What is Health?
Health means different things to everyone.
Some people refer to health as being free of illness, injury or disease. Is this true?
Oxford Dictionary defines Health as ‘The state of being free from illness or injury’.
Classical Medial Research defines Health as ‘The absence of disease’
The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines Health as ‘Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being not merely the absence of disease or infirmity’.
Health is not one dimensional. People are not one dimensional either.
Health is multidimensional as are people and incorporates the below aspects of an individual
Holistic Health is about taking into account all the above 5 dimensions of an individual’s health as they are all interrelated and can affect a person’s overall health.
Social health looks at how a person communicates, closeness and dependability they have with their family, friends, social networks or work colleagues.
Mental health is defined as a state of wellbeing, in which an individual realises their own potential, can cope with every day stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to contribute to their community positively.
Spiritual health incorporates the ability to establish harmony and peace, develop congruence between right and wrong and perception of a common purpose that links creation.
While Emotional health looks a having confidence and/or being positive and able to cope with the ups and downs of life.
Then physical health which is the most common idealised health dimension and is what the Oxford Dictionary and Classical Medial Research defines as Health 'This is where an individual is completely free of disease, sickness and/or injury.'
This is different from ‘fitness’ as Fitness refers to the physical capabilities of an individual’s body.
Therefore, ‘health’ is a state of complete social, mental, physical, spiritual and emotional wellbeing.
Nutrition and its relevance to ‘Physical Health’
Nutrition is about balance of nutrients and food in relation to health and disease. The study of ‘nutrition’ considers the processes by which an individual ingests, digests, absorbs, transports, utilises and excretes food substances. In addition, nutrition must be concerned with certain social, economic, cultural and psychological implications of food and eating.
There is a misconception that nutrition is merely important for physical appearance, such as weight and/or muscle definition. Nutrition is vital for health because of its role in every process with the human body. An individual’s health rests heavily on the nutrients they receive, as each nutrient can have many different functions with many different processes.
For example, on the cellular level, calcium and potassium (among others) are responsible for communication between cells: water is extremely important for the strength and reproductive ability of cells; and fat plays a huge role in the integrity of the cell wall. Further, the brain is primarily comprised of fat, hence why this nutrient is considered ‘essential’ and required in ‘macro’ quantities; and the amino acids, which make up protein, are responsible for producing some hormones, as well neurotransmitters (chemicals in the brain that are necessary for communication between cells).
Therefore, you can see how important nutrition is when it comes to an individual’s health. Nutrition also plays an important role in a person overall health as it can affect a persons mental, emotional, physical, social health as they are interrelated.
Determinants of Health
There are other aspects that play a part in an individuals health and they are known as ‘determinants’ of health. Determinants of health refer to environmental and circumstantial situations which are not necessarily in the control of the individual. Some examples of these are
· Community environment
The aspects of where a person lives, how educated they are, if they are employed, their cultural background, Age can all have an impact on the balance and shaping of an individual’s behaviour and lifestyle, that will contribute to (and potentially entirely determine), their ability to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
As you can see health and nutrition is very complex as is every individual.
Let me help you ‘Feel great inside and out’.
Megan Scheid Wellness Solutions