Nutrition is the cornerstone of life. Without intake of food a person will perish. That sounds dramatic, but the reality of the situation is that it is dramatic.
But what does that mean as applied to health and fitness?
Why Nutrition Matters for Health
In “Why It Matters,” from the Center for Disease Control there is a good explanation for why nutrition matters for human health.
“People with healthy eating patterns live longer and are at lower risk for serious health problems such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity. For people with chronic diseases, healthy eating can help manage these conditions and prevent complications.”
There are myriad reasons why eating can positively or negatively affect health, and by proxy, cause or help prevent serious health problems. From “Preventing Heart Disease” from the Harvard School of Health, comes the quote “Excess weight and an extra-large waist size both contribute to heart disease, as well as a host of other health problems.”
One way this works is that the higher the body weight of a person, the harder the heart has to work to move the body. At the same time, higher body weight is often more prevalent in people who are not active. This means they are likely not working on improving cardiovascular fitness, and it may even be in a state of decline, which further compounds the strain the body processes put on the heart.
Simply put: excessive body weight + lack of cardiovascular fitness = excess heart strain.
These same overweight people are often at risk for other issues due to the type, quality, and amount of food eaten, as well as a lack of physical activity. This mix can lead to joint issues, diabetes, and other issues, such as blocked arteries and poor blood flow, which can in turn lead to other issues.
This is a negative chain that affect quality of life, costs money, leads to stress mental illness, and ultimately can lead to death
The importance of nutrition for health cannot be overstated. Healthy eating patterns have been linked to longer lifespans and a reduced risk of serious health conditions, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity. Even for individuals with chronic diseases, maintaining a healthy diet can play a pivotal role in managing these conditions and preventing complications.
A prime example of the essential connection between nutrition and health is evident in the prevention of heart disease. Excessive weight and an enlarged waistline are contributors to heart disease and a multitude of other health issues. The relationship between body weight and heart health is multifaceted. As body weight increases, the heart has to work harder to circulate blood throughout the body. Additionally, obese individuals with higher body weight often lead sedentary lifestyles, neglecting cardiovascular fitness. This lack of physical activity not only fails to improve cardiovascular health but also accelerates its decline, putting further strain on the heart.
In simpler terms, the equation is clear: excessive body weight combined with a lack of cardiovascular fitness equals increased strain on the heart.
However, the ramifications of poor nutrition, unhealthy diets, and physical inactivity extend beyond just heart health. Individuals who consume an unhealthy diet and lead inactive lives are susceptible to a range of problems due to the type, quality, and quantity of food they consume. These issues can manifest as joint problems, diabetes, blocked arteries, and compromised blood flow. This negative cycle compounds over time, leading to a decreased quality of life, financial burdens from medical expenses, heightened stress levels, and ultimately, an increased risk of premature death.
It is crucial to recognize that the negative chain reaction sparked by poor nutrition and a sedentary lifestyle can have far-reaching consequences. The interplay between what we eat, how active we are, and our overall health is undeniable. By making mindful choices about our diets, staying physically active, and promoting heart health, we can break this negative cycle and pave the way for a healthier, more vibrant life. The benefits extend beyond the individual—healthier communities, reduced healthcare costs, and improved overall well-being are all achievable outcomes when we prioritize good nutrition and an active lifestyle.
Why nutrition matters for fitness
Food fuels the body. More specifically, the energy produced by breaking down food stuff provides fuel in the form of glycogen. This fuel is used in the metabolic pathways to provide energy for different types of activity.
If the body does not have glycogen stores, then you will feel fatigued, lack strength, or otherwise be unable to perform well, or perhaps even at all. In extreme cases, the lack of fuel will cause someone to shut down, that is, to need to go to sleep or even pass out.
To the idea of macro and micronutrients, food consumed provides vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and amino acids to the body. These elements enable processes in the body to occur, such as wound healing, cell reproduction, and more.
Without these elements in the body, your body will break down without repair. This can lead to loss of muscle, decline in mental performance, health issues such as heart diseases, and in extreme cases, death.
To keep the body performing optimally in everyday life and in physical pursuits such as gym time and competitive sports, the body needs food to provide fuel for energy, and the nutrients needed by the body to perform various functions.
As the point of nutrition importance begins to drill down, the focus on timing, calorie count saturated fat, protein, food quality, macronutrient distribution, and other areas become important.
Contrary to what some people think, being fit and healthy is a lot more than just working out per day. Food is of vital importance. Your nutrition matters. If you do not think so, stop eating. See how long you can go without food before you start to have serious repercussions.
Nutrition matters: Build a healthy diet, live a healthier life!
Fun Facts: The average person will be able to eat 105 meals this year if you are able to eat three days a week. It keeps you alive and helps us maintain a good lifestyle and provides vital resources to the people, social interactions, income, and health. However, eating too little has negative consequences. March is National Nutrition Month which was created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. This is an important time to celebrate healthy food, learn the importance of smart food choices, and embracing healthy lifestyle habits. This year the focus of the energy program Fuel for the Future is to encourage a sustainable-based diet to nourish us and future generations and help the environment in general.
What’s a balanced diet, and why is it important?
A balanced diet includes all of the food components and provides adequate nutrients that will help you to maintain healthy. Balance implies sufficiency. There are plenty of options because not just food provides all the necessary nutrition. And eating well will taste much healthier! A good balanced diet gives you plenty of nutrients. Too much food without adequate nutrition can affect your wellbeing. Children with poor nutrition may have trouble acquiring healthy foods, frequent illness and learning difficulties. Adult and infant mortality is high because of the lack of nutritional intake.
Consequences of Poor Nutrition
Several major health problems caused by eating disorders including obesity and diabetes are caused in part through dietary imbalances and toxins. Most Americans don’t eat healthy and rely too heavily on sodium fats and sugars and don’t eat enough whole grains or enough veggies to keep their weight off. Poor diet can lead to more serious chronic disease but using nutritionally-dense food products can reduce the risk.
Benefits of Proper Nutrition
People that are well-fed and eat healthy tend to live longer and are less vulnerable to cardiovascular disease. Proper nutritional habits are able to reduce depression and irritability. Healthy eating can improve a person’s mental health, and reduce the symptoms of chronic illness. Using an eat healthy approach like MyPlate or the Mediterranean diet. The MIND and DASH diets reduce the likelihood of cancer, heart disease and other cardiovascular diseases.
How to Ensure Proper Nutrition in Your Life
Nutrition is very balanced. You could say “eat healthy!” But many things should be taken into consideration including cost and availability of food choices. For more information on nutritional advice please consult with your registered dietitian. Alternatively a private doctor may be more financially stable by allowing people to get free medical attention from local hospitals and clinics. People with children aged 5 or younger may access services from Women, Infant or Children Services. The service also has a nutrition counseling program.