Nutrition has different meanings depending on who you talk to. I want to define the word itself and then we can move on to what that exactly means.
nutrition. noun. The process of nourishing or being nourished, especially the process by which a living organism assimilates food and uses it for growth and for replacement of tissues. The science or study that deals with food and nourishment, especially in humans. A source of nourishment; food. –Webster’s Dictionary
In short the science or study of proper, balanced diet to promote health, esp. in human beings.
There are some words in the definition above along with key meanings I would like to point out:
- nourishing (to help with growth)
- growth (a gradual development in maturity.)
- proper and balanced diet (A diet consisting of foods from all food groups.
- health (physical and mental wellness or a condition of well-being.)
I wanted to point these out because not all licensed nutritionist would agree with this list and what it means. I have listened to some of them speak and have wondered what on earth they are talking about. It certainly wasn’t about true nutrition. You need to be careful who and what you believe, no matter if they carry around a license or not. For instance. If someone is talking to you about nutrition and goes and grabs a bag of chips during break, that tells me not only are they not practicing what they preach but for me it discounts everything they have just said. If they don’t believe it themselves and the importance of it then why on earth would I want to believe them.
Nutrition as listed above implies that to have a proper balanced diet we should use every food group. This is the cause of a lot of diets gone bad. Our bodies crave certain foods for a reason; meat for protein, veggies and fruits for vitamins and minerals, healthy (not drowned in spray) grains for fiber, milk and cheese for healthy fats and good carbs for energy.
When we try to go on a diet that is all veggies and no protein our bodies suffer. We need protein for growth. Or let’s say one that leaves out carbs. Well there goes your energy. I could keep going but I won’t. People like to go on a cleanse to get the bad things out of their body. I don’t see anything wrong with this as long as it’s done for a short time because starving your body isn’t really helping your body. Fasting for a time isn’t bad either if it’s done for the right reasons and for a short period of time.
Diets started when people started being less active. When people had to work harder and cut wood for heat, haul water, garden to get their food or milk a cow to have fresh milk and make butter and cheese they burned more calories. Over the years with technology we have had to do less active work. This is where diets first started showing up.
Our bodies were made to be active, thus promoting health. To supplement that our culture has come up with all kinds of things we can do to stay in shape or stay healthy. Some of them being diets, drinks, pills, vitamins, workouts galore and so on. We obsess with these things on an unhealthy level sometimes.
Don’t mistake me, I am glad we have workouts, so our bodies can get the exercise they need if we have inside, low mileage jobs. But I think if 90% of people would watch what they eat following the guidelines of nutrition we wouldn’t have to do diets, nasty drinks that are supposed to help us lose weight, pills or even some vitamins. I love the part in “Over The Hedge” where the raccoon is explaining how people buy the food, eat the food while sitting in front of the TV, throw away the food, exercise to work the food off then repeat the process.
That is not true nutrition. True nutrition would look something like this: Grow or purchase healthy food, include all food groups in your day, eat only until you are full and work out a little everyday if you don’t have a physical job.
People supplement easy things like pills and drinks so they don’t actually have to do physical work. Hate to break it to you but if you are a human being you will always need physical activity to stay healthy FACT!
Now let’s get into the vitamin portion a little. Foods have vitamins in them so why do we need to supplement with them? A couple of reasons stand out.
- We are not eating a proper diet.
- Our foods have been grown on land that has been depleted of various minerals because of questionable farming practices. In short, lower quality produce.
- A vegan diet
From these three things listed above you can see where vitamins would for different reasons be supplemented. However with a little planning you wouldn’t need all that many if any. If you are eating a proper diet of all food groups then your body is getting vitamins of every kind.
Growing your own produce would prevent you from having to buy from a store where the veggies are lower quality. If that’s not possible ask a friend who has a garden or buy from a local farmers market. Be sure to ask if they use any harmful sprays, because what goes into your body is HUGE.
A vegan diet is not sustainable because of the lack of a few key vitamins. The most important being B12. Lack of B12 causes a condition called rickets which is a neurological disorder manifested in muscular dystrophy type symptoms, paralysis, dementia, retardation which are all irreversible. Very common in the depression because it is only found in red meat dairy and eggs. It has no plant derived source.
Proper nutrition which nourishes our body is not something we should take lightly. We get one body, one life. Now that you know what nutrition is and isn’t you can start making changes or better decisions for you and your family to attain it.
Be excited about the right kind of food and never think you have to starve yourself to get real results. Workout, eat right and your body will do the rest.