Health and Nutrition


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Hello my fellow Americans and those listeners throughout the world and welcome to another edition of This is Doctor Rick Black. I’m back and today I want to talk to you about nutrition.

Many people treat the subject of nutrition kind of lightly, but you know, face it, every person’s life depends on it. Most nutritional deficiencies, lack of energy, poor coordination, and susceptibility to disease; these can be easily corrected. Other effects of poor diet are things like brittle bones, premature ageing, and severe skin problems. These things, when you are in your twenties and thirties, as you age, can lead a heck of a handicapped, and these things last a lifetime. Nutritional needs of the martial artists are very unique because they rely on a total physical and mental coordination. They need to be control of the situation at all times.

When they decide to act their body muscles respond immediately, speed, in vigor, and tenacity. They can’t be bothered by shortness of breath. They can’t be bothered by poor timing. To achieve this finite tool function of the body and mind, you have to have nutrients in your body, essential vitamins that are going to help build your health.  Cardiovascular too, that’s your exercise but that’s not what we are talking about so much. The best way to receive nutrients is through diet. Vitamins, minerals, other nutrients are dependent upon each other. They act as nutritional teams. The lack of one, can cause deficiency of another. Nature usually provides this complete balance. That is why we find this in food and for person uses a supplement, it should be as complete as possible. A complete one-a-day type vitamin. I’m not stressing any brands.

Best of all, nutrients use should be one that the body requires. Particularly for specific incidents, specific needs if you are a martial artist, and there are only handfuls which have to be carefully monitored, these critical keys give the martial artist a nutritional advantage. I am going to talk about this a little bit. The first thing is Vitamin B Complex. Vitamin B complex can have impact on an athlete’s strength. Your endurance, your reaction time, it is a water-soluble group of vitamins which the body can’t store. Skipping just one meal can result to an almost an immediate deficiency and it can show us up by draining your energy and your strength.

Members of this complex are necessary before any enzyme can breakdown food and turn it into energy. No matter how much someone eats, without Vitamin B Complex, you can’t turn that food into energy. The complex also helps bring a supply of oxygen available to your muscle, which gives you strength. Yet even more important to the martial artist is the effect these vitamins have on the central nervous system. Another one is Choline, it is one of the B complex and it is necessary to relay commands, from the central nervous system to the muscles. If there is a shortage, the muscles simple reacts slower or sometimes don’t react at all. Like a tiny networks of switches, the central nervous system requires B complex to keep it running smoothly. It makes all the proper connections fast and efficient; and it is a critical element in reaction time.

Nature supply abundant amount of B complex in whole grains. However, modern processes destroy the vitamins. You know, canning, press drying sometimes delay some of the things that we are talking about. The government requires only a few members of the complex be replaced by food processing industry. To properly function, martial arts need all of them. The best natural sources of B complex are whole grain wheat, brown rice, liver, beans and milk. I know that one that I said there is liver, people go ‘Uh, I don’t like liver much’, but it’s very, very good.

The B complex consist mainly eleven distinct vitamins. There’s Thiamine, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Folic acid, Biotin, Pantothenic Acid, Choline, Bitartrate, PPA and Inositol. Vitamin C is the next thing we are going to talk about. Vitamin C is probably the most talked about of any vitamin and the most misunderstood. Most of the controversy really is over stability to prevent illness. The controversy notwithstanding, it does have a benefit for the martial artist which is just a point back vitamin C’s.

Recognized for its role in the formation of connective tissue called collagen, it protects the gums from bleeding, and also improves the healing of wounds. The martial artists, too, does a lot  of sparring which requires vitamin C to help protect tissue and blood vessels. Because it prevents bleeding and helps aid in restoration of the muscles, from minor injury and during sparring you know that happens. Vitamin C is also a water soluble vitamin that can’t be stored. It just passes through. Most animals synthesize their own vitamin C and they don’t have any need for it. The humans have the genetic defect which prevents the body from synthesizing it and seen must be obtained through food or supplements. Best foods to derive vitamin C would be ascorbic acid. They are from oranges, cantaloupes, fresh strawberries, broccoli, spinach and tomato juice because of the acid, high doses of vitamin C can cause minor irritations to the stomach. Much like aspirin does. If a person uses a supplement, if she get one that includes rose hips to help buffer the stomach against possible effects. Vitamin C for curative, for health or colds and things like these have to be done in large doses and you really want to kind of watch that because like I said, it will cause stomach irritation.

The next thing I want to talk about is Vitamin E. Many people call E, the athletes vitamin. The body is capable of storing this nutrient and physical activity burns huge amounts of vitamin E and it increases the athlete’s needs for it. Vitamin E is an instrumental and keeping pure oxygen available to the tissues. To create more energy and more endurance. Most people who supplement  their diets with this vitamin, report that they are not breathing heavily during intense exercise that helps increase and keep the stamina. During the Olympics, the Australian swimming team used kind of a super-E therapy by eating large quantities of wheat germ cereal and wheat germ oil which are heavy in vitamin E. The team took all of the medals that year and E begin to earn its reputation with athletes. This was all the way back in 1960 Germany Olympics. It is used heavily in many European countries but only recently protein, vitamin A and the essential amino acids have been introduced.

For anyone involved in physical training, Protein, Vitamin A, and the Essential Amino Acids are the Big Three. Proteins are chief tissue builder and the basic substance in every living cell. But it is not a vitamin, that is necessary food like found in carbohydrates and fats. The body does not store protein for future use. A person needs each day to re-supplement this. So, it is very important that you eat correctly. If the protein supply is insufficient, the body will feed on its own tissue, you’ll see depletion in the muscles. This cannibalization can be devastating to the martial artists. It leaves the muscles’ weak, leaves it flabby, leaves it unresponsive. Insufficient protein, as you get into your thirties and forties you will notice premature ageing. That affects your hair, the fullness and richness of your hair, it affects the way that your face looks, you get sagging as you age, and this is one of the things that can be a good role of propagating protein intakes to divide the body weight into. In this way, you will know that the what you are getting are very good for you. Now, I try to share with you what little bit I know and I hope it will be helpful for you. But you have to understand when I talk about dividing the body weight too. It gives you an approximate minimum number of grains of protein a person should consume daily. If a martial artist is training hard, this amount should be doubled. A protein alone is not enough to prevent deficiency. A body cannot use a whole protein molecule. It has to break it down and to basic amino acids which are absorbed by the body. And then they re-assemble to form new protein combinations in the body tissue and in the cells.

Of the twenty two amino acids required by the body, eleven of them can’t be manufactured. It must be supplied daily. These are known as essential amino acids. Even with the amino acids, protein synthesis still requires a presence of vitamin A. This is the fat soluble vitamin, necessary to protect the body tissues from infection. There is evidence that this may be beneficial into health, the treatment of cancer. I should say treating cancer, very much like your antioxidants which are so talked about nowadays. All vitamins are essential to proper physical conditioning. This is one thing that you got to understand. And there is also many minerals such as calcium, magnesium, other nutrients that you are getting from food such as enzymes which are essential for the proper physical maintenance of the body. Best way to attain these, again, is through diet. Because of the food processing methods, this is becoming more and more difficult. People eating fast food. They are really not getting this, what they are doing is getting a lot of fat. But to be safe, everyone needs all these three nutrients daily. The best source, provided in green and yellow vegetable, eggs, organ meat such as liver, I know, people hate liver. The best natural sources of protein which includes in amino acid group are eggs, milk and meat.

If the martial artist can’t be sure that they are getting all the proper nutrients, you owe it yourself to ensure that you are receiving enough of the vitamins mentioned. For any athlete in training, these are critical vitamins and nutrients. A simple correction in diet could increase both your power and your speed and give you the assurance that you are having suffering from no nutritional deficiency. And this type of training can last for a lifetime and help prevents ageing.

I hope that I did not digress too much and that some of this information was helpful. Thank you very much and I’ll be back. This is Dr. Rick Black, signing off.

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