What Are Your Nutritional Needs?

Nutrition as it applies to our daily lives means that we take in what we need to maintain our body’s healthy state. Nutrition has become an important word thanks to the involvement of the USDA in our daily food requirements, and the FDA’s involvement in determining what is and is not dangerous for us to consume.

But what is our responsibility in the nutrition game? Do we understand what our nutritional requirements are, how to fulfill those requirements, and how to look for real nutritional value in our foods? I’m not sure that nutrition has been successfully addressed in its own right. We hear nutrition in relation to our vitamin intake, our fortified cereals and milk, and in the context that we need “nutritional value” from our food choices. But what really is nutrition when applied to our daily bodily functions?
Today, we must determine how much nourishment we need, how much physical exercise we need, and how best to accomplish those ends. Calorie needs, nutritional needs, physical needs, and education about those needs now is information we should all understand, at least as it applies to our individual self. If you will visit your local doctor, library, or fitness center, there is massive amounts of information available to help educate and to help you make good health choices, no matter what the age group.

Nutrition refers to the nurturing of our body, in our ability to keep it healthy and functioning as it is supposed to do. Our ability to provide the body with all the necessary food, vitamins, and minerals so that we continue to thrive in our daily life processes.

How do we determine that we are providing the essential nutritional needs? That knowledge comes by educating ourselves about what our individual needs are, the needs of our family, and then taking that knowledge and applying it to the foods we buy, that we prepare, and that our families consume.

Quite often, our vitamin and mineral needs outweigh our caloric needs. In those instances, we turn to manufactured vitamins and minerals to fill the gap. This is a part of our nutritional needs, also.
Nutrition is one of the most complex areas to gain useful knowledge about, because there are so many components, and because each person has their own individual needs. Women needs differ from those of men, and older women’s needs differ from those of a young girl. As we age, our needs constantly change; therefore continual education about nutrition is a fact of life.

The nutritional needs of a cardiac patient are different than those of a healthy, middle-aged hiker. Can you see the complexity of the situation now? What we really need is to develop a scale that determines the nutritional needs of our bodies on a cellular level, so that as we age, as our physical condition changes, or our health changes, we can recalculate our needs, based on cellular changes and content in our body. Individuality is the key to understanding each person’s nutritional needs, and then working to educate ourselves is the key to fulfilling those nutritional needs. Good nutrition should be the ultimate goal of every person alive.

How the Brain Affects Our Health

Almost everyone is aware today, of the importance of protein in our diet. Protein directly affects our muscles, tissues and organs. It also directly effects the development of these organs, our brain included. What happens if we don’t get the necessary protein or any of the other many nutrients our body, not just our brain, needs to function correctly? It is through the use of our mind (or brain, whichever term you prefer) that we are able to absorb the necessary facts and figures and process it into useable pieces of information.
Nutrition refers to the nurturing of our body, in our ability to keep it healthy and functioning as it is supposed to do. Our ability to provide the body with all the necessary food, vitamins, and minerals so that we continue to thrive in our daily life processes.

How do we determine that we are providing the essential nutritional needs? That knowledge comes by educating ourselves about what our individual needs are, the needs of our family, and then taking that knowledge and applying it to the foods we buy, that we prepare, and that our families consume. Once again, through the use of our minds, we are able to take the guidance provided by the USDA, develop a journal and establish what our daily requirements are, so that take care of our necessary nutritional needs.

According to the guides published by the USDA, calorie needs vary from one age group to another, one gender to another. So how do you determine what your individual needs are? You can setup a journal for recording your daily caloric intake for about a month. Make a note of your weight each day. If you don’t gain any weight during the course of that month, you’re eating your recommended calorie level in order to maintain your weight. Now, take that calorie information, check with a nutritionist about the recommended daily allowances of vitamins and minerals that you need. Take both pieces of information, calorie intake and nutritional requirements, use the food pyramid and comprise a combination of foods that will help you achieve these recommended daily intakes, and still be enjoyable food. You now have an individualized healthy eating plan.

Over the course of absorbing the instructions for a healthy, well-balanced eating plan, we have used our mind through the whole process. Our ability to think and reason, our level of education, and the exposure we receive to outside input on a daily basis affects our entire environment, but especially our health. We make choices based on the information we have previously absorbed. Our food, exercise, and recreation choices are no exception. It just so happens that these choices can immediately affect our health.

Maybe now you have a clearer picture of the opportunities we have for our brain to affect our health. It is more than just conscious decisions. It is a result of brain development through childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. It is a result information we have previously absorbed, and input we will continue to receive.

Vitamins: To Be or Not to Be?

Nutrition as it applies to our daily lives means that we take in what we need to maintain our body’s healthy state. Nutrition has become an important word thanks to the involvement of the USDA in our daily food requirements, and the FDA’s involvement in determining what is and is not dangerous for us to consume.

But what is our responsibility in the nutrition game? Do we understand what our nutritional requirements are, how to fulfill those requirements, and how to look for real nutritional value in our foods? I’m not sure that nutrition has been successfully addressed in its own right. We hear nutrition in relation to our vitamin intake, our fortified cereals and milk, and in the context that we need “nutritional value” from our food choices. But we don’t often stop to think, what do we really need in nutritional supplements?

Vitamins and minerals are more readily available to us than ever before, and we’re still no better equipped to actually determine what we need to take, than we were forty years ago. Just because we see the latest advertisement about a particular vitamin and decide the symptoms of deficiency apply to us, does not mean we need to rush out and purchase the product. The symptoms of deficiency for lots of vitamins and minerals are the same or overlapping. What we need is a way to detect, on an individual basis, what our body’s lack, and then plan a suggested nutritional solution.

The complete lack of unity between our medical field and the herbal field, (this is the field that vitamins and minerals belong to) is a disgrace in a country so forward thinking as the United States. But it is also where we fall short in providing our citizenry with the tools they need to make better, informed decisions. The medical field has long resented any contact that patients might make with herbalists, vitamins and minerals, or any other proposed health aid, that wasn’t directly related to medicine.

Thanks to this prevalent attitude among most all doctors, we have missed great opportunities to advance a generation’s health. If you were to take a cross section of the population, and check for adequate levels of the most used and fortified vitamins and minerals, you would probably find the as high as 80% or the population is lacking in a least one of the vitamins and minerals. Now, that doesn’t sound too bad, until you stop to think, what if it’s calcium? A calcium deficiency brings on osteoporosis, a deteriorating of the bone. This disease alone costs millions in medical expense to the population.

Can you see how a little more cooperation and open-minded participation on the part of our medical field could result in far fewer health problems? It would also have provided the general population with a viable way to discern their vitamin and mineral needs, accurately. Blood tests, urine tests, and other simple office procedures would provide the vast majority of the information needed for us to arm ourselves, and head off to the health store. Preventive medicine comes in all shapes, forms, and tablets!

Is There Health Without Water?

Water makes up 98% percent of our body, and without this life-giving fluid, you and I would not survive. The human body can survive for up to 3 weeks on water alone. Try surviving without the water and you might make it 4 to 5 days. It’s a truly amazing and health sustaining fluid, and it’s just water!

What really do we get from water, that our body must have, and can’t live without? It’s the benefit of the fluidity of water, and what it does for our bodies that is the most important part. All of our bodily functions rely on the cells in our bloodstream to supply them the nutrients and minerals that they need to carry out those vital functions. How do our cells achieve that end? They absorb the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients we take in during our digestive process. But they also absorb water, or liquid fluids that are a product in direct water intake or the digestive process, but either way, water must be a part of the formula. Since cells are also made of mostly water or fluid, it’s necessary to keep lots of water coming, and make sure that we include at least 64 ounces in our daily intake.

Ask any health and fitness instructor, and they will tell you that you must consume plenty of water during your exercise routine, weight lifting, and physical activity requires us to take in water or some sort of sports drink. Most of the instructors will recommend just plain water. Why must we keep our bodies so hydrated? In order for the metabolic and muscle burn to occur, there must be plenty of water and plenty of oxygen. Oh, wait a minute, there’s another benefit of water. It contains oxygen, a substance our body cannot get enough of. Water also helps to flush the lactose acid that accumulates in our muscles when we work out, or use the excessively. The lactose acid can build up and cause soreness, stiffness, and muscle pain.

So, if you look at the benefits that water supplies, and you are trying to maintain health and fitness, you can not ignore the fact that water needs to be a part of your daily intake. But how much water do we need to adequately supply our bodies, and help fuel our metabolic processes? The most often recommended quantity is 8 eight ounce glasses each day. Personally, I believe that amount should be closer to 10 eight ounce glasses each day.

What other benefits can water provide, other than the obvious ones of adding fluid to our bodies? Water helps keep our skin healthy and glowing. It helps in the reduction of wrinkling, and aids in our ability to flush fat, toxins, and any other unwanted or foreign substance from our bodies. Flushing our intestines with plenty of water allows us to maintain stable and safe quantities of yeast and bacteria. Plenty of water keeps our thought processes and brain function at optimal levels, and prevents headaches that are caused from not enough hydration. It’s pretty amazing what that one little glass of water can do!

What Role Does Nutrition Play in Our Health?

Nutrition as it applies to our daily lives means that we take in what we need to maintain our body’s healthy state. Nutrition has become an important word thanks to the involvement of the USDA in our daily food requirements, and the FDA’s involvement in determining what is and is not dangerous for us to consume.

What about eating habits? What about vitamins? What role does our daily intake play in our health? More than you have been lead to believe or understand. The body’s ability to remain well under anything other than ideal conditions is a direct result of the nutrition received on a daily basis. The mind’s ability to remain well is, again, a direct result of our nutritional intake. For instance, the human brain doesn’t develop well without the necessary input of protein in our daily diet. No protein, no intelligence.

Nutrition refers to the nurturing of our body, in our ability to keep it healthy and functioning as it is supposed to do. Our ability to provide the body with all the necessary food, vitamins, and minerals so that we continue to thrive in our daily life processes.

How do we determine that we are providing the essential nutritional needs? That knowledge comes by educating ourselves about what our individual needs are, the needs of our family, and then taking that knowledge and applying it to the foods we buy, that we prepare, and that our families consume.

Health is taught as a science course, and addresses matters of personal hygiene, diseases, and the broad spectrum of health as it applies to the masses. No individual attention is given to how to attain optimal health via our eating habits. It’s funny that we skip the most important, fundamental building block to good health: our nutritional and caloric consumption in our food. I personally believe we should have the field of nutrition and physical activity married into something combined to provide every person that enters the school system with a personal knowledge of their bodies’ needs, caloric, and nutritional, so that they complete their education with mental and physical competencies, as well as analytical and mathematical competence.

Nutrition is a concept that should be as important to our educational process as our ability to count. The ability to recognize our nutritional requirements, find the foods we need to fulfill those requirements, and differentiate between healthy food consumption and “unhealthy” eating habits is not an option. Not for a healthy, happy, long, and quality life

What we should absorb as we travel along life’s daily path is a way to incorporate good nutrition into our lifestyle. There is generally just as much room for good as there is bad, it just so happens that bad nutritional habits hold more appeal.

Bad nutrition receives more advertising dollars than healthy nutritional options, and is often more visible. But that doesn’t mean it’s any easier, more convenient, or cheaper. Habits, generally take about two weeks to make the switch from conscious action to unconscious thought. Two weeks is not long, it’s not long at all for decisions that will affect you for the rest of your life. It’s also not long for the potential reward that comes from setting an example your children can follow, and you can be proud for them to follow. You teach them daily about the good habits you want them to develop, and then you demonstrate a bad one in your nutrition choices. C’mon, mom and dad, let’s practice what we preach.

What Role Does Our Intelligence Play in Our Health?

This is a double sided coin. Does health affect intelligence? Yes. Does intelligence affect health? Yes. This is one of those wonderful situations where the cause and effect works both ways. What happens in one area, will generally affect the other.
It is a known and proven fact, that the eating and health habits we use as children, directly affects our level of development. This includes the brain. Protein, one of the most important basic life building blocks, works directly in the brain’s development. No protein, no proper development.

Well, it doesn’t take very much intuition here, to notice if the brain doesn’t develop to optimal operation levels, you will not have a health conscious individual. Generally, you do not have individuals develop to become productive, prosperous citizens, and certainly not healthy, productive, prosperous citizens.

Past the consideration of intelligence development, our level of education and intelligence plays a tremendous role in our ability to educate ourselves about the health options we should exercise. With generations prior to the 20th century, physical energy expenditures used up whatever nutritional resources you had provided earlier. Physical work and a real lack of nutritional supplements kept the body in constant need of nourishment. That is a time past. Today, with the advent of the computer, physical activity is no longer a part of the work equation. We no longer lack for vitamins and minerals, thanks to the boom in the vitamin market.

Today, we must determine how much nourishment we need, how much physical exercise we need, and how best to accomplish those ends. Calorie needs, nutritional needs, physical needs, and education about those needs now is information we should all understand, at least as it applies to our individual self.

Our level of income directly affects our health. Did you know that? How much money you make helps to determine how healthy you will be. Doesn’t really make sense, if you don’t’ look at the broader picture. In the big picture, however, here is the view: you are educated, have a degree, and are exposed to tons of information during your college years. You are exposed to health classes, athletes, and all sorts of professional people who already understand the importance of health in your life.

You graduate college, your income levels are quite nice, and you have the opportunity to purchase magazines, health and fitness of course. Can you see how your education and intelligence levels affect your health now? This is a generalization that has proven itself time and again. All you have to do is observe your developed countries versus the third world, underdeveloped countries. Standard of living and health are directly related.

If the evidence presented above is not enough to satisfy your curiosity concerning the role intelligence plays in our health, take the time to visit the US Census. This information is available through the internet. There you will find all kinds of statistics, from income averages in areas of the United States, to education levels in those same places. Also available is information related to the household. Check for yourself. You can see a direct relationship in many areas of the country between income levels and health statistics for that area.

Does Your Income Affect Your Health?

Our level of income directly affects our health. Did you know that? How much money you make helps to determine how healthy you will be. Doesn’t really make sense, if you don’t’ look at the broader picture. In the big picture, however, here is the view: you are educated, have a degree, and are exposed to tons of information during your college years. You are exposed to health classes, athletes, and all sorts of professional people who already understand the importance of health in your life.

You graduate college, your income levels are quite nice, and you have the opportunity to purchase magazines, health and fitness of course. Can you see how your education and intelligence levels affect your health now? This is a generalization that has proven itself time and again. All you have to do is observe your developed countries versus the third world, underdeveloped countries. Standard of living and health are directly related. Past the consideration of intelligence development, our level of education and income plays a tremendous role in our ability to educate ourselves about the health options we should exercise. Affordable fitness centers are one of the nicer privileges of higher income. Most fitness centers provide their customers with individualized weight and exercise programs that further advance the customer’s health.

Having higher income levels provides us with access to fitness centers, better choices for our eating patterns, and better medical care.

It is in the final section of the previous sentence that there is found a real benefit of higher income, in direct relation to our health. Higher levels of education and income almost always have access to better medical care. The availability of better care, whether it is through better company paid insurance, life in a metropolitan area versus rural area, or simply being able to afford a more specialized doctor when the situation warrants.

In most cases, higher income families live in more populated areas, with access to better doctors and larger medical facilities. Often their employers have nurses or doctors that are retained, if not on staff, as emergencies warrant.
If the evidence presented above is not enough to satisfy your curiosity concerning the role income plays in our health, take the time to visit the US Census. This information is available through the internet. There you will find all kinds of statistics, from income averages in areas of the United States, to education levels in those same places. Also available is information related to the household. Check for yourself. You can see a direct relationship in many areas of the country between income levels and health statistics for that area.

It is sad indeed, that many of the people who are in the greatest need are not able to get that need met. Socialized medicine as been studied as a possible solution to our some of our health problems, but when studied in detail, socialized medicine really does not improve the level of health for the population, it just makes medical care free and generally of less quality.

Fitness Centers: An Investigation

Today, we have many Americans who are obsessed with health, and yet we are a nation of obese individuals. Obesity in this country has reached epidemic proportions, and we have more available than at any other time in history to help us control our weight. What is the problem? Why do we still have health issues, when we have some many health facilities available?

There are facilities that cater to the young, the old, the male, the female. There are 24 hour facilities, facilities that offer daycare, individualized programs, youth programs, organized classes, and fitness assessments.

It would seem with all these choices, that Americans would not have any problem controlling their weight, their health or their overall wellness. Many fitness centers offer the new client an opportunity for an initial assessment, personalized training plans, and continued consultation services, free with their membership.

If you happen to be a mother, with small children, many of the fitness facilities offer built in daycare facilities. You are free to exercise, while your children play in a supervised and safe setting. If you also happen to feel uncomfortable exercising in mixed company, there are fitness centers that offer men only or women only exercise times.
If not designated times, often they have segregated facilities.

What about Pilates, aerobics and other forms of organized and instructed toning and cardiovascular health? Most fitness facilities have that covered also. Upon joining a gym or center you are usually provided a schedule of classes that are being taught, and the times that they are taught. Then once each month, you will receive a newsletter and calendar that provides updated information about facility changes, class offerings and any other points of interest.

There is just simply no reason that a person could not locate a fitness that suits his or her needs and become a part of the health movement. Cost is usually not an issue, either. Today, many companies offer free memberships for their employees in an effort to cut medical expense and lost time due to sickness and injuries. On the average, a healthy employee costs an employer $1000 dollars less each year, than the coworker who does not participate in health and fitness programs. That simply takes medical costs into consideration. What about lost productivity due to illness or injury?

If you find that your company doesn’t offer such a plan, the monthly expenditure for a membership to the gym, should more than pay for itself in the course of your attaining a level of increased health. You should see a decrease in your medical bills, and over the counter health needs, simply because your body is in a better position to fight off germs and bacteria.

Fitness centers and gyms across this country open each day, to provide persons form all walks of life, a better chance at health; to afford each person the opportunity to work toward overall wellness and a fit and conditioned body. It is up to each individual to take advantage of that opportunity.

Where You Live Affects Your Fitness

During the course of your growing up years, you lived wherever your parents chose to live. You didn’t give any thought to the health implications of the location your parents chose, or if they had chosen a place that was conducive to your physical, mental, and spiritual health. Chances are your parents didn’t give it much thought either. Not until recently, has there ever been given any thought to the fact that where you live affects your level of fitness. But it does, and it’s a piece of information that is sure to influence many generations to come.

So how is this information compiled, and what can we learn from it? The information is compiled based on statistical information from areas such as smog levels, pollution levels, water quality, government based fitness incentives, and recreational and fitness facilities available. Generally, one of the major magazines published in the United States, will compile all this statistical data, and publish an article as a recreational guide to healthy cities.

What do we learn from all this published information? That where we live really does affect our health and well-being, and sometimes, there’s very little we can do about changing that fact. Unless, of course, you want to move.

Often, the greatest contributor to our health and fitness, via our outside environment, is the level of pollution we’re forced to live with on a daily basis. How do we absorb pollutants in our outside environment? The most common way is through the air we breathe. It is not the only way, however. The water we drink, the homes we live in, and the cars we drive, all have the potential for unhealthy contaminants.

Our work environment at one time was a contributor to the pollutants we were exposed to, but thanks to greater Environmental Protection regulation, most of those dangers have been eradicated.

Past the pollutants contribution, the availability of health facilities, the amount of government support for health and fitness, and the availability of medical faculties also affects our health and wellness from a location standpoint. If you live in a rural area with no direct access to health facilities, and there is no medical facility, your level of fitness and health will not compare to that of a person who lives in a more populated area that can offer those things. The down side to the more populated area, of course, is a greater risk of air pollution.

Some areas of this country are just fitness conducive. Places where the air is still free from pollutants, there is an availability of hiking, biking, and walking trails, and the medical and fitness facilities are numerous. The problem with most of those places, however is that they are mostly of a recreational base, not manufacturing or otherwise industrialized, and jobs are not that numerous.

What can you do about your own fitness concerns, based on where you live? Make the most of where you are. Educate yourself about the greatest fitness problems in your area, and do what you can to make corrections for your own fitness benefit.

Are You Fit?

Fitness refers to ability of the body to function with vigor and alertness. Nutrition refers to the nurturing of our body, in our ability to keep it healthy and functioning as it is supposed to do. Our ability to provide the body with all the necessary food, vitamins, and minerals so that we continue to thrive in our daily life processes. But do we know if we are really fit? How do we tell?

First, you might want to look at your exercise habits, if there are any. If there aren’t any exercise routines to examine, no fitness. Everyone, no matter what their age, benefits from exercise. It keeps our bodies conditioned, our mental sharpness working at top speed, and thanks to the physical aspect, we get a boost to our cardio health, extra calorie burn, and more oxygen to those cells!

Do you take in more calories than your body needs? Are you supplementing your vitamins and minerals to make sure you are getting your recommended daily allowances? If you’re not making the most basic of efforts to take care of your nutritional needs, you aren’t a fit individual. You may not look sick, you may not have any noticeable symptoms of ill-health, but you’re not the fit and toned individual you could be.

What about the stress levels in your life? Do work in an environment with high levels of stress? Is your personal life a source of comfort or does it add to your stress levels? Do you engage in some form of stress-relieving activity? Stress is the number on contributor to heart attacks and strokes, since they manage to speed up the affect of the real culprits. Stress is basically an out of control situation for most adults today. We manage to schedule every moment of our free time, and leave ourselves with no time for quiet reflection, or time to deal with life’s unexpected emergencies.

Fitness requires us to examine more than just our exercise routine. The mere definition of fitness refers to the body’s ability to meet physical stresses. That includes coping with our day to day life, getting from the beginning of the day to the end, without being worn completely out. In order to be truly fit, we find ways to rid ourselves of built up stress, the kind that begins to affect our muscles, muscle tone, and composition. Massages are the best cure for ridding our bodies of the stress buildup that can occur, even with exercise regimens and detract from our overall fitness.

Exercises that demand total body involvement are the best for maintaining and improving your level of fitness most effectively. Running, swimming, jogging, dancing, cycling, and very brisk walking are some of the more popular total body involvement exercises.

There are so many occasions to stop and question our efforts at maintaining optimal health, that we usually don’t even take the time to begin the examination. But it is beneficial to our overall health, the quality and quantity of our life, to make every effort to be fit, healthy, individuals.