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The importance of nutrition

NutritionMany things are important to our health.

However, some things are more important than others.

Nutrition is one of the most important elements of our lives.  It has a profound impact on our health status, as well as many other factors.

Forming healthy habits, while improving our nutritional status is one of the most important things we can do for good health.

Nutrition is a central and vital requirement for proper physical and mental development, the growth of children and the health of adults.

The Importance of Nutrition

Nutrition is linked to whether children enroll in schools, perform effectively, or complete their primary education.

Nutrition also has a profound effect on how productive we are and our potential to earn an income.

Even though nutrition is an essential requirement millions of women and children around the world are malnourished due to their poverty and living in low-income countries.

Alarmingly, more than 30% of all children in the world have stunted growth and are underweight.

Even more alarming is the fact that globally, 50% of young children who die each and every year are from causes related to being underweight.

On a global scale, 5.5 million children die from malnutrition every year; this equals 15,000 children dying every day from diseases and illnesses related to nutrition.

Many of these deaths can be avoided with a number of low cost interventions that are proven to be effective.

The following short video by the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) offers some insight pertaining to child malnutrition:

Communication and Education

Many lives can be saved by communicating to women the importance of breastfeeding, and educating people on the appropriate foods that are rich in certain micro-nutrients.

For instance, fortifying salt with iodine has been a practice used in high-income countries for over 50 years; however, un-iodized salts are still sold in many countries throughout the world.

Healthy Habits and NutritionIn addition, iron and folic acid is vital and offers healthy outcomes for pregnant women—this nutritional value has been known for decades.  Nonetheless, in low-income countries, many women do not get supplements of iron and folic acid or eat foods that contain these essential minerals.

Close to 800 million people around the world suffer from protein and energy deficiencies and malnutrition due to lack of income to purchase proper foods.  Yet, other reasons for these adverse health outcomes is due to customs, cultures, and not utilizing proper eating behavior.

By practicing healthy habits, many people can improve their health, well-being, income, and live longer lives.  Here are some examples:

  • frequently wash hands with soap and water
  • breastfeed for a minimum of 6 months
  • take food supplements that contain iron and vitamin A
  • use salt fortified with iron
  • get enough protein and energy

For more help in living longer and healthier click on the following link to visit the National Institutes of Health’s website.

Finally, the United Nation’s Children Fund (UNICEF) works for children’s rights, their survival, development and protection.  They focus their attention on many concerns relating to the health and well-being of people around the world.  Visit their website for more information on ways you can help, or find out more about how they can help youUNICEF

These practices and suggestions for good health and nutrition are most successful if they are pursued on a social level and tied to community involvement and intervention.

Please unite in our concern by sharing this information with others, in order to provide awareness and attention to the importance of nutrition.

How are you making sure you are receiving the nutrients you need and practicing healthy eating habits?

Can you offer any suggestions or thoughts?


22 comments… add one
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  • Bryce Henderson

    “No disease that can be treated by diet should be treated with any other means.” ~Maimonides

  • Isn’t it interesting how kids in poorer countries are mal-nourished due to poverty and kids in rich countries are mal-nourished due to wealth? We need a balance between too much and not enough and of course people need to be educated about the right things to eat. I think education is only half the battle though because availability is just as important – whether that means more good food in poor countries or less bad food in rich countries.

    Such an important topic and one I fully support. thanks for sharing!

    • Thank you for taking the time to read and share your thoughts and concerns regarding this topic, Carol Lynn!

      I appreciate you sharing your perspective!

      I agree with you wholeheartedly!

  • I agree that nutrition is important for the overall health of our bodies. However, many of us are not getting what we need due to poor diets. I am a independent distributor with USANA Health Sciences-a nutritional supplement company.

    While USANA supplements are not a replacement for eating a balanced diet, they do provide a convenient way to ensure you are receiving all the nutrients you need to maintain optimal health.

    • Thank you for reading, commenting, and sharing your nutritional supplement company, Richard!

      I also take vitamin supplements, though they are from another company.

      Nonetheless, taking vitamin supplements are a real benefit to our health since they provide many nutrients we lack in our diets, plus more.

      Unfortunately, as I shared in this article many people in the world are not able to get the basic requirements for good health and nutrition.

  • Hi George, I couldn’t agree more. Nutrition I believe is at the core of the majority of our health problems worldwide. My focus is on Mental Health and supporting and coaching people suffering with anxiety and depression. The improvement in their mental health when they cut out wheat and sugar and include more protein, fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts and seeds is amazing.

    • Tracey, thank you for your work in supporting and coaching people who are suffering with depression and anxiety!

      I couldn’t agree with you more with regards to the importance of nutrition in improving our mental health.

      I concur with your suggestion that nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables and how they can fortify our lives; both physically and mentally!

      Keep up the great work!

  • Renee Flategraff

    Hi George,

    I agree nutrition is one of the most important factors in health. That is why I am so excited about being involved with the company I am currently with.

    Please check it out we not only sell the worlds healthiest whole food but we are empowering people in countries just like those in the video by giving them training and opportunity to grow this amazing food. Not only will these farmers be able to feed their families with this amazing food it also provides them with an economic boost by growing and selling it!

    Please check out my site there are numerous videos on the nutritional value of Mila and also the World Vision of the company! It is absolutely awesome I’d love to have someone like you become involved!

    • Thank you for sharing your thoughts and offering an opportunity for enhancing our nutritional status and well-being, Renee!

      I appreciate your enthusiasm and dedication in improving our lives!

  • FRUITS AND VEGETABLES HAS RICH NUTRIENTS ALSO ANTI CANCER. NUTRIENTS HAS VITAL ROLE IN OUR BODY, MIND AND SOUL.

  • George,

    Great Article!

    It’s sad that other countries cannot get the right nutrients or foods in order to live and stay healthy. The video tugged at my heart. I look at children and adults in the United States and many of them are overweight.

    We are educated on the right foods and what we need to do to be healthy, but many people don’t even care. It would be nice if we could do more for our country and other countries so the children can be healthier and have a life that they deserve.

    Thanks,

    Tina

    • Thank you Tina! In many respects I agree with you.

      As idealistic as I may sound, I still believe more needs to be done in order to help less fortunate women and children.

      There’s an obesity epidemic in the United States, on one hand, and there’s women and children in developing countries dying of preventable diseases, on the other hand.

      However, many individuals and organizations throughout the world are doing their best to lend a hand…

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