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Why is nutrition important?

  • Published
  • By Alison Morrell
  • 90th Medical Operations Squadron

Energy, nutrients, development and family gatherings. These are just a few words that come to mind when I think about nutrition.  Nutrition plays an important role in our daily life cycle.  As a mother, professional and athlete, I think of nutrition in many different ways.


As a mother, I see nutrition as treats for school or sporting events, time with friends eating popcorn or snacks at the movies. I also see food as a means of life sustainment and a foundation for physical and mental development.


Introducing different fruits, vegetables, meats and dishes into your diet will help develop a love for a variety of foods. A range in food selection enables us and our children to receive many of the nutrients our bodies need to grow and develop.


Teaching and living a healthy lifestyle, starting at a young age, will set the foundation for healthy living and an appreciation of nutrition for a lifetime.   


As a health promotional coordinator here on base, I try to relay the importance of a balanced diet and regular physical activity for disease prevention and longevity, which is a rewarding and challenging job. In order for our bodies to function properly and stay healthy, we must consume nutrients from protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and water.


Many people can lower their risk for heart disease and stroke through proper nutrition. The food choices we make each day affect how we feel in the present. Just as importantly, they impact our risks of disease in the future. 


As an athlete, I see nutrition as fuel for competition. Knowing when and what to eat is critical for being at peak performance, and for ensuring the calories consumed are not too much or too little. There needs to be a balance between protein, carbohydrates and fat, coupled with the precise timing of their intake.


It’s a lot to think about and confusing at times. You are on the road to success if you follow the motto written by nutrition author Michael Polan, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”  Moderation and balance are the keys to success.