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Health and Nutrition
6/28/2016 1:10:53 PM
Health and Nutrition

Importance of Proper Nutrition to Human Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a third of all child deaths every year across the globe are related to malnutrition. The most common type of malnutrition is under-nutrition, where the body receives far less than the required portion of the daily diet. When a pregnant woman is malnourished, the child’s mental and physical growth is stunted.

The same is also true for children who are underfed especially in the first 24 months of life. The result is permanent underdevelopment and cannot be reversed when the child grows into adulthood. Proper nutrition is characterized by supplying the body with the right amount of calories for energy.

For organs and body tissues to function properly, they must have a fresh and steady supply of proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, fats and other nutrients. When a mother is chronically under-nourished, she will most likely deliver a malnourished child.

Nutrition During Pregnancy
As nutrition starts in the womb, it is prudent for pregnant women to seek proper nutritional information from certified clinics and health centers. Failure to do this, the mother may deliver prematurely or give birth to a child whose vital organs are not fully formed. This means that the child will have to be put in a nursery for several weeks or months.

Studies reveal that cases of children born with disabilities can be reduced by a third of mothers feed on the right diet during pregnancy. Therefore, pregnant mothers must take extra food portions to compensate for the amounts that the fetus needs.

Just as the name suggests, over-nourishment is the feeding of more calories than the body actually needs. This is accentuated by the person’s failure to burn the extra energy. The result is the birth of overweight and obese children.

Child’s Nutrition in the First 3 Years of Life
A human’s most crucial period is the duration between birth and the age of three. Here an infant’s body and brain develop well under the right nutrition. Immediately after birth, the child should come in contact with the mother for breastfeeding.

Breast milk is easily the best source of immunity, especially within the first year of a child’s life. Actually, nutritionists and physicians recommend that a child should breastfeed exclusively for the first six months of life. At the same time, the young one must receive the appropriate immunizations, vaccines and injections to prevent common diseases. Examples are polio, measles, human papillomavirus and rickets among others.
Research findings states that more than 200,000 young lives would be saved annually if all mothers breastfed their babies exclusively for six months. Breast milk contains all essential micronutrients for infant’s survival and development.

While Vitamin A boosts the immune system, it is also responsible for keeping blindness away. Additionally, it prevents malaria, measles, diarrhea and pneumonia among other diseases. Iron from breast milk helps the body to produce hemoglobin, an essential component in blood. Iodine ensures healthy thyroid glands.

Your health is directly proportional to the kind of food you eat. The phrase ‘you are what you eat’ cannot be overemphasized. For this reason, children must feed on the right proportions of the various food types daily.

Examples of the best foods for children are vegetables, fruits, whole grains, meat and fish for bodies to develop properly. Calcium is one of the leading nutrients for children, as it aids the development of strong bones. The bones form the crucial structure over which human life thrives and takes shape.

Even in adulthood, proper nutrition is important for your health. Controlling your diet helps in preventing cholesterol whose negative effects are high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease and other chronic ailments. It is also necessary to avoid osteoporosis, osteoarthritis and dental caries.

Importance of Nutrition for Teenagers
According to the British Nutrition Foundation, the demand for nutrients is usually high during teenage. Here, body parts develop fully while sexual hormones demand more calories for organ development.

Studies reveal that teenage girls are more prone to forms of malnutrition. Their desire to maintain lean body shapes usually causes them to underfeed. Interestingly, certain cultural, physical and physiological factors lead many teenagers to overfeed.

The stress of coping with rapid physical and emotional changes is often dangerous. While some teenagers suffer depression, others becomes overweight and obese. In 2013 for example, 39 percent of girls and 34 percent of boys in England aged 13-15 were either overweight or obese. Evidently, teenagers need to delicately balance nutrition.

Importance of Proper Nutrition for Adults
Nutrition is as important for adults just as it is for children. While developmental processes are usually over, the importance of nutrition at this stage shifts to maintaining healthy lifestyles. Weight and age related illnesses are bound to affect adults of all races, sizes and occupations.

To prevent disease, adult’s nutrition should include five portions of vegetables and fruits daily. Additionally, one should feed on lean meat, fish, pulses and eggs to obtain high quality protein. Brown rice, whole wheat products, cereals and potatoes are healthy sources of carbohydrates.

Adults and aging people need to take more fiber to keep constipation, flatulence and other bowel problems away. This component comes from fresh vegetables, fresh fruit, cereals, pulses, brown rice and pasta among other foods.

Bodies of older people experience an increased difficulty to retain fluids. As you pass fluids regularly, it is prudent to replace these by taking plenty of fresh water, beverages and fresh fruit juice. Other important nutrients during this age are iron, zinc, Vitamins C and D. Proper nutrition should be aided by proper exercise, enough sleep and relaxation.

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