Health Fundamentals of Healthful Living

Health can be simply defined as a state of physical and mental well being. For you to be termed as being in perfect health you must be of sound mind and physically fit. Perfect health can be achieved through a good diet, regular exercise and adequate rest.

A good diet must be balanced. It must consist of proteins, carbohydrates and vitamins. Proteins are vital as they help to build up muscles and repair worn out muscles. This essential for keeping your body fit. Proteins can be found in all kinds of meat. However studies have shown that women who take red meat regularly have a higher chance of getting breast cancer. Red meat can also cause diseases like gout when roasted directly on fire.

White meat for example, chicken, fish and rabbit meat is good for your mental health as it enhances the growth of brain cells. This is of great advantage for people who do work which involve a lot of mental activity. Liver which can be found in animals like cows and goats is a good source of iron. This useful to women who have just given birth as they lose a lot of blood in the process. A regular consumption of proteins is recommended as proteins are not stored up in the body.

Carbohydrates on the other hand provide the body with energy. This vital if one is involved in work which involves a lot of physical activity. Carbohydrates unlike proteins are stored up in the body. However foods with a lot of carbohydrates are not recommended for people who suffer from diabetes and gout as they absorption into the body overworks their kidneys and liver.

Vitamins are vital for body growth. Vitamins are mainly sourced from vegetables. The most common vitamins are vitamin A, B, C, D and E. Vitamin A and B help in the growth of vital organs of the body. Vitamin C helps to prevent scurvy which is the bleeding of gums. Vitamin C can be found in citrus fruits like oranges and lemons. Vitamin D is got from the sun and is good for the formation of strong bones. Vitamin E enhances fertility and can be found in groundnuts.

Apart from a good balanced diet, exercises are also important. Exercising keeps you physically fit and is good for your mental health as it relaxes your body. Living in an urban set up where life moves fast may affect your physical as well as your mental health. Many times people do not have time to exercise and may engage in harmful practices like drinking and smoking in order to relax. Instead people should exercise regularly as it keeps one young and strong and improves your mental health.

Adequate sleep is also important as it helps your body and mind to relax. This gives you require energy needed for the next day’s tasks. Adults should sleep for an average of six hours a day. Children require more sleep and a new born baby may sleep up to twenty two hours a day.

Teenagers may tend to oversleep as they are engaged in a lot of activities during the day which take up their energy.

Water is also vital as it helps to purify your system. It also replaces fluids which have been lost during the normal body functions like sweating and urinating. Water is also good for the skin as it gives it a good texture. One should consume at least eight glasses of water a day.

We cannot talk about healthy living without mentioning the effects of drugs on our physical and mental health. In talking about drugs I will limit our discussion to tobacco and alcohol. Excessive alcohol consumption affects your liver and kidneys. This may lead to complications like liver cirrhosis. Alcohol also takes up the fluid in your body leaving you dehydrated leading to hangovers. Hangovers drain your energy and this limits your ability to perform your daily tasks properly. Alcohol affects your mental health especially if you take it without eating well. This may lead to psychological dependence where one cannot perform even basic duties without taking alcohol. Alcohol is also known to cause impotence and may affect the development of unborn babies.

Tobacco contains nicotine which is very addictive. In fact it is four times more addictive than heroine. Smoking affects your respiratory system and may lead to diseases like bronchitis and tuberculosis. Smoking also increases the rate at which the heart pumps blood and in severe cases may lead to stroke. One cigarette contains over four thousand chemicals which are hazardous to the body.

For a healthy mind and body, the above factors must be taken into consideration failure of which may have adverse effects on one’s health.


Willet C. W, M. D, Skerret P. J, Eat, Drink and Be Healthy, Harvard Health Publications, 2007

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