Every time you take a bite of a sandwich or drink juice, your body starts working to process the nutrients of food. These nutrients become building blocks and serve as fuel for the body to carry out various activities. This process is known as metabolism.
At a time, there are hundreds of metabolic processes that are happening, which keep our cells healthy and working. If this process was to stop, all living things will die.
During this process, two activities occur:
Anabolism: Builds and stores. It provides support in the growth of new cells and the storage of energy for further use in the future.
Catabolism: A process to produce all the required energy for the cells. The large molecules, mostly carbohydrates and fats, gets broken down by the cells to release energy.
Metabolism plays a big role in kid’s health:
Metabolism plays a very important role in a child’s proper growth. The basic units of metabolism are formed through three major things:
1. Amino acids: Play a crucial role in all biological processes and these are the building blocks of it. Majority of our cells, muscles and tissues is made up of amino acids.
2. Glucose: Mainly brain and red blood cells use glucose which is stored in the form of glycogen, stored into liver.
3. Fatty acids: Essential fatty acids (EFAs) omega-3 and omega-6 are closely related to the management of inflammation in the body. They also provide the building blocks for your body to make prostaglandins, agents that increase and decrease inflammation in your body.
Metabolism is important for the good gut health and other abroad elimination parts like intestines (bowel), kidneys (urination), skin (sweat), and lungs (breathing).
Myths Vs Facts About Metabolism In Kids:
1. Myth: Metabolism cannot be altered
Fact: Although it is true to a certain extent, we can boost our metabolism by increasing lean muscle mass and having small frequent meals at regular intervals. With the increase in age, the metabolic rate slows down but it can be countered by the metabolism boosting diets.
2. Myth: Skipping meals is an ideal way to boost metabolism
Fact: Eating regular meals help in boosting metabolism. Our body especially the brain requires a regular supply of glucose from foods. When you stay hungry and wait for food, the body runs at a lower rate of burning energy. When you eat again, the body stores as much as possible so that it won’t face similar issues in future causing the body to put on weight. In the long run, such eating habits lead to nutrients deficiencies.
Your child’s diet has a huge impact on his health and ability to fight diseases. Depending on the age of the child, we look at foods that are ideal to give for each age group. Read the below article to know which foods.
3. Myth: Certain foods boost metabolism
Fact: Green chillies or green tea might boost your metabolism for a certain amount of period but this is not permanent. To completely alter your metabolism, you need a combination-based diet that includes all kinds of vegetables and fruits
4. Myth: Skipping breakfast will help lose weight
Fact: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Starting your day with a good breakfast will kickstart your metabolism, keep your body full of energy for the whole day and reduce hunger, helping you to control your weight.
Impact of lifestyle on metabolism:
There are various lifestyle factors which cause your body’s metabolism to rupture down:
- Not moving enough.
- Taking too much stress.
- Not getting enough sleep.
- Smoking or drinking on a regular basis.
- Eating habit disorders.
- Not eating enough or long duration in between the meals.
However, we can always follow these healthy habits to keep our metabolism healthy.
- Have a healthy breakfast every day.
- Eat small meals every two to three hours.
- Avoid strong, spicy and oily food.
- Avoid too much stress.
- Try and keep a food journal.
The author is a dietitian/nutritionist, and host of “Eat right Diet”.
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