Nutrition is the act of providing the body cells and the whole human body with the necessary nutrients to support life. The nutrients include carbohydrate, proteins, fats, minerals, vitamins and water. Taking these nutrients in the right amount will eventually dictate an individual's state of health. If taken in the right amount commonly referred to as a balanced diet, the individual remains healthy, vibrant, strong and highly productive. A poor diet is deleterious to health. Diseases and illnesses such as Kwashiorkor, Scurvy, Obesity, Diabetes mellitus, Metabolic syndrome X result. Also, other common chronic and vicious systemic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis and diabetes and various cancers can develop. In this age, there is a serious focus on staying healthy (M. Bery, (2012).
Hence, emphasis is laid on low fat diets, high fibre diets, high starchy carbohydrates, diets high in minerals, vitamins and anti-oxidants, a low salt diet and an increased intake of water for detoxification. Reducing fatty foods and fried foods enhances weight reduction and promotes a healthier diet. Also, a reduction in saturated fat intake is very good for the heart. Atherosclerosis which could lead to myocardial infarction, heart attack and even a stroke is minimised. Fibres are the indigestible components of our food that makes us continue chewing. It helps in lowering body cholesterol; it prevents bowel cancer and gallstones and keeps an individual's weight in check. Examples of such include brown rice, lentils, vegetables and beans. Grains, fruits and vegetables contain an avalanche of vitamins and photochemical. They are anti-oxidants that help in mopping up free radicals that cause illnesses and cancers in the body. A low salt diet is essential for optimal health. A high salt diet has been implicated in the incidence of hypertension and renal diseases.
Exercising regularly can protect an individual from stroke, heart diseases, non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus, Obesity, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, sexual and mental health. For optimal benefits, it has been advocated that an individual should be engaged in aerobic exercises for 20-30 minutes daily at least three times a week. Aerobic exercises in this regard include brisk walking, jogging, skipping, swimming, stretching and Yoga. The health benefits of exercising are numerous, consistent physical activity will prevent stroke and heart diseases by strengtning the myocardial muscles, also high density lipoprotein is increased, while low density lipoprotein is reduced thereby reducing high blood pressure, improving the blood flow to the myocardial muscles and the pumping action of the heart is increased in essence. Regular exercise is good for those suffering from noninsulin dependent diabetes mellitus, body fat is reduced and there is increased insulin sensitivity of the insulin receptors.
A regular physical activity increases the feeling of well being. The mood of the individual is improved, alertness is increased, and depression and anxiety are banished. The sum ation of these results in an improved health of body and soul. Appropriate nutrition is needed for optimal performance of exercise (2006, W. Aoi et al). In addition, the consequences of ignoring the importance of nutrition and fitness is dire. Nutrition and fitness are both required to achieve good health (2012, M. Berry) Pairing a healthy diet and fitness requires a high level of commitment and discipline to a safer lifestyle which is low in fat, high carbohydrates and proteins, high minerals and vitamins, low alcohol intake and no smoking.
In conclusion, maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly will grant an individual optimal health and prevent life threatening diseases like cardiovascular diseases and diabetes which has continued to be the scourge of the populace.
W. Aoi et al(2006) Nutrition Journal , Exercise and functional Foods http://www.nutritionj.com/content/5/1/15 (2012)
M.Berry (2012) Fitness and Nutrition for Health http://ezinearticles.com/?Fitness-And-Nutrition-For-Health&id=508122
(2012) Health benefits of exercise http://www.nutristrategy.com/health.htm