LET’S TALK NUTRITION: Why Adequate Nutrition Matters For Adolescents

LET’S TALK NUTRITION: Why Adequate Nutrition Matters For Adolescents

Hola!!

That’s ‘Hello’ in Spanish 😉

Hope you are having a great day.

I have written a lot lately about the importance of nutrition! Why youth should be involved in nutrition, what parents can do to ensure their children get adequate nutrition and on so many other issues relating to nutrition. But I just realized that I haven’t really gone in depth on why this ‘nutrition’ is important, especially for adolescents.

Let’s start with the word ‘Nutrition’.

Nutrition is basically the process of consuming food and using those nutrients in the food for growth and development. We all know that we need food to grow and function optimally. The intake of food in the right quality and quantity is nutrition! Nutrition is a critical part of health and development. Adequate nutrition is related to improved infant, child and maternal health, stronger immune systems, safer pregnancy and childbirth, lower risk of non-communicable diseases (such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease), and longevity.

Healthy children and youth learn better. People with adequate nutrition are more productive and can create opportunities to gradually break the cycles of poverty and hunger.

Are you seeing why young persons need adequate nutrition? Now, because nutrition is important doesn’t mean you should consume A LOT of food because that would become a problem. Consuming very little or too much can lead to malnutrition. Malnutrition, according to World Health Organization (WHO), refers to deficiencies, excesses or imbalances in a person’s intake of energy and/or nutrients.

The term malnutrition covers 2 broad groups of conditions. One is ‘undernutrition’—which includes stunting (low height for age), wasting (low weight for height), underweight (low weight for age) and micronutrient deficiencies or insufficiencies (a lack of important vitamins and minerals). The other is overweight, obesity and diet-related noncommunicable diseases (such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer).

Malnutrition can happen to anyone and at any stage of life. Women, infants, children, and adolescents are at particular risk of malnutrition. It is important to optimize nutrition early in life—including the 1000 days from conception to a child’s second birthday—this ensures the best possible start in life, with long-term benefits.

I know you may be wondering what constitutes adequate nutrition and what foods are nutritious enough for consumption. Don’t worry, I’ll tell you. Let’s say you want to eat Jollof rice, you can’t just eat the rice alone. You need to have a little of the other classes of food on your plate as well. As we know rice is carbohydrate- You should also have some vegetables, protein (could be beef, fish, chicken or even beans, Yes! Beans), fruits and water served along side that portion of rice. That way you would have consumed adequate diet.

BENEFITS OF ADEQUATE NUTRITION FOR ADOLESCENTS

Adolescence is a very important stage of a child’s life. It is the stage where they are growing into adults. At this stage, they need to get adequate nutrition so that their bodies get the best that they need to grow optimally.

Adequate nutrition:

  • Promotes the optimal growth and development of adolescents.
  • Prevents the risk of developing diseases like cancer, high blood pressure and diabetes.
  • Improves cognitive function and performance in school.

You need to make sure that you are consuming adequate diets so as to avoid the negative effects of unhealthy eating in the long run.

That’s all for today’s ‘Let’s Talk Nutrition’

Talk to you soon!

And don’t forget, get what I call your “nutripot” and ensure you consume adequate diets!

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