What Is Health?
We are talking about the issue of Health vs. Food and Nutrition. We are exploring what nutrients are and the purpose of molecules. This is the first of several articles on why nutritious food will not only keep you health, but prevent illness.
Health, according to the World Health Organization, is defined as:
? The integral well-being of a person that includes spiritual well-being (Soul and Spirit).
? Mental well-being: Which is what a person thinks and what his brain carries out,
? Physical well-being is what our body lives, suffers, enjoys and desires,
? Environmental well-being is a person?s agreement with his surroundings.
And all these joined to socio-cultural well-being, and socio-economic well-being. Health is NOT THE APARENT ABSENCE of ILLNESS. Unfortunately, most people think that Health is simply not being confined to a bed, not running a fever, or not being ill. Being healthy includes all the concepts of integral well-being described by the World Health Organization and not just the absence of illness.
What does Health have to do with Food and Nutrition?
Since you are reading this on your computer, you are probably aware that you can
- feed the hard drive of your computer by inputting new information.
- feed the container where you deposit trash, and fill it with something, anything at all.
- feed your body with anything, and you may be filling it with something that may not necessarily be good for your health, with no nutrients or good substances for you.
On the other hand NURTURE is a function of ingesting those NUTRIENTS that ARE essential for good performance of each of our cells, and of course our whole body.
So what those nutrients?
There are several types of essential NUTRIENTS. Classified in a broad and simple way these are
- Enzymes and
Besides these we have the new concept of Phyto-Nutrients known also as the nutrients coming from the vegetable kingdom.
It is important to mention oxygen and water. Without oxygen and water we could not live. Even though oxygen and water do not contain calories they are essential to our health and life.
"Mr. Energetic" or "Mr. Carbohydrate" also known as sugar and please don?t think that is just the sugar you use to sweeten your drink. This sugar comprises of a list of nutrients that include monosaccharides or simple sugars. Here we find the basic building blocks to create very important molecules. One kind of these molecules is called glyconutrients.
Additionally we find other sugars also known as complex carbohydrates made up of several molecules. Some are called disaccharides, and the prefix ?Di? stands for two molecules monosaccharides and other called polysaccharides or starch - shaped by several monosaccharide molecules.
Next, we have the group called dietary fiber which are divided into two groups: Soluble and insoluble in water. They do not produce calories, but possess great features aiding the body in digestion.
What is the purpose of these molecules?
In summary, these molecules supply energy and assist us in the multiple and complex processes of our cells through out our life, from the first second of our life until the last. In another report we will concentrate on these processes. We will be covering Fatty Acids, Proteins, Trace Elements, Phyto Chemicals and others.
In conclusion, when we eat we are nourishing our cells. This is a concept that goes way beyond simple eating. You feed your body with what you want to eat, but you are not nourishing it.
Before we begin to nourish ourselves it is important to know that the foundation for good health is prevention. Prevention begins through radical changes in our lifestyle, by eliminating all harmful practices and learning to think correctly. Learn to relax your body with meditation, and have a better quality of life. All this is key to good health.
About the Author: Elleyne VanBryce is a member of the AIANE (American International Association of Nutritional Education) and is currently being certified in Nutritional Education and Health.