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Date posted: January 3, 2013

Dr T Jayapradha, B.H.M.S., MBA

“Health is Wealth” as per saying Nutrition defends against Chronic Disease by producing immunity. This article describes about some unknown facts of Nutrients and its role in healthy life.

Today in this fast moving world and environment we miss to concentrate our health and lead a mechanical life which ultimately ends up in chronic disease. Necessity of optimal health is often overlooked. We consider food to fill our hunger pangs, but essentials of nutrients and its effects play a major role in our body. It reduces the initial stage of inflammation in chronic disease of any kind. Inflammation is a protective tissue response in our body to injury or destruction of tissues.

Due to processed food and fast food cause a large nutritional gap that has to be filled.

Before buying a food from a health food store is not a guarantee for our health. Nutrition value, food labels, ingredient printed in the product has to be analyzed before buying e.g., degree of unsaturated Fatty acids is good than saturated Fatty acids. Best recommended oil for cooking are Linseed, Olive, Canola, Rice bran, corn oil etc. Always consider what we eat and drink, because it has powerful effect on our health for the present and in future also.

Fruits and Vegetables intake regularly has its own anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. Try to take whole fruit, vegetables in the form of salad and half cooked. In fact nutrition is essential for nervous system and for neurotransmitters to keep our body and mind active and healthy eg., banana and milk are rich in serotonin a (neurotransmitter) .Deficiency of nutrient can cause depression, fear, anxiety, angry etc. proper nutrition reduces premature aging, wrinkles, hair loss, hormonal imbalance and disturbances, skin infection and also from all epidemic, endemic and sporadic diseases. Nutrition is mandatory for men, women, and children and also for aged people; it helps in controlling some geriatric problem. In women it helps in each stage of development starting from puberty, reproduction, childbirth and lactation finally in menopause and old age.

Nutrition with Macro nutrients, micronutrients including phyto nutrients, vitamins, calcium, minerals and other trace elements have a prominent role in the way of healthy living. Healthy food with 3litres of water is important in maintaining the fluid balance in our body. Nutrition is obtained by adopting balanced diet according to W.H.O. Further, it is ideal to add nutrient based on individual constitution and family tendency with slight modification in diet. It is evident and interesting, that each vegetable or fruit has its own bio chemical property by which it is adsorbed in our body.

Keep your vegetables in suitable environment so that their nutrient value may not be affected eg., keep potatoes in dark airy area free from moisture, and sunlight. Richest nutrient from natural vegetables are broccoli, bruised sprout, cauliflower, mustard greens, turnips including green tea have a reducing risk of carcinomas. Pomegranate reduces atherosclerosis (seen in blood vessels) progression in vessels. Resveratrol a chemical found in grapes not only acts as an anti-inflammatory, anti-cancerous, in fact maintains a good cardiovascular system. Harmful effect is seen in dietary intake of Omega-6 – Fatty acid, found in cheap oil, dark meat, and fast food lead to higher level of cholesterol.

It is recommended to buy monounsaturated FA like oleic acid, Eladic acid and EFA like Poly unsaturated FA eg.Linoleic acid, Linolenic acid, arachidonic acid, avoid saturated FA eg ; Butyric acid, Palmitic acid, stearic acid and Trans Fatty acid.

Omega 3 FA in diet can reduce enzymes needed to produce inflammation (Inter leukins) a precursor. Inflammation forms a base to chronic disease. Body builds immunity and gets resistant by the effect of nutrient. It gains popularity in recent years due to its remarkable effect on anti-inflammatory process, weight reduction and anti-malignant activity. It is an unsaturated FA, present in Flax seed or Linseed oil.

Phyto nutrients are active nutrient found in plant eg., Lycopene. Organic source of food is more nutritious and healthy than commercially grown and processed foods, which commonly contain chemicals, herbicides, and pesticides. In animal food like lamb and chicken meat contain hormones and antibiotics. They increase the chances for chronic diseases.

Benefit of vitamin A – Retinoids and carotenoids compounds of Vit.A have anti-malignant property. Vit.B complex deficiency leads to dermatitis a skin disease due to Pyridoxine, Niacin, Biotin, vit B2 and B3 insufficiency. Folate or B9 deficiency cause Megaloblastic anemia even reduces the risk of colon cancer and improves blood vessel function.

  • Interestingly, Vit.B deficiency also cause tongue changes.
  • Folio acid deficiency leads to Painful tongue.
  • B12 deficiency leads to Baldness of tongue.
  • Niacin deficiency leads to fiery red tongue.
  • Vit.C plays an important role in collagen synthesis deficiency leads to scurry, bleeding gums. It also reduces risk of carcinoma of stomach, stroke etc. Vit.C differs from other vitamins because there is no detrimental effect in excess of Vit.C.
  • Vit.D and calcium reduce the symptoms of pain due to hereditary influence mainly seen in females after menopause in the osteoporosis condition due to hormonal imbalance. Vit.D becomes essential to reduce the hypertension, Fibromyalgia, Arthritis etc.
  • Fibrous food intake in any form of grains, wheat, fruit, sprout, brown rice reduces the risk of Colon cancer, obesity, Diabetes and reducing cholesterol level.
  • Zinc in excess may cause Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Pulmonary Fibrosis of the Respiratory system.
  • Selenium deficiency causes keshan’s disease seen in children with hypothyroidism and cardio myopathy. Garlic is rich in selenium. Good for heart, has anti oxidant and anti-malignant properties.
  • Copper deficiency causes growth retardation anemia, genetic disorder of copper metabolism causes Wilson’s disease. Chromium, Magnesium and other trace elements should not be ignored.
  • Vit.E – Acts as an anti inflammatory, anti tumor and as an anti-oxidant. Anti-oxidant is generally good for heart, mind, and reduces fat.
  • Vit.K – Has a key role in Blood clotting Mechanism.

So each nutrient food with its calorific valve and its daily recommended intake is advised. Nutrition is essential for metabolism by specific dynamic action in our body it compensates between fasting and starvation .Defense mechanism found in our body to achieve health is not completely based on nutrients alone. In addition Exercise, walking, Dance, Aerobics, Music relieving stress, meditation, Yoga, positive Attitude, sleep and rest along with proper medical care by your health care provider. Hence these are the practical approach for art of living healthy. Also, Healthy Environment, good hygienic practice, time management and from pollution free atmosphere enhances our healthy living. Try to achieve your goal under guidelines to reach a healthy state both mentally and physically.

The author wants to thank Mr.A.Thaivanayagam,MA.,MLIS.,MPhil Librarian for her assistance.

References from:

  • The optimal health revolution by Johnson Duke, MD
  • ROAMS by Agarwal.V.D. And Agarwal Reetu.

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