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Good nutrition means good health

It is important to know the value of nutrition and how it is essential for good health. The food we eat provides energy our body needs to function.

The basic elements of good nutrition include the appropriate amounts of carbohydrates, proteins, and ‘good’ fats, as well as vitamins and minerals – and, of course, water. These nutrients work together to keep the various functions of the body in proper working order.

Nutrition has direct relationship with diet, health and disease. It identifies how certain diseases, conditions or problems may be caused by poor diet and how they can be prevented or minimized with proper diet.

The irony is it is not always the lack of resources that lead to malnutrition in our country but it is more the lack of knowledge and awareness that have led majority of the people to undervalue the effects of nutrition and the ills that can arise due to the lack of it. And then, malnutrition is often silent and the symptoms may not ever be visible.

Many common health problems can be prevented or alleviated with a healthy or nutritious diet. The protein in the food we eat is broken down into individual amino acids that build and repair various body parts. The muscles contain lots of protein, and one needs to replenish that protein through proper protein-rich diet. The body also needs protein for components of our immune and nervous systems, hormones and organs.

Thus, good nutrition means getting the calories we need for energy and the nutrients we need for proper growth. Variety, balance, and moderation are keys to good nutrition. When young children are given a balanced variety of healthy foods, with moderate amounts of fat, sugar, and salt, they are learning good nutrition habits that can help lower the risk of overweight, heart disease, and even diabetes.

Besides, the body also needs fats to be healthy. Membranes that contain fats surround all the cells of our body. The brain has fatty acids, and fats are also needed to signal hormones. The vitamins and minerals that we get from our diet are just as important as carbohydrates, protein and fats, even though we only need them in small amounts.

Most of the food we eat is made up of varying amounts of all three of these nutrition components. A good source of carbohydrate would be almost any fruit or vegetable. These options allow you to get the carbohydrates you need for energy, plus fiber for a healthy digestive system, vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants.

A variety of foods, including vegetables, fruits, grain, and protein, is essential to make sure we get the full range of nutrients for good health.

Good nutrition includes drinking plenty of fluids. While water is not a nutrient, it is vital to all of our bodily processes. At least 20 percent of the water we need comes from the food we eat. The rest comes from the beverages we drink. Water is probably the best choice for rehydration because it's cheap and has no calories or added ingredients.

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