Our body is a mix of complex system and organs that perhaps gets affected by everything and anything around us – the environment we live in, pollution, the food and drinks that we consume, our sleeping ways, the way we involve in daily activities and all. Some of these factors are beyond the reach of our control, whereas, certain things are absolutely within the parameters of our control, like our diet and food choices.
Whenever we eat or drink something, our body processes them and absorbs the simple yet essential minerals, vitamins, fats, proteins, carbohydrates and even the water from these foods and drinks and converts them into our blood and provides us the energy, so that it could keep us healthy and growing.
The nutrition levels in food and drinks that we consume are vital to our health. It directly impacts our body and health both. It is why the importance and need for nutritious foods are to be known by all so that we all could live a healthy and happy life.
World Health Day, celebrated across the globe every year on the 7th of April, is a global effort made to spread the message of good food and good nutrition for a good and healthy life. There are millions around the planet, who do not have access to even the basic necessities in life like food and health care. It is an effort to raise awareness and help people understand the value of nutrition, health, and healthy living.
What makes nutrition so important for human health?
We all know that good food choice and clean water is vital for a healthy body and mind. All foods that are termed healthy and good contains key nutrients like proteins, carbohydrate, fats, some vitamins, minerals, and water. These all play a different role to keep our body healthy and develop new cells in our body. A large number of diseases occur only due to wrong and unhealthy food choices. It is some foods or diet that itself is responsible for certain diseases or changing the course of some diseases like diabetes, kidney and heart diseases, etc.
What are the vital nutrients that contribute to overall good nutrition?
Proteins: Proteins are the building blocks of what we are made of – amino acids. There are 22 different kinds of amino acids that our body requires to operate optimally. It helps to build and to repair new tissues and damages cells of the body. Proteins also help in creating different types of hormones and enzymes in our body which play crucial roles like that of sexual growth and metabolism.
Some great food sources are low-fat dairy and dairy products, lentils, nuts and seeds, whole grain foods, soy and tofu, green peas and legumes.
Carbohydrates: They are the source of energy to the human body. The carbohydrates in foods that we eat are converted into glucose to be used as an energy source in our body. This energy is used by the body for its various functions as a cellular constitution. The combination of Carbon, Oxygen, and Hydrogen collectively makes u for carbohydrates.
Fruits and vegetables of all types, bread, pasta, and rice are great sources of carbs.
Fats: Fats too provides the body energy. We all have a misconception about fats being unhealthy and bad. But it is not at all true. All fats are not bad. Fats insulates the body by providing us the much-needed protection against external factors like changes in the environment and also provides support and protection to all our organs in the body.
Examples of healthy fats are avocado, dairy, fatty fishes, olive and coconut oil and alike.
Vitamins: Vitamins are compounds that are organic in nature. These compounds play a crucial role in the functionality of the body. In the present world, a chemical compound is known by the name of the vitamin. These are required by our body to develop and grow in a normal manner.
Minerals: Though these are required by the body in trace quantities, these are vital in regulating our body processes and developing new tissues. It helps to boost our immunity and we get all of the required quantities from a balanced and healthy diet.
Some crucial minerals are Calcium, Chromium, Chloride, Iodine, Iron and Fluoride.
By Dietitian Sheela Seharawat