The Benefits of Good Nutrition
Nutrition, a source of nourishment, is among
the key factors of good health, preventing at least four of the ten causes of
death in the United States. For example, heart disease, cancer, stroke and
diabetes are directly related to way we eat. Back in 400 B.C., Hippocrates
said, "Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food." Today,
good nutrition is more important than ever and must be a daily habit to
maintain a healthy lifestyle.
The keys to good nutrition are balance, variety and moderation. To stay
healthy, your body needs the right balance of carbohydrates, fats, and
proteins, the three main components of nutrition. In addition, you body needs
vitamins, minerals and other substances from many different foods, and while
some foods are better than others, no single food or food group has it all.
Therefore, eating a variety of different foods is essential. Moderation means
eating neither too much nor too little of any food or nutrient. Too much food
can result in excess weight and even too much of certain nutrients, while
eating too little can lead to numerous nutrient deficiencies and low body mass.
Of course, food alone isn't the key to a longer and healthier life. Good
nutrition should be part of an overall healthy lifestyle, which also includes
regular exercise, not smoking or drinking alcohol excessively, stress
management and limiting exposure to environmental hazards. However, no matter
how well you eat, your genes play a big part in your risk for certain health
problems. But, don’t underestimate the influence of how and what you eat. For
example, atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) can begin in early
childhood, but the process can be stopped, even reversed, if you make healthy
changes in your diet and lifestyle. The gradual bone thinning that results in
osteoporosis may be slowed if you consume enough calcium, maintain adequate
Vitamin D levels and participate in weight-bearing exercise. You may be
genetically prone to diabetes, but if you keep your weight within a healthy
range through diet and exercise, you may never diagnose the disease.
I believe good nutrition throughout childhood plays a major role in your
future health. Eating a variety of healthy foods, while working out regularly
will decrease your chances of getting many harmful diseases. Each day, I try
to consume the right balance of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, which
energizes and keeps me healthy. You have the opportunity to take control of
your health, and by eating healthy foods, you can supply your body with the
proper nutrients to succeed in life.