Most of us consider ourselves ‘healthy’ individuals. We may, however, just be blissfully unaware of the grim reality!
According to the World Health Organization, health is a ‘state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity’.
Our health is not only maintained because of the advancement and application of the health and medical sciences. We also need to make intelligent lifestyle choices that will ultimately affect our health. It is our responsibility to look after different aspects of our health. Of course, advances in medical science and research can help us help ourselves in our efforts to maintain health.
Food or nutrition is the primary source of energy and hence health for our body. Nutrition is the science that studies what and how we eat and the effects it has on our health, such as what food or food components may cause disease or adversely affect health. It also studies food and dietary supplements that can help us to improve our performance, promote our health and help in the cure or prevention of disease. For example, eating food that is rich in fiber can reduce the risk of colon cancer. Also, supplementing daily food intake with vitamin C strengthens your teeth and gums and improves the immune system of your body.
There is a variety of disease states that can be caused by and cured by changes in diet or supplements. Imbalances in our diet, deficiencies of a particular kind or the excess of a particular form can equally affect our health negatively as they can lead to conditions such as scurvy, obesity, and osteoporosis.
In today’s polluted environment, the ingestion of elements that play no role in maintaining or protecting your health such as lead and mercury is also a major health hazard.
Exercise is crucial to maintaining physical fitness. It helps maintain a healthy weight, promotes the building and maintenance of healthy bones, joints and muscles, engenders physiological well-being, reduces surgical risks and strengthens the immune system. Proper nutrition is no less important to good health than exercise and when you are exercising regularly, it is even more important to have good nutrition. This helps the body recover after strenuous exercise. On the other hand, proper rest is also important.
We have established that proper diet and nutrition are crucial to maintaining your health. Maintaining a healthy diet involves making choices of what to eat and in what quantity, with the overall aim of maintaining your best and most healthy condition. This involves the intake of necessary nutrients by eating the right amount of food from all the food groups and drinking the right amount of water. Often, we need to consume these essential nutrients as additional supplements to ensure that the body is at its best.
You might be surprised to learn that a lack of proper ‘nutrition’ can also be responsible for weight gain. Our modern diet is, unfortunately rich in carbohydrates, fats and sugars but lacking in crucial nutrients such as vitamins and minerals. These nutrients are responsible for ensuring that your body performs at its best. They are the crucial ‘supplements’ that your body needs to survive the stressed out, badly nourished life that most of us lead.