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relationship between health and nutrition

Do you know the relationship between nutrition and health is at the heart of scientific research? For around thirty years, many national and international research organizations have focused their research on the relation of nutrition to health.

From my previous discussion, you might have already known What is Health as The World Health Organization (WHO) defines,

“Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”[1]

But most of us think health is only being free from illness. It is not entirely right. A person should be healthy both in terms of physical, mental, and social well-being and not a mere absence of any disease. Then we can say it is a good nutritional status.

There is a strong relationship between nutrition and health, and you’ll want to make the right food choices to ensure you live the best life possible. Discover the many important connections between nutrition and a healthy lifestyle, and how it plays a major role in your life. Before going into details, let’s what is nutrition.

What is Nutrition?

Nutrition is the intake of food in relation to the dietary needs of the body. Good nutrition (a sufficient and balanced diet combined with regular physical exercise) is a fundamental element of good health.

What is Nutrition
What is Nutrition

According to WHO,

“Nutrition is the intake of food, considered in relation to the body’s dietary needs. Good nutrition – an adequate, well-balanced diet combined with regular physical activity – is a cornerstone of good health. Poor nutrition can lead to reduced immunity, increased susceptibility to disease, impaired physical and mental development, and reduced productivity.”[2]

Hippocrates, the Father of medicine says,

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”[3]

So, good nutrition indicates the right amount of nutrients for proper utilization for achieving the highest level of health.

There are six different types of nutrients in foods. They are,

  1. Proteins,
  2. Carbohydrates,
  3. Fats,
  4. Vitamins,
  5. Minerals
  6. And Water.

For a healthy body, we require all these six important nutrients. Carbohydrates, proteins, and fats are majorly required for bodybuilding and energy; the minerals and vitamins are required for the protection of our body and they give us resistance against the different illnesses and also they required for carrying out the metabolic actions in the body and keeping the body healthy. And water is a very important nutrient which keeps our body healthy.

Relationship between Nutrition and Health

Good nutrition is the key to leading a healthy lifestyle. We can improve our health if we take care of ourselves. Eating a balanced diet is an important part of good health. We should eat foods that contain six important nutrients which include whole grains, a source of protein, dairy, fruits, vegetables, and water.

Relationship between Nutrition and Health
Relationship between Nutrition and Health

Nutrition plays a role in promoting good health. So we have to be careful about the foods and nutrients which should be emphasized in our diets, and how they can enhance our health. Diets full of fruits and veggies, whole grains, nuts, and lean meats have proven health benefits like lowering blood pressure, improving glucose control in diabetics, weight loss, improving arthritis, and reducing the risk of cancer and cardiovascular events and so on.

We should also learn about the specific nutrients that can impact health. For example,

  • Plant pigments[4] found in bright orange and red fruits and vegetables, which may prevent and slow the progression of eye diseases.
  • Calcium helps to keep bones strong.
  • Vitamin B plays a role in maintaining brain health.
  • Flavonoids[5] from many plants may improve the health of our cardiovascular systems.

It’s not surprising that physical activity can help to maintain a healthy weight, improve mood and sleep habits, and boost overall health. And it’s clear that a well-balanced diet, full of nutritious foods is crucial to good health.

We Are What We Eat

Surely you have heard this expression many times: “We are what we eat.”

What goes through your head when you listen to it? They are words with a much more important meaning than is usually thought. We are going to see everything that hides behind this certainty and to pay special attention to everything that it wants to tell us.

We are what we eat
We Are What We Eat

Since we are born we need three things to live: oxygen, water, and food”. Food “is fuel” through which we obtain energy and compounds that help us to repair the body.

Once the food is eaten, the feeding ends, and nutrition begins, which we can define as the unconscious and involuntary process by which the body receives and transforms the nutritional substances that we give it through what we eat.

The relationship between food nutrition and health is immense. Food gives us energy and nutrients to live with.

Today there is no doubt that what we eat is key to achieving and maintaining optimal body function, preserving or restoring health, and protecting ourselves against future illnesses.

Also, our eating behavior influences the decisions of those around us. The clearest example is that of the little ones, who will imitate and acquire the eating habits that are followed at home.

In turn, the entire society influences what we eat: food policies, nutritional education campaigns, collective consumption, gastronomic offer, food availability, the food industry, the geographical environment, advertising, and marketing, fashion and we could continue citing countless conditions.

Besides, many pathologies also depend on whose cause is influenced by diet, such as cancer. According to results from over 80,000 new cases of cancer, it is estimated that “30% of cancer is caused by a poor diet”.[6] It can also affect other aspects such as functional brain development or aging.

To avoid this, the first thing we have to follow is “to control the adequate amount of food, and the second is a healthy style of food.” The base of the diet is fruits and vegetables.

We should eat about three fruits a day, “that can mean about 90 thousand fruits in a lifetime”. To this we add vegetables and greens twice a day, fish five times a week, meat four times (one of them red), potatoes twice a week, another two pasta and the same rice.

What do we gain in return? Not being overweight, with which you have already achieved enough because there is no overload in organs such as the heart or liver; slower and healthier aging; in addition to circumstances as obvious as sleep, because with a good diet you sleep better. Even the state of mind, because when you eat better the functionality of the brain is also better.

“We Are What We Eat”, this expression contains a whole motto of life.

Why Good Nutrition is Important for Health?

Good and balanced nutrition is very beneficial for us. Good nutrition means a portion of food that can maintain the required energy balance in our body. If we do not have the energy, we cannot perform well. For good and optimum health, we should be careful about what we are eating, how we are eating, how much we are eating, and what time we are eating.

Why Good Nutrition is Important for Health
Why Good Nutrition is Important for Health

We have a few limiting factors in our body and by consuming good nutrition we can remove them. Among the limiting factors which come first in our mind is Genetics.

We all have different genes and we have to accept that each and every one is not genetically blessed. For example, some people lose bodyweight very fast and some lose very slowly; some people get good muscles very fast but some are not. This is a genetic factor.

But if we add good nutrition to our food, it allows us to break up this fact and even we can achieve good health. That is why Nutrition is known as a Promoter of Good Health.

Nutrition as a Weapon of Prevention

Numerous studies show that diet is a fundamental pillar in the prevention of diseases. It is one of the most studied factors in chronic diseases, although we cannot forget the determining role of nutrition in the correct functioning of the immune system and greater resistance in acute infectious processes.

Chronic diseases have a long duration and are generally slow in progression. Diabetes, heart attacks, heart disease, cancer, and respiratory diseases are the main causes of mortality in the world, accounting for 63% of deaths.

In 2008, 36 million people died of chronic disease. These are diseases clearly linked to our lifestyle, so we must attend to our way of life in a more committed and conscious way.

The human organism has a magnificent resilience capacity and adapts to the environment that surrounds it to live in harmony, it can tolerate a large number of pathogens or toxic agents if the immune system is strong. However, undernutrition or overnutrition can upset this balance.

Nutrition as a Weapon of Prevention
Nutrition as a Weapon of Prevention

We are in an overfed and paradoxically malnourished society. Currently, the food market is very large and offers us various alternatives to consume, therefore, it is more difficult to know what we eat given the reality that most processed foods come with a high content of simple sugars, saturated fat, and sodium Mainly, which has caused various diseases closely associated with the cardiovascular system, increasing the risk of suffering from them.

That is why it is important to know food, since through this we can prevent diseases in the future and, in addition, provide our body with the energy and nutrients necessary to function effectively in our day to day life.

If you are what you eat, would you be a healthy person? Preventing deadly diseases is available to anyone who wants to avoid them. Nutrition is a tool that will take care of your health easily. While it is unlikely that you can prevent or control viruses or bacteria that enter your body, you can provide a strong immune system to help prevent them.

Eating right also prevents obesity and is one of the main reasons for the disease. What few know is that it leads to other conditions such as type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, stroke, heart disease; among others.

So make a plan what you eat, avoiding eating foods loaded with sugar, fat, and calories; the culprits of adding extra weight to your body, weakening your bones, and making your organs work harder. This automatically puts you at a higher risk for future health problems.

Weapon for prevention, nutrition is probably one of the most valid and effective tools we have to protect our health. Let’s make food a way to enjoy life in a healthy way.

Final Thoughts

Life actually thrives on food. The substances that contain food and on which life depends, are nutrients. They provide the essential substances for the growth and survival of living beings.

The way in which nutrients are constituted in the integral parts of the body and contribute to its functions depends on the physiological and biochemical processes that govern its actions.

Weapon for prevention, nutrition is probably one of the most valid and effective instruments that we have to protect our health. So the Relationship between Nutrition and Health is I think very well understood by all of you.

After having reviewed what it implies, do you think we give the attention and importance to our food it really demands?

What would you do to become more aware of the importance of what you eat at all times?

The bottom line is that you have the power to maintain and improve your health, and reduce your risk of disease. And IT’S NEVER LATE TO MAKE A CHANGE.


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References

  1. http://www.who.int
  2. http://emro.who.int
  3. https://www.drgoodfood.org
  4. https://www.encyclopedia.com
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org
  6. https://www.medscape.com