Your Nutritional Needs For Different Lifestyle Throughout Your Life
Do you know whether you have met your nutritional needs requirement? Well, if you always complain of being 'tired all the time' or 'stressed out', it might be due to the inferior quality of your diets. Food is the fuel that keeps our 'engines' going. Try treating yourself to a healthy diet, supplement it if necessary by the vitamins, minerals and herbs to suit your age and lifestyle.
Remember: eating a healthy diet does not mean that you can't indulge yourself occasionally; just don't do it all the time!
Food is, of course, more than just fuel. Eating can also be fun and we celebrate religious, national and personal events with festive meals.
There is no real problem if these meals are less than perfect nutritionally. However, if you are always on an inadequate diet over a prolonged period of time, it will lead to poor performances at work and play, indifferent health and even illness.
Our nutritional needs vary in different stages of our life. During the early years, the growing body needs a plentiful supply of protein, vitamins and minerals and, for growth to take place, there has to be a relatively high input of calories.
Once growth is complete, fewer calories are needed, but the requirement for vitamins and minerals remains the same as during adolescence. This creates a problem because the lower intake of food makes it difficult to obtain sufficient minerals and vitamins from the diet. This problem is compounded by the lower calorie needs of modern adults whose lives are more sedentary than at any time in the past. Adults, therefore, have little leeway for eating so-called 'empty calories', that is, calories that come from food such as refined flours and sugar, in which other nutrients are at a low level or even absent.
SIX IMPORTANT NUTRIENTS
- CARBOHYDRATES These provide starches and sugars needed for energy.
- PROTEINS These build body tissues during growth and repair them later in life.
- FATS These are needed to maintain cell walls throughout the body, including the brain and skin.
- MINERALS These are needed for structure and to maintain fluid distribution in the body.
- VITAMINS These are needed to control the basic functions of the body.
- WATER Essential for the maintenance of life.
A nutritionally rich diet becomes even more important when the normal events of adult life, such as parenthood, injuries, surgery and stressful jobs, increase the body's need for vitamins and minerals. In addition, good nutrition can help to prevent heart disease and may reduce the risk of developing cancer.
In later years, nutritional needs change again in small but significant ways. Older people gradually become less active, reducing calorie requirements even further, yet vitamin and mineral needs remain unchanged. In addition, poor appetite and lack of energy to buy and cook food can reduce the intake of nutrients at a time when the body may be becoming less efficient in the way it uses them.
It’s important to ensure that nutritional needs for different lifestyles can be met throughout life for the maintenance of good health.
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