How foods affect health ?
“in each of us there’s a possibility of greatness and
finding how to develop the potential.” – Rabindranath Tagore
Currently there are serious concerns about the relationship between food and health. Scientific research shows that eating smart can prevent many diseases. Proper nutrition helps to enhance the intelligence of people and promotes their productivity in society.
Many diseases, including several cancers are related to food. Safe and healthy food should be part of the lifestyle and contribute to the physiological, mental and social aspects of population. Some issues about the benefits of healthy eating foods including:
- Recognize the importance to incorporate foods, spices, and healthy beverages into daily diet habits.
- Improvise combinations of enjoyable and nutritive foods.
- Use quick and healthy methods of cooking foods.
- Understanding the most common ways to keep food, while preserving its nutritional properties and flavors.
- Plan strategies for the purchase of healthy and affordable foods.
Scientific advances have shown the importance of adequate nutrition as one of the best ways to promote health and physical and emotional wellbeing. The best diet is one that considers the eating habits of a particular culture, tastes, habits, physical activity and lifestyles. Therefore, there is no ideal diet that may be generally used for all people. Also you can use additional resource to learn more. However, there is a criterion for everyone in terms of which food must be consumed to meet energy needs and nourishment, as well as to prevent disturbances and diseases related to poor nutrition.
A balanced diet is one that:
- Includes the nutrients necessary for the proper functioning of the body depending on individual characteristics (age, pregnancy, health status, lifestyle sedentary or active).
- Prevents, or at least reduces, the risk of certain disorders or diseases in the short and long term.
Food and Health
Many diseases are related to the type of peoples’ diet and lifestyle.
Some of them are:
- Cardiovascular disease,
- The World Health Organization states that 70% of cancers can be prevented with simple changes in diet and lifestyle.
What do we know about nutrients?
Nutrients are food substances necessary for the functioning of our body. The different types of nutrients are found in various foods are Carbohydrates (simple sugars and complex, starch), Fats and Lipids (for energy reserve), Proteins (building blocks), Vitamins, and Minerals.
Along with fats, carbohydrates release energy needed to perform vital functions (pumping heart, respiration, body temperature regulation, etc.), and the development of physical and mental activity in general.
Long-lasting Carbohydrates are those that produce energy in the body for, obviously, longer periods of time. They are found mainly in cereals.
Simple carbohydrates are sugars, especially refined sugars. Its excess consumption is associated with the onset of diabetes and obesity.
Fats and Lipids
Among the functions of fats or lipids are to form and maintain organs, tissues, and our defense system against external agents and infections. Together with carbohydrates are an energy source. Fats or lipids regulate body temperature, surround and protect vital organs like heart and kidneys, transport fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K) thus facilitating their absorption. They are indispensable to the formation of certain hormones and for supplying essential fatty acids (linoleic and linolenic) that the body can not synthesize and that must necessarily obtain the daily diet.
Proteins are the nutrients from animal or plant origin that the human body needs to function properly and build tissue and muscle.
Vitamins, and Minerals.
Vitamins are a class of nutrients found in various foods. There are water soluble vitamins such as vitamin B and vitamin C and others vitamins like A, D, E, K, which are fat soluble.
Minerals are inorganic chemicals essential to the functioning of the organism. Among the most important known minerals we find calcium, magnesium, zinc and other elements present in many foods.
The food pyramid
A balanced diet should include foods from all groups and in appropriate proportions. The food pyramid is a graphical representation of the recommendations of a balanced diet.
Feeding and quality of life
Quality of life is the welfare, happiness, and satisfaction of the person which allows it to act or function successfully.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Quality of Life is related to the perception the person has of their existence, culture, and value in which they live, their expectations, their rules, and their concerns.
Quality of Life is a broad term that depends on the person’s physical health, psychological state, level of independence, social relationships and the environment, among other important aspects.
Health is the level of functional or metabolic efficiency of a living being. In humans, it is the general condition of a person’s mind, body and spirit, usually meaning to be free from illness, injury or pain.
Some precautions related to foods
There are substances in some foods that can be harmful to health (trans fat, excess sugar, additives, some processed foods, etc). Also, some ways to prepare and cooking food can be harmful to health and there are healthiest forms of food preparation to keep nutrients and natural elements that must be included to prevent some diseases.
The information provided here is intended to provide updated knowledge about the importance of food for a healthy life. It is not a guide to self-medication. Professional advice is recommended for any decision related to food. Nutritional needs vary from person to person depending on age, sex, health status and the total diet.
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