By: Adeosun Moses
It is a popular saying, especially when trying to emphasize the need for fruits in people’s diets that ‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away.’ However, just as taking fruits is important, every one of the other components of the meal is very important. The need for proper nutrition is something that cannot be overemphasized especially in a school system like ours and in a semester like this, as nutrition to a very large extent determines how well you would cope with stress.
Nutrition is a word that as much as talks about the amount of food, also talks about the quality of the meal. It is simply taking the right quality of diet which is also known as a balanced diet or a diet of balanced nutritional content at the right quantity. Nutrition also entails having the proper eating pattern. Nutrition entails high-quality food in the right amount. In our own micro world, it is a common thing to see students who either just eat anything to survive including persistently taking cassava flakes, or students who eat well but just once a day either due to the stress of cooking or the tiredness of academics and other activities. Also, it is not farfetched to see students eat extreme amounts of food either as a reward system or as a coping mechanism.
The Significance of a Healthy Nutrition
Our diet to a very large extent influences our immune system. Poor diet suppresses the immune system as the body systems including the immune system mediate their activities through chemical energies derived from food substances. Proper nutrition would suffice for the provision of the adequate quantity and quality of vitamins and energy needed to build and maintain a good body immunity. This is very important in our setting as stress is a potent immune depressant. When we are stressed, our body produces hormones like cortisol, in the system. Cortisol helps to make energy substrates readily available to make energy available, but the energy is gotten from proper diets. However, when there are no proper nutritional metabolic substrates that should be provided by the food, the body’s immunity is affected.
Nutrition also enhances the proper replacement of our body’s cells even at rates that will compensate for our continuous use of them. Cells like the brain cells and muscle cells except for the fact that they need a proper quantity and quality of metabolic substrates provided by food eating also get worn out as we use them, therefore, they are regularly replaced. The replacement and efficacy of these cells also potentiate proper diets. In order words, our regular growth, the ease of retention is enhanced by proper diets. Also, it is important for people who climb an array of steps or do lots of exercises to eat properly, so as to ensure proper musculoskeletal growth.
What Proper Nutrition Entails
- A balanced diet: a balanced diet is a meal that contains the right nutrients in the right amount.
- Proper cooking conditions; while cooking, hygiene should be taken of utmost priority because although the heat of cooking kills lots of disease-causing pathogens, some microorganisms like Bacillus stearothermophilus, Thermoplasma acidophilum are known to not just tolerate heat but also survive maximally in high heat conditions. Therefore, proper hygiene should collaborate with cooking as the high heat applied during cooking is not sufficient in killing all germs.
- A proper and consistent eating pattern should also be followed.
Our nutrition is a very important discourse to maintain health in our academic and social sojourns and it even poses to be a more important discourse for individuals who have either intermittent disease conditions or one they had been managing, as a return to proper health and survival is hinged on proper nutrition.
In conclusion, it is important to follow doctors’ and nutritionists’ recommended nutritional plans, especially in disease conditions as they have factored in our general body and immune system needs.