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The Basics Of Health And Nutrition

May 5, 2008
It is the ideal of every living creature to maintain itself in a healthy condition. Primary to this function is the quality of the foods they eat to achieve this top level of physical necessity. The old adage that "you are what you eat" is very true as there is no other way to absorb the necessary nutrients than through consumption of the proper foodstuffs.

The first basic step to good health is with a proper diet. This often-misunderstood word refers to the foods we eat, not to some plan for weight loss as is so often the modern usage of the term. Of the types of nutrients needed for good health are water, vitamins, proteins, minerals, fats, fiber and carbohydrates. Some of these elemental foodstuffs are needed in massive quantities. The carbohydrates and fats are necessary for the muscles to use as energy while proteins are used to create new body tissue. Water is a primary nutrient unto itself and performs a wide range of functions from keeping the cells of the body functioning to the removal of waste products from the body.

The other types of nutrients needed by the body in order to maintain good health are the amino acids and small quantity minerals to help regulate the function of cells and provide the trace elements that individualized cells require to perform their specific function. Proper diet will also contain chemical compounds referred to as antioxidants. These compounds remove excess free radical isotopes created by the absorption and use of the other compounds that throw off the balance of cell health. Antioxidants are required in sufficient amount to negate the effects of cancer and aging of the cell body.

Good health and nutrition requires more than just the intake of these items in quantity. Too much of a good thing can ultimately be as detrimental to good health as a lack of these essential elements. Too much fat or carbohydrate intake can develop problems of weight gain and its adverse effects on the healthy body. Too great an intake of some of the minerals and vitamins can actually toxify the body and create an unhealthy condition that can lead to illness and occasionally even death.

Just eating a lot of everything will not provide a proper diet for maintaining good health. As an example, lycopene is an effective antioxidant chemical that is a prevalent nutrient in tomatoes. It can be concentrated even more in processed tomato products like sauce and juice, however, these processed tomato products are also loaded with salt and sugars which can have a detrimental effect on the overall health of the body's systems.

It does require a bit of study to find the right balance between obtaining the necessary beneficial elements for a healthy nutritious diet and the intake of excessive amounts of those nutrients that become actual health hazards with over-consumption. The basic food charts are not quite enough although following a simple diet plan will help obtain the balance better than just foraging for anything you can find in the pantry.

The time spent in researching the best way to obtain a proper nutrition is well spent in the potential for a longer, more active life and the less time spent in fighting off an illness or disease that could have been prevented by merely eating properly.
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