Why is nutrition important? It’s simple mathematics. Every calorie you eat can affect your body in one of two ways:
- That calorie can add to your body’s nutrient “store” by providing important vitamins, minerals, fatty acids or other nutrients when eaten. – OR –
- That calorie can deplete your body’s store of nutrients if it brings no nutrients with it when eaten. The result is that your body has to dip into its nutrient store “savings” to metabolize this junk calorie.
Your body needs a fresh supply of nutrients each day to nourish and rebuild its cells and organs. For instance, your 20-foot long digestive track replaces its lining every 7 days. Imagine the work involved! And that’s just one system out of many others. Your body is in a constant state of construction.
If you bankrupt your nutrient stores by only eating nutrient-poor, processed foods, your body won’t be able to rebuild itself and maintain its health. The end result will be sickness, and your body will eventually develop the disease and ultimately die from a lack of nutritive building materials.
We know this to be true simply by watching the health effects that occur when a person doesn’t get enough nutrients. For example, if you don’t get enough vitamin C, you will develop a condition known as scurvy.
Scurvy is a disease that results from a deficiency of vitamin C. Vitamin C is required for the production of collagen in humans. Collagen is the main building block of your cartilage, ligaments, tendons, bone, and skin. It is partly responsible for skin strength and elasticity. It also strengthens blood vessels and plays a role in tissue development.
Collagen is important stuff, and your body requires vitamin C in order to create it.
As would be expected, the symptoms of scurvy (a vitamin C deficiency) include dark purplish spots on the skin, and spongy gums and tooth loss. Other symptoms include bleeding from all mucous membranes, pallor, bleeding gums, sunken eyes, the opening of healed scars; separation of knitted bone fractures, nosebleeds, non-stop diarrhea, and nail loss. Untreated scurvy is invariably fatal.
But here’s the good news. All that is required for a full recovery is to resume a normal vitamin C intake. This is easy – just eat an orange or two each day.
Another important vitamin in which most people are deficient in Vitamin D. Vitamin D comes from sunlight exposure, and from animal foods like milk, meat, and eggs. Because most people spend a great deal of time inside and are told to avoid eating animal-based foods like eggs and meat, as a whole, the American population doesn’t get enough of this important vitamin every day. A lack of Vitamin D has all sorts of health ramifications: bone pain, fatigue, immune system weakness, respiratory infections, osteoporosis and a host of other health miseries.
So when asking “why is nutrition important”, remember that your body will literally fall apart if you don’t get enough vitamin C, and that’s just one of the nutrients needed for good health.
There are 12 other essential vitamins, 7 major minerals, 10 or more minor minerals, and a host of other nutrients that are needed to help you maintain your body health. And you get these complete nutrients from nutritious food.
Why is nutrition important? Because without good nutrition, you don’t have good health, and without your health, you don’t have a life. Therefore, nutrition is life!
As an example of what not to do to maintain your health, here’s a real-life story demonstrating what happens if you don’t eat nutritious food.