaprice.org/ ( go to Health Topics)
There are many alternative health websites. Use your search engines. www.greenmedinfo.com has a great database of actual case studies you can research. No research, no knowledge!