Eating delicious and nutritious meals, especially with our family and friends, is something we all love and enjoy. However, eating healthy meals is not only critical for our pleasure, but it is also indispensable to stay healthy and fit. Food provides us with nutrients that our bodies require to grow, repair, and perform all of their daily functions. When you don’t eat enough food, or eat food that does not contain any real value, you are putting yourself at risk for malnutrition.
Malnutrition is a condition that is caused by the deprivation of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients for your body to function properly, and maintain healthy organs and tissues. Malnutrition can affect individuals of all age groups, though it is much more commonplace among older adults. Unfortunately, malnutrition can have devastating long and short-term effects on one’s life.
Firstly, malnutrition can put an individual at risk of developing serious health issues including heart disease, diabetes, and oral health problems. Oral health troubles can include missing teeth, cavities, mouth infections, and many more challenges. This can cause individuals a lot of discomfort and pain, and can create challenges to chew food. This only further contributes to lower appetite and food intake.
Additionally, poor nutrition can result in cognitive impairment. Symptoms of cognitive impairment include difficulty remembering and memorizing things, communicating thoughts, and making decisions. A decline in cognitive ability can result in difficulty performing daily activities, such as eating, and can make it a lot harder to work and do all the things you enjoy.
Moreover, malnutrition can directly impact one’s mental and emotional wellbeing. The most common mental illness associated with malnutrition is depression. Depression is a mood disorder that results in feelings of sadness and loss of interest. According to a study, the risk of developing depression among older adults with malnutrition was 15 times higher than among those who were well-nourished. Likewise, depression can often result in malnutrition, as depressed adults often lose their appetite and desire to eat well.
There are many causes of malnutrition. Some of these causes are related to physical issues. More specifically, you may have a physical disability that makes it challenging for you to cook or buy food for yourself. Likewise, social factors are also essential when considering malnutrition. Individuals of low income may not be able to afford food and do not have the time or resources to go grocery shopping.
Thus, it is important to reach out and receive help if you are struggling with malnutrition. Never be afraid to ask for help, especially when it comes to your health. The JRCC Kosher Food Bank is here for you! Contact us at 416-222-7105 x293.