In human history, nutrition and health have always been two essential terms.
Because food is crucial for our physical and mental well-being, in a negative or positive sense. The first populations of hunters and gatherers had already understood this concept millennia ago, observing how some berries or particular animal meats were to be avoided in order not to incur sometimes lethal ailments. However, it was with the discovery of agriculture and the advent of permanence that the link between nutrition and health became indissoluble. The constant availability of food has in fact led to a significant improvement in the general conditions of humanity, just as the temporary shortage has caused profound crises: just think of the great famines that have characterized the history of humanity from ancient times until the 1600s.
Malnutrition as an expression of the link between nutrition and health
When it comes to nutrition and health, it is also important to remember the problems related to poor nutrition, due both to the lack of food and to the excess of certain nutrients. The logbooks of the navigators of the past report for example of countless cases of scurvy caused by a diet without raw fruits and vegetables and therefore with vitamin C. In the same way gout was a common pathology between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries, especially in the wealthy classes, so much so as to be defined “the disease of the nobles” because it is a symptom of a diet rich in alcohol, meat, sugars and crustaceans.
Malnutrition is a phenomenon that also distinguishes our era: not only in the poorest areas of the Earth, but also in the most affluent countries, where excessive or too elaborate nutrition is among the main causes of disorders such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease and other evils that undermine contemporary life.
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