Most of us consider ourselves ‘healthy’ individuals. We may, however, just be blissfully unaware of the grim reality!
According to the World Health Organization, health is a ‘state of complete physical, mental and social well being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity’.
Our health is not only maintained because of the advancement and application of the health and medical sciences. We also need to make intelligent lifestyle choices that will ultimately affect our health. It is our responsibility to look after different aspects of our health. Of course, advances in medical science and research can help us help ourselves in our efforts to maintain health.
Food or nutrition is the primary source of energy and hence health for our body. Nutrition is the science that studies what and how we eat and the effects it has on our health, such as what food or food components may cause disease or adversely affect health. It also studies food and dietary supplements that can help us to improve our performance, promote our health and help in the cure or prevention of disease. For example, eating food that is rich in fiber can reduce the risk of colon cancer. Also, supplementing daily food intake with vitamin C strengthens your teeth and gums and improves the immune system of your body.
There is a variety of diseased states that can be caused by and cured by changes in diet or supplements. Imbalances in our diet, deficiencies of a particular kind or the excess of a particular form can equally affect our health negatively as they can lead to conditions such as scurvy, obesity and osteoporosis.
In today’s polluted environment, the ingestion of elements that play no role in maintaining or protecting your health such as lead and mercury is also a major health hazard.