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Metabolism: How is Nutrition Related to Health?

 
 
In the western world we are facing a major problem of overweight and subsequent ill health. Heart disease and diabetes are affecting a substantial proportion of the population and much of it can be traced to simply bad lifestyle choices. For many people the key question is this: how is nutrition related to health?

Obviously the answer can be fairly complex but can be boiled down to the fact that our body requires certain substances to operate correctly. Add toxic chemicals or neglect the essential nutrients and your health will start to suffer.

There are several terms that we come across when trying to answer the question how is nutrition related to health: one of these is metabolism. We talk about fast or slow or effective metabolisms but what do we mean?
 

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A metabolism exists in all complex life forms and describes the chemical process that converts what we feed our bodies into the nutrients required for effective processes and therefore continued health.

A functioning metabolism is therefore essential to keeping our organs functioning as they should and so keep us alive. Everything relies on a healthy metabolism, including heart health, breathing, digesting food, muscle operation and maintenance and repairing cells.

Your metabolism uses a significant amount of energy to operate – generally between 40 and 70% of the body’s overall energy use – so it make sense to ensure energy levels are maintained too.

We all have varying metabolic rates but men tend to have a faster rate as they tend to carry more muscle and bone but less fat: for this reason men tend to need to eat more calories than women. Hereditary can also influence the rate of your metabolism.

Many people blame weight gain on a slow metabolism but interestingly the metabolism rate increases according to your size: the processes need to feed nutrients over a larger area.

Usually no more than eating too much and/or not taking enough exercise cause an increase in weight.

Regular exercise will burn calories and, as a result, will increase your metabolic rate and make your bodily functions more efficient.

Most of the nutrients converted by the metabolic process are received in the stomach and then digested to break the food into the useable chemicals. Some substances can be absorbed through the skin and vitamin D can be produced through a reaction between chemicals already in the body and sunlight. Once the chemicals are released, most are transported around the body in the blood stream.

Clearly a study of the metabolism can get very technical but it should be plain that we need to consume the right foods to ensure the process works at its best. Hopefully this goes some way to explain how is nutrition related to health.
 

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