Nutrition, as it applies to our daily lives, means that we take in what we need to maintain our body's healthy state. Nutrition has become an important word thanks to the involvement of the USDA in our daily food requirements and the FDA's involvement in determining what is and is not dangerous for us to consume.
But what is our responsibility in the nutrition game? Do we understand our nutritional requirements, how to fulfill those requirements, and how to look for real nutritional value in our foods? I'm not sure that nutrition has been successfully addressed in its own right.
We hear nutrition concerning our vitamin intake, our fortified cereals and milk, and in the context that we need "nutritional value" from our food choices. But what is nutrition when applied to our daily bodily functions?
Today, we must determine how much nourishment we need, how much physical exercise we need, and how best to accomplish those ends. As it applies to ourselves, calories, nutritional needs, physical needs, and education about those needs are the information we should all understand. If you visit your local doctor, library, or fitness center, there are massive amounts of information available to help educate and to help you make good health choices, no matter the age group.
Nutrition refers to nurturing our body in our ability to keep it healthy and functioning as it is supposed to. Our ability to provide the body with all the necessary food, vitamins, and minerals so that we continue to thrive in our daily life processes.
How do we determine that we are providing the essential nutritional needs?
That knowledge comes by educating ourselves about our individual needs and the needs of our family, and then taking that knowledge and applying it to the foods we buy, that we prepare, and that our families consume.
Quite often, our vitamin and mineral needs outweigh our caloric needs. We turn to manufactured vitamins and minerals in those instances to fill the gap. This supplies a part of our nutritional needs.
Nutrition is one of the most complex areas to gain practical knowledge about because there are so many components and because each person has their own needs. Women's needs differ from those of men, and older women's needs differ from those of a young girl. As we age, our needs constantly change; therefore, continual education about nutrition is a fact of life.
A cardiac patient's nutritional needs are different from those of a healthy, middle-aged hiker. Can you see the complexity of the situation now? We need to develop a scale that determines the nutritional needs of our bodies on a cellular level so that as we age, as our physical condition changes or health changes, we can recalculate our needs based on cellular changes and content in our body. Individuality is the key to understanding each person's nutritional needs, and then working to educate ourselves is the key to fulfilling those dietary needs. Good nutrition should be the ultimate goal of every person alive.