Nutrition and good Health
Our healthcare area is gaining a greater recognition of nutrition and the specialty of complementary alternative nutrition. Yet only a fragment of the population understands the value of good nutrition and nutritional supplements. Nutrition is the processes involved in the taking in and utilization of food substance by which growth, repair and maintenance of activities in the body as a whole or in any of its parts are accomplished. It includes ingestion, digestion, absorptions and metabolism.
Vitamins are found in the foods we eat. It is a group of substances essential for normal metabolism, growth and development and regular cell function. Vitamins work together with enzymes and other substances necessary for a healthy life. Each vitamin has specific functions, if the level of a particular vitamin is inadequate a deficiency disease results.
Historically ancient Greeks and Hebrews studied nutrition relationship to health and disease for the prevention of disease and special diets were provided for various painful conditions. Hippocrates said; “Your medicine shall be your food and your food shall be your medicine.” Diet for disease continued as an important part of treatment during the middle ages and into the renaissance. In the early nineteenth century physiology became an experimental science. The study of physiology of digestion of food was extensively studied and the study of nutrition progressed as well.
Malnutrition and obesity may result if any of the component processes, intake absorption, assimilation, metabolism or excretion becomes disrupted to the extend that physical and/or emotional wellbeing is changed and illness develops. Many people have a serious nutritional deficiency and there is a widespread lack of good nutrition. Changing one’s diet is not enough to make up for the accumulated deficiencies over the years of being on a poor diet. Arthritis, insomnia and obesity are related to vitamin and mineral deficiencies. More and more serious minded people look for natural ways to reduce stress and improve their health.
Nutrition can make a difference in the health of high-risk patients, yet a research study shows that most medical doctors never even mention it to patients. Only about a quarter of all patients received any nutritional counseling during their doctor’s visit. Many doctors and chemists don’t even know what biochemical functions some vitamins perform. Some medications cause a greater need for certain vitamins yet physicians spend an average of less than a minute on nutritional counseling. It is time the medical profession realizes that there is no need to take unnatural remedies when research shows that dietary supplements of high doses have therapeutic effects as well as preventative effects. People who suffer acute pain (trauma induced or surgical) can safely and effectively be helped to recover through a proper diet. Attention to nutrition can even minimize depression.
A tremendous need exists for better nutrition and ways of enhancing wellness and preventing disease. Nutritionist and dieticians are best suited for giving nutrition counseling. They help prevent and treat illnesses by promoting healthy eating habits and recommend dietary modification. Nutritionists manage good service systems for institutions such as hospitals and schools and promote sound eating habits through education.
Our society “processes” its whole foods much like it has fractionized nutritional supplements – leaving them void of essential nutrients. It has refined whole grains so that the germ, bran, and other vitamin-rich portions are removed. Food preparation and “sterilization” processes such as pasteurization destroys many of the vitamins in the foods.
Adulteration of food comes with additives, chlorine, fluoride etc. Processed food contains all sort of coloring, dyes, preserving chemicals and other agents. Farming methodologies detract from nutritional whole of foods; chemical fertilizers, pesticides, crop limitation, overuse of fields – make the soil incapable of producing nutrition, vitamin-laden foods. Add air pollution, water pollution, and our stress filled lifestyles – all depletors of vitamins and minerals and it is clear that our society cannot be receiving optimal nutrition.
The most profitable industry, the 100 billion-drug industries have held medicine captive for years. Patent laws shield the pharmaceutical industry from competition in the making and marketing of drugs and supplements. It discourages pharmaceutical companies from developing natural treatments and natural compounds cannot have full patent protection, and therefore are rarely developed into a drug – which means doctors, who rarely learn about them, do not promote them.
A fact hidden from the public is that the biological action of every prescription drug can essentially be duplicated with nutritional supplements. Opponents will attempt to claim that nutritional supplements are unproven and unsafe. Yet, recent reports reveal that deaths caused by prescription drugs in a 10-year period amounted to 90,000 - 110,000 deaths versus only three from all dietary supplements and herbs during the same period. Nutritional supplements can significantly reduce the cost of medical care, not just by replacing expensive drugs with vitamins, but making the nation healthier.
Whether to ensure adequate nutrition, prevent or treat health conditions, or to optimize health, using certain nutrients and using natural products can make a positive difference in health and well being. Our diets are grossly inadequate and have a vital influence on health. Five of the leading causes of death – heart diseases, cancer, strokes, diabetes and atherosclerosis are all linked to diet.
Though not sick enough to be confined to bed, most people are far from functioning at their optimal health potential. A major reason for this is our lifestyle. As convenience foods become more popular, healthy, nutrient-dense foods are being replaced with empty-calorie foods. Growing number of people are out of shape, overweight and inadequately nourished.
Many people have not found vitamin supplements beneficial. This is because many of them are far too weak. Small doses of vitamins, as in most vitamin supplements, are like adding water to your system. It is just not enough. Research shows that you need mega doses, which are megavitamins. Megavitamins mean large dose vitamins. It is especially useful when the body is arthritic, overweight or under stress. Because vitamins is absorbed and lost fairly quickly, recent formulations have been made into slow release tablets. Vitamins have a huge potential to prevent and cure disease.
Many psychological problems have now been found to be caused to a large extend by vitamin, mineral and amino acid deficiencies. Therapist can be more effective in changing clients behaviors by considering and modifying their nutritional intake. Responsibility for one’s health is now being placed more and more on the individual. It is up to you, then, to take responsibility for your own health by educating yourself about nutritional supplements.