Nutrition is a vital aspect of our health - Mzansi Stories

Sunday, January 17


Nutrition is a vital aspect of our health


Healthy nutrition enhances a healthy lifestyle

The risk of nutrition-related health problems increases in later life, either as a result of impaired food intake or reduced nutrient utilisation. At this stag of life, th stomach mucosa (lining) deteriorates, which results in less acid and pepsin secretion and, ultimately, a reduction in the bioavailibility of calcium, iron, folate and vitamin B 12.

Post-menopausal women need increased calcium to protect against osteoporosis as their oestrogen levels drop, resulting in greater bone loss. Overall, older adults needed similar intakes to younger adults of most vitamins and minerals, but they usually need less energy-dense food as their activity levels decline.
Therefore, a nutrient-dense diet is a high priority for older people. Nutrient deficiencies in older adults can exacerbate both physiological and cognitive deterioration.

Adolescence is considered to be a nutritionally vulnerable phase for several reasons.

Firstly, there is an increased demand for macronutrients and micronutrients to meer dramatic increase in physical growth and cognitive development.

Secondly, changes in lifestyle, body esteem and food habits affect adolescents' eating nutrient intake.

These shifts may result in pathological eating behavior, which environmental influences may impact on dietary practices.

Thirdly, there are special nutrient needs associated with participation in sports, adolescent pregnancy, development of an eating disorder, excessive dieting and the use of alcohol and drugs.

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