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Sunday Herald Sun - Body and Soul - - HEALTH -

body and there­fore have to be ob­tained through diet.

Con­sider the amino acid va­line. Amino acids are the sub­stances that make up the pro­tein for ev­ery cell in our body. Our bod­ies use 22 amino acids. Nine of these can­not be syn­the­sised within our bod­ies and must be supplied through diet. Va­line is one of these es­sen­tial amino acids. It is needed for mus­cle me­tab­o­lism and tis­sue re­pair. Whole­food sources in­clude brown rice, beans, beef, mush­rooms, peanuts and soy­beans.

Many nu­tri­ents in food work to­gether to en­sure the healthy func­tion­ing of our bod­ies. Eat­ing food in its nat­u­ral state en­sures we ben­e­fit from these syn­er­gies. The amino acid tryp­to­phan, for ex­am­ple, is the pre­cur­sor to the “happy” hor­mone sero­tonin, but it needs B vi­ta­mins in or­der for it to be con­verted into sero­tonin.

Whole­foods are also rich in an­tiox­i­dants, which neu­tralise free rad­i­cals. An over­load of free rad­i­cals has been linked to prob­lems such as heart dis­ease.

A cup of fresh rasp­ber­ries has more fi­bre than two slices of whole­meal bread and twice as much fi­bre as a medium ap­ple.

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