Essay on Health and Nutrition

The role of food in maintaining health.

Health itself is nothing without its content, without the diagnosis of health, the means of its provision and the practice of ensuring health. The most important means of ensuring health include proper nutrition.

Food is one of the most important environmental factors, which affects the state of health, working capacity, mental and physical development, as well as human life expectancy.

The relationship between nutrition and health was noticed in antiquity. People saw that children grow and develop poorly from malnutrition, adults get sick, get tired quickly, work poorly and die.

In the XVII century, the Admiral of the English fleet George Anson did not lose a single soldier in the battles with the Spanish flotilla, and 800 out of 1,000 people died from scurvy that broke out on ships. The lack of vitamins in food was stronger and more dangerous than the weapons of enemies.

After refined products (sugar, flour, canned goods) were brought to the Aleutian Islands in 1912, tooth decay quickly spread in children and already in 1924 almost the entire young Aleut population who consumed new food was suffering from caries (from research E. Nuron). History is replete with similar cases. Observations show the dependence of the occurrence of ulcers, tumors, and other diseases of the gastrointestinal tract and other body systems on the quality of food, and the lack of vitamin complexes in it. At the same time, one can give examples of an inverse relationship, when the incidence of the population was significantly reduced with improved nutrition.

The main eating disorders observed in different age and occupational groups are usually the same. This is, first of all, an excess of carbohydrates and fats of animal origin in food and a deficiency of vegetables, fruits and berries, as well as the most terrible consequence of a change in the rhythm of life — violation of the diet.

Each of these violations, even taken separately, can affect a person’s state of health. I will try to analyze each of these violations.

When there is an excess of carbohydrates, especially pure sugars, water retention occurs physiologically in the body, swelling and stiffness are noted, the consumption of vitamin B1 increases and, as a result, B1 deficiency leads to disruption of the central nervous system. Non-oxidized products appear in the body, the level of pyruvic acid rises, and therefore an increase in the acid state of the whole organism. An increase in the biosynthesis of cholesterol with an increase in fat formation (there is a risk of atherosclerosis and obesity). The protective properties of the body are reduced, the risk of cancer and diabetes mellitus is increased due to a malfunction of the pancreas. Do not forget caries.

Studies in the United States have shown that an increase in cardiovascular disease coincides with a general increase in sugar intake. Now no one doubts that the consumption of large amounts of sugar (especially white refined). With proper nutrition, we must strive to reduce the consumption of white sugar due to artificial substitutes for sugar, honey, jam, fruit and berry crops.

As for the excess of animal fats and deficiency of vegetable fats, there are no special difficulties in avoiding this disturbance in nutrition. It is only necessary to inform the population about the need to introduce 20-30 grams of vegetable fats daily into the diet, instead of 5-10, since excluding vegetable fats from the diet, humanity deprives itself of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), especially linoleic and linolenic, which very important for the activity of the heart muscle, brain liver cells and gonads. They are the building material of cell membranes, connective tissue, myelin and are part of nucleic acids. PUFAs increase cholesterol excretion from the body and increase vascular elasticity. Also, while maintaining a certain necessary level of the immune system, it protects the body from radiation. With a lack of PUFAs, cholesterol combining with saturated fatty acids is deposited in the walls of blood vessels and, as a result, the incidence of thrombosis and tumors may increase, stomach ulcers may appear.

Deficiency of vegetables, fruits, berries is more serious and difficult to eliminate. A study of nutrition and food itself, conducted by various authors in different countries of the world showed that the consumption of vegetables leaves much to be desired.

Their value is enormous. They are a supplier of carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, organic acids and pectin. Vegetables and fruits increase appetite and promote the assimilation of other foods, remove toxins, have bactericidal properties, normalize the activity of the central nervous system, nervous system and gastrointestinal tract, increase human performance, have organoleptic properties, giving a different taste to the food consumed. Vegetables make the diet more tasty and healthy. Vegetables, fruits and berries occupy an honorable place in dietetic and therapeutic nutrition. Some of them enhance lactation, and affect the quality of breast milk. According to the Institute of Nutrition, AMS, on average per person per day, 500-700 grams of these products are needed. Moreover, this should contain at least 10-15 items.

 One has to admit that attempts to replace vegetables with other products and artificial additives were unsuccessful.

People knew about the beneficial effects of vegetables in ancient times. Hippocrates treated nervous disorders with celery. The founder of herbal medicine Ambrodik-Maksimovich wrote in 1785 that the best food is prepared from plants. Currently, the importance of vegetables, fruits and berries is confirmed by scientific data.

A decrease in the proportion of fiber-rich vegetables in diets is not indifferent, because fiber deficiency is one of the risk factors for gastrointestinal tract diseases, diabetes mellitus, atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease. The level of cholesterol in the blood directly depends on fiber. And, although the mechanism of action of fiber is still not well understood, it is already known that methylcellulose binds ammonia in the large intestine, dietary fiber binds water, being also absorbents of organic substances, enhance the evacuation function of the intestine, and remove fat and bile acids.

 But, unfortunately, plants are prone to seasonal growth, climatic environmental conditions, and the underestimation of vegetables by the population plays a role.

Violation of diet plays a negative role in health. It manifests itself in a decrease in the number of meals per day from four to five to two, improper distribution of the daily diet for individual meals, an increase in dinner to 35-65% instead of 20%, an increase in the interval between meals from 4-5 to 7-8. The commandments of folk wisdom about nutrition are forgotten: “Shorten dinner – lengthen life; It is reasonable to live long. ”

Over the years, three rules have been formulated in nutrition: diversity, moderation and timeliness. Unfortunately, the acceleration of the pace of life of modern man, at all stages of life, all these rules are discarded. Take all the students who, in the pursuit of knowledge, completely abandon their health care. Not only they themselves are guilty, but also the educational system, society itself, although who will need a sick newly-made engineer.

From the foregoing, some conclusions can be drawn. Nutrition factor is one of the most important in the prevention of diseases, maintaining health and improving performance. Therefore, it is important not only to organize a centralized release of nutritional supplements and vitamin complexes, but also to draw special attention of the population to the problems of rational food consumption, using the various opportunities for enlightenment work.