read Why Is Nutrition Important for Health

Why Is Nutrition Important for Health

Why is nutrition important

Food occupies an important place in our lives. We look forward to cooking and eating, not only for filling our stomach, but because of the joy it often brings. But food is much more than just that. We also eat to sustain ourselves. Our body would stop functioning properly without the right nourishment.

Let’s find out how obtaining the right nutrition plays an important role in our health.

Acts as a fuel source

This is the most basic reason why we eat food. Just like a car requires fuel to drive, nutrients in our food — mainly carbohydrates, protein and fats — provide calories that give you the energy to function. These activities include physical activities like walking, running, and so on, as well as integral body functions such as digestion, breathing, and the beating of your heart. 

Contributes to immune function

Everyone is born with innate immunity, which enables you to ward off certain infections. As you grow older, you also develop what is called acquired immunity, which is built on exposure to infections. However, certain vitamins, such as vitamins A, C, and E, and minerals like zinc, iron, and selenium, which you must obtain from your diet, contribute greatly to building a robust immune system.

Promotes healthy aging

Everyday exposure to chemicals, toxins, environmental pollutants, and stress leads to free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can easily react with other molecules. When they are left untreated, they lead to a process called oxidation, which may further progress to aging, and diseases such as atherosclerosis and cancer. Antioxidants found in brightly colored foods like fruits and vegetables are beneficial compounds that reduce this damage. This will in turn promote healthy aging and may lead to a long, quality life. 

May help prevent diseases

The right nutrition can help you prevent diseases, while incorrect food choices can impact your health adversely. Following sound nutrition habits can help you avoid falling into the obesity epidemic. Obesity is further known to lead you to a plethora of lifestyle diseases such as type-2 diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension. Brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s may also be prevented or delayed with the right nutrition.

May help prevent inflammation

Inflammation is your body’s immune response to toxins, foreign objects, or chemicals. When you consume foods that are processed and refined (such as sugar, refined flour, trans fats), they may trigger inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation may lead to the onset of diseases such as arthritis, cancer, and heart disease, among others.  On the other hand, fruits, green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains are anti-inflammatory in nature. 

May help prevent DNA damage

Micronutrients such as vitamin B12, folate, iron, zinc, etc are involved in several processes that regulate DNA synthesis as well as its repair. This may further help prevent the risk of certain diseases. Healthy DNA function is essential for maintaining good health.

Also read: Portion Control: Get Smart About How Much You Eat

These are just a few benefits of how taking care of your nutrition may help you in the long run. Nutrition has to be an integral part of your lifestyle, so you can lead a healthier life.

References
1. Foods that fight inflammation. Harvard Health Publishing. 2014. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/foods-that-fight-inflammation (accessed Apr 13, 2021).
2. Understanding acute and chronic inflammation. Harvard Health Publishing. 2020. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/understanding-acute-and-chronic-inflammation (accessed Apr 13, 2021).
3. Fenech M. The Role of Nutrition in DNA Replication, DNA Damage Prevention and DNA Repair. In: De Caterina R, Martinez JA, Kohlmeier M, eds. Principles of Nutrigenetics and Nutrigenomics. Academic Press, 2020: 27–32.
4. Lobo V, Patil A, Phatak A, et al. Free radicals, antioxidants and functional foods: Impact on human health. Pharmacogn Rev 2010; 4: 118–26.

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