Nutrition and You


The student at the end of this course will be able to identify multi aspects of nutrition. The student will have an understanding of the importance of good nutrition and what nutrition is. They will understand nutrition’s relationship to the disease processes and the areas of diet that can help heal us and prevent the possibilities of disease the health care workers role.


  1. The student will have be able to verbalize their knowledge of what good health means and its relationship to nutrition.
  2. The student will have verbal knowledge and be able to identify our bodies’ nutritional requirements and the nurses role in this area of health..
  3. The student will have a verbal knowledge of the disease processes that occurs in relationship to vitamins / nutrition and be able to educate their patients..
  4. The student will have a verbal knowledge and be able to verbalize and educate the patient on a diet with its fats, carbs, proteins, and vitamins, their deficiencies and their restrictions.
  5. The student will have a verbal knowledge and be able to identify what man is doing that is misleading to the human diet, and its many dangers.
  6. The student will have a verbal knowledge and be able to educate their patients on foods that can heal.

A bit of wisdom to start off this lesson plan, keep these words in your mind as you continue to read.. “If we eat wrongly, No doctor can cure us; If we eat rightly, No doctor is needed.” Victor G. Rocine 1930 (a Norwegian Dr. of homeopathy)


Per American Heritage Dictionary: The process of nourishing or being nourished, the process by which a living organism assimilates and uses food. Per Mosby’s Medical, Nursing and Allied health Dictionary (fifth edition) the sum of the processes involved in taking in nutrients and their assimilation and use for proper body functioning and maintenance of health. The successive stages include ingestion, digestion, absorption, assimilation, and excretion. The study of food and drink as related to growth and maintenance of living organisms...


This is extremely individualized. Each person has his or her own view of what health is to them. We all age from the minute we are born and we all go through our own processes, and diseases.

If you get up in the morning feeling great, happy and full of energy, you're hungry, your nose and head are clear, and your mind is full of positive thoughts, well your most likely a very healthy person. You should be grateful.

How closely is nutrition and good health related? Let’s take a look.

Food, Food, Food, What is this stuff we stick in our mouths, (or some through tubes), this substance we base so much of our lives around. Is it good for you? Or is it bad for you?

There are studied and planned out food groups. Many people have labored to show the population what they should be doing for themselves in the form of nutrition. It has been proven, “You are what you eat."


The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to provide wise choices put out the food pyramid in 1992. There are 6 food groups.


Bread, cereal, rice and pasta group; this group forms the base of the pyramid. The USDA recommends that a person take in 6-11 servings from this group per day. All foods in this group come from grains such as wheat, oats. The nutrients in this group are proteins, carbohydrates, iron, thiamin, niacin, and riboflavin. There are small amounts of fats and sugar.


Vegetable group; the USDA recommends 3 to 5 serving of these per day. Vegetables provide fiber, vitamins A and C, carbohydrates, and minerals. These are low in fat. There are a large variety of vegetables, dark green, yellow, red, purple, and others such as potatoes. Vegetables can become high in fat, depending on how you cook them, when a potato becomes a French fry, or when a baked potato is filled with butter and sour cream, or a green salad with high fat dressing.. Good nutrition is in how one alters Gods wonders. Which is already a perfectly designed provision.


Fruit group; Fruits contain natural sugars and are low in fat. USDA recommends 2 to 4 serving per day. Fruits provide carbohydrates, vitamins A and C, potassium, and other minerals.


Milk, Yogurt, and Cheese Group. Milk and dairy products are high in protein, carbohydrates, fat, calcium, and riboflavin. USDA recommends 2 to 3 servings per day. This is very important for children and breast feeding mothers. There are reduced fat and no fat products that can be found in this food group and it is a natural reduction, which is not harmful but helpful to the body.


Meat, poultry, fish, dry beans, eggs, and nuts group; This food group contains the highest volume of fat, more than the other food groups. USDA recommends 2-3 servings of these per day. Protein, fat, iron, and thiamin are the main nutrients found in this group. Their portions are a vital concern in establishing a balanced diet. A healthy serving of meat is 2-3 oz of boned meat, so a 12-oz steak is actually 4 - 6 normal servings. Always remember foods in this group are very high in fat, you are better off to stay with your fish, shellfish, chicken and turkey. Look for lean cuts of meat; do not use all the egg yokes. Food preparation is always a factor in Good health/ Good nutrition.


Fats, Oils, and Sweet group; this group is at the top of the pyramid. USDA recommends you use as little as possible. Fats, oils, and sweets have little nutritional value and are VERY high in calories. Foods in this group are the foods most of us like the most, (go figure), butter, salad dressing, sour cream, cookies, cake, jams, jelly’s, soft drinks, alcohol.

*You are what you eat. No one-food group has all the needed nutrients. A well-balanced diet has servings from all five of these groups. Good nutrition is needed for growth, healing and maintaining all body functions. The foods we choose must provide a well-balanced diet and adequate but not excessive calorie intake.

Foods and fluids contain nutrients.

A nutrient is a substance that is ingested, digested, absorbed, and used by the body. Many nutrients are needed for the body to function. These nutrients are grouped into fats, proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals.

Fats, proteins, and carbohydrates give the body fuel for energy. The amount of energy provided by a nutrient is measured in calories. A calorie is the amount or unit of energy produced by the burning of food by the body.

1 gram of fat supplies the body with 9 calories 1 gram of protein supplies the body with 4 calories 1 gram of carbohydrates supplies the body with 4 calories.

FATS: provide energy and add flavor to food and help the body use certain vitamins. Dietary fats not used by the body, due to high intake or lack of burning them off, these will be stored as body fat, (adipose tissue). Fats are found in the meat group and the sweets and oil group.

PROTEINS: this is one of the most important nutrients. Protein is needed for tissue growth and repair. When there is a lack of protein the tissue in the body starts to break down. These proteins are found in the meat, eggs, milk, cereal, or bean groups.

CARBOHYDRATES: provide energy and fiber for bowel elimination. These are found in the fruit, vegetable, bread cereal, and sugar groups. Carbohydrates are broken down into sugars during digestion. The sugars are then absorbed into the blood stream. The fiber is not digested; it provides the bulk for elimination.

VITAMINS: these do not provide calories but they are an essential part of the diet. The body stores' vitamins A, D, E, and K. Vitamin C and B complex are not stored. They must be ingested daily. Each vitamin is needed for certain body functions. The lack of a specific vitamin results in diseases.

MINERALS: are used for many body functions. They are needed for bone and tooth formation, nerve and muscle function, fluid balance, and other body processes.


Vitamin A

This is a fat-soluble vitamin and can be stored in the body inside of the liver. The liver releases the vitamin, as the body needs it. Vitamin A comes in several sources: 1) performed Vitamin A (retinol) is found in foods of animal origin 2) provitamin of A (carotene) is found in foods of plant and animal origin. During ingestion by the body, the liver must convert carotene and the intestinal wall into useable vitamin A. Vitamin A is known as the growth vitamin.

A deficiency of Vitamin A may result in night blindness or loss of adaptation to the dark and increased susceptibility to infection. Other symptoms may include drying out of the skin and the mucous membranes. A loss of taste and smell leading to decreased appetite can also be a problem with vitamin A deficiency. In addition loss of vigor, retarded growth, and defective teeth and gums can become a problem.

Other things you might see with Vitamin A deficiency. The skin has four layers of cells and a lack of this vitamin causes the bottom layer of cells to die. The body will then send white blood cells to bring these dead cells to the surface and result in a pimple with pus, a sty in the eye, or a carbuncle. These dead cells may be trapped in the ear behind the eardrum, causing the ear to become infected. Bits of mucous may form on the eyelids while sleeping making it hard to open the eyes in the morning.

Children who have running noses, may also be showing a sign of Vitamin A deficiency. Vitamin A is needed for protein to be absorbed. Vitamin A may be applied topically to help in wound healing. Women who have dysmenorrhea may benefit from increased intake of Vitamin A. Vitamin A helps to fight cancer, in the same way it helps resist infection. Vitamin A is extremely important in pregnancy. Toxicity is possible but very rare.


This also is a fat-soluble vitamin and is mainly stored in the liver. It is called the “sunshine vitamin” because when the ultraviolet rays from the sunlight hit the skin a form of cholesterol in the body is converted into Vitamin D. Smog or polluted air reduces the amount of Vitamin D that reaches the skin. Dark skin people do not produce their own Vitamin D as well because their skin filters out the ultraviolet rays.

A Deficiency of Vitamin D in adults robs the bones of minerals and results in osteomalacia (softening of the bones), or osteoporosis (brittle and porous bones) causing fractures. In children, rickets can occur from a lack of Vitamin D. Early signs of this are irritability, restlessness, fitful sleeping, and frequent crying. Babies will sweat heavily behind the neck leaving their hair wet. Teeth may come in late. The first real sign is soft, yielding skull. Bones become swollen at the ends and soft in the middle, the results are bowed legs, knock knees, depressions in the chest, lordosis, (sway back) and eyes may appear sunken in. Walking is usually delayed. Vitamin D enhances the absorption of two minerals for bone strength; calcium and phosphorus. This vitamin is also necessary for proper functioning of the thyroid and pituitary glands. Toxicity is a possible danger to be aware of.

VITAMIN E (Tocopheal)

This too is a fat-soluble vitamin and is stored mainly in the liver. The assimilation of Vitamin E is less then 50% in a healthy person. The bowel excretes any excess, somewhat like the water-soluble vitamins.

Vitamin E is measured in International Units. An I.U. is the amount needed to produce a specific biological function. Vitamin E increases the effect of Vitamin A and keeps it from oxidizing. A good vitamin A supplement contains a small amount of Vitamin E.

A Deficiency of Vitamin E has no clear-cut symptoms, although many health problems are effected by the lack of this vitamin. One effect of vitamin E deficiency in humans is the decreased survival time of red blood cells and faulty fat absorption.

Children with Vitamin E deficiency have been known to have degeneration of brain and spinal. In pregnant women, a severe deficiency may cause premature births and can result in miscarriages.

Vitamin E reduces the amount of oxygen needed by the tissues. This it may be useful in gangrene, coronary and cerebral thrombosis, diabetes, congenital heart disease, arteriosclerosis, Raynauds syndrome, and phlebitis.

The primary role of Vitamin E is as an antitoxicant. Vitamin E is essential for proper functioning of sex glands. Vitamin E protects the body from air pollution, radiation, and helps women with noncancerous breast cyst. It may reduce the pain of osteoarthritis because it has an anti-inflammatory and has a stabilizing effect on the membranes of cells. It may reverse some of the adverse effects of oral contraceptives such as thrombosis, (blood clots). It also relieves menopausal pain and increases stamina in athletes. In addition; it may help varicose veins, and aids in healing of wounds/burns.

Toxicity- Vitamin E does not appear to be toxic in large doses, it can be stored.


A Fat-soluble vitamin. There are three major types of K vitamins. Vitamin K-1 and K-2 are manufactured in your intestinal tract ”in the presence of certain intestinal flora (bacteria).

K-3 is synthetically produced for those people who cannot make K-1 or K-2. Antibiotics kill all good and bad bacteria in the intestines and this halts the production of vitamin K.

Additional conditions which affect Vitamin K production is, spure (malabsorption in adults), colitis, celiac disease, and pancreatic dysfunction. A Deficiency of Vitamin K is rare since the body can usually produce it. Vitamin K is available in many foods. When deficient, a condition called hypothrombinemia can occur. This can result in a prolonged clotting time. Hemorrhages can occur in any part of the body with a lack of this vitamin. Sometimes blood may show up in stool and urine. Nose bleeds and miscarriages are not uncommon.

Vitamin K is essential for blood clotting and without it we would bleed to death. It is used many times to off set the effects of anticoagulants. Toxicity- There is no danger of getting to much Vitamin K from food. Stay away from any kind of Vitamin K supplements, too much can be toxic and induce faster then average clotting time, leading to blood clots.

VITAMIN C (ascorbic acid)

This is a water-soluble vitamin. Any excess is excreted and must be replaced daily by the body. Most animals can make their own Vitamin C man can not. We must get it from our foods. The level of ascorbic acid in the blood reaches a maximum in 2-3 hours after ingestion of a moderate quantity, and then it begins to decrease as it is eliminated in the urine. One of Vitamin C’s most important functions are the, “synthesis, formation, and maintenance of protein-like substance called; collagen.” Collagen is the cement that supports and holds the tissue and organs together. It is a substance that strengthens the arteries and veins, supports the muscles, toughens the ligaments and bones, supplies the scar tissue for wound healing, and keeps youthful skin tissue soft, firm, supple and wrinkle free. Vitamin C is necessary for healthy teeth and gums.

A Deficiency of Vitamin C may include easy bruising, bleeding gums, tooth decay, nose bleeds, swollen or painful joints, anemia, poor healing, lowered resistance to infection. Extreme deficiency can cause scurvy; bones fracture easily, weakened arteries rupture and hemorrhage, extreme muscle weakness, joints become too painful to move, gums become spongy and bleed, teeth fall out, wounds will never heal. NON TOXIC...


There are several vitamins that fall under this category all are water- soluble.

B-1; Thiamin. Known as the “moral vitamin." Your need for thiamin increases when your carbohydrate intake increases; when antibiotics are used, during pregnancy, lactation, fever, surgery, increased physical activity and other stressful situations. If you are older, smoke, eat sugar, or drink alcohol, you may be in need of a Thiamin supplement.

Thiamin is needed to break carbohydrates down into glucose that gives us our energy. This vitamin promotes growth, aids digestion, and is essential for normal functioning of nerve tissues, muscle and heart. It has been used to cure constipation, and assist the stomach to contract, which gives us our appetite. A Deficiency of Vitamin B-1 makes it harder for the body to digest carbohydrates leaving too much pyruvic and lactic acid in the body. This condition causes oxygen deficiency with damaging results. As the deficiency gets worse, pins and needles begin in the toes, burning sensation of the feet, will indicate that nerve pathways are degenerating. Thiamin deficiency results in beriberi, this is basically a disease of the nervous system and can lead to death. Steady diets that consist of polished rice where Thiamin has been removed are certain to develop beriberi.

B-2; Riboflavin. The need for this vitamin increases with the increase of protein. A lack of this vitamin is the most common vitamin deficiency. Vitamin B-2 functions as a part of a group of enzymes that are involved in the breakdown and use of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. B-2 is necessary for cellular respiration, maintenance of good vision, healthy skin, nails and hair. It also promotes growth. A Deficiency of Vitamin B-2 is responsible for cracks and sores in the corners of the mouth. The tongue may be sore and appear purplish in color. Persons lacking in this vitamin might feel grit and sand on the insides of their eyelids; eyes may become blood shot, with itching, and watering. Additional problems may include trembling, lack of stamina and vigor, retarded growth, GI disturbances, hair and weight loss, with possible personality changes. Toxicity - No known toxic effects.

B-3; Niacin. This vitamin should be taken with the other B vitamins. It is a stable vitamin. The body can produce small amounts of niacin, only if protein intake is adequate. Niacin assists enzymes in the breakdown and use of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Niacin improves blood flow by widening the diameter of blood vessels. It is extremely necessary for the nervous system to function correctly. The maintenance of healthy skin, tongue, and digestive system. Niacin is used to treat heart disease, mental illness (schizophrenia), and arthritis; it is also used to decrease cholesterol. A Deficiency of this vitamin can result in pellagra. This disease attacks three major parts of the body: The skin, GI tract, and the nervous system. The three D’s- dermatitis, diarrhea, and dementia. 10

B-6; Pyridoxine. This like the other B vitamins is water-soluble and is excreted in the urine within eight hours after ingestion. The more proteins you eat the more B-6 you need. B-6 is an essential activator of many enzymes. It metabolizes fats, carbohydrates, potassium, iron, and the formation of hormones such as adrenaline and insulin. Protein can not be utilized if B-6 is not present. B-6 is needed to make antibodies and red blood cells. It helps regulate fluids in the body by maintaining the balance between sodium and potassium. This vitamin may help females avoid acne prior to their menstrual cycle.

A Deficiency of this vitamin in babies can cause convulsions. Any infants who have convulsions should be given an immediate dose of B-6. The most common symptom of deficiency of this vitamin is greasy, scaly dermatitis between the eyebrows, on the sides of the nose, and behind the ears. No Known Toxicity.

B-12; Cobalamin. Water-soluble, this is the only vitamin that contains cobalt. Needed in small amounts and only found in animal products, so vegetarians must take supplements. Vitamin B- 12 is absorbed in the stomach lining. Older people have a hard time absorbing this vitamin. To be absorbed B-12 needs calcium; a functioning thyroid, hydrochloric acid and a substance called the intrinsic factor. (This intrinsic factor must be present for the stomach to absorb B-12.) B-12 is necessary for normal metabolism of nerve tissue, assists in protein, fat, and carbohydrate metabolization. B-12 stimulates growth and increases appetites in children.

A Deficiency of this vitamin may take 5-6 years for it to show up. Deficiencies can occur even if plenty of B --12 is taken. It MUST have the intrinsic factor; lack of this result in pernicious anemia; Symptoms are weakness, with sore and inflamed tongue, numbness and tingling in the extremities; pallor, weak pulse, stiffness, drowsiness and irritability. Psychological impairment can also occur, such as depression, and severe psychotic symptoms. If not recognized and treated it can result in permanent mental deterioration and paralysis. NON TOXIC


First We need to look at what we do to ourselves. One of the biggest problems we face is eating too much food. We eat a lot and we eat too frequently. Also if we eat beef from a cow who eats feed that is sprayed with poisons, then we to eat the poisons. It is all in the food chain. We also eat an excess of processed food, quick and easy; too easy to be nutritious. Another concern I have in our current quick and,” look good,” lifestyle is man trying to out do Gods gifts. They say you can take a pill and do no exercise and lose weight and gain muscle tone, NOT. Our scientists stay in laboratories trying to find new ways to keep us looking good, healthy, fit, and young without getting up off the couch. In doing this we are compromising our lives. Things such as aspartame are taking the place of sugar. You can find it in diet sodas, chewing gum, almost anything that says sugar free, has aspartame. Aspartame turns into formaldehyde at high temperatures, it has been linked to numerous diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis, brain tumors and more. Then there is Olestra, a fat substitute; this gives us non-fattening potato chips. It also gives you gastric distress, flatulence, diarrhea. What will we sacrifice for a lazy day? It is not always what we eat that is important, more importantly; it can be what we do not eat.

The four chemical elements most frequently deficient are calcium, iodine, silicon, and sodium. They can all be found in foods we eat.

CALCIUM- 32 % of calcium is lost when heated above 150’, boiling is 212’. Pasteurized milk and canned foods are a limited source of calcium because they are processed using excessively high heat. Good sources of calcium are Cereals and grains, sesame seeds, kelp, greens, seeds, nuts, and cheeses. IODINE- kelp and dulse are at the head of this list, but some other helpers are; Artichokes, asparagus, beans, blueberries, carrots, coconut, eggplant, fish, garlic, greens, seaweed, nuts, tofu, tomatoes, strawberries, watermelon. SILICON -Oats and barley start off this list, then apples, apricots, banana, beans, carrots, celery, cherries, dates, grains, kelp, greens, onions, potatoes, rice, oats, strawberries, sunflower seeds, tomatoes. SODIUM- veal joint broth, powdered whey are wonderful sources, but easier to do are; apples, dried apricots, beans, carrots, cheese, coconut, dulse, fish, greens, olives, raisins, strawberries, and sunflower seeds.

We need to look at whole, pure and natural foods. The number of calories means nothing unless they come from the proper balance of foods. If there is inadequate proteins in your diet you will become ill. If there is inadequate vitamins and mineral content you will become ill. Even fat metabolism is a necessity in the body or it will not function properly, and illness will follow. When we speak of illness we speak of the whole body. Illness being from the tip off our heads to the tip of our toes, inside and out. The body responds to what we eat; it will thrive with a salad or deplete itself with junk food. This is not a positive thing, the body does adapt to this learned behavior and it does the best it can with what it has to work with. The good news is change your diet to a positive one and your body will mold to that.

Juice can heal alone or in tandem with other fruits and vegetables.

Anemia- blackberry and parsley juice Arthritis- celery and parsley Asthma- celery and papaya Blood pressure- carrot, parsley. Circulation- beet and blackberry Colds & sinus- celery and grapefruit. Complexion- grapefruit Constipation- Celery with a little sweet cream. Diarrhea & infection- carrot and blackberry

These are just a few illnesses that can be treated with something as simply are juice.

*Three foods that should be left out of the diet per every wise nutritionist are Rhubarb- it is high in oxalic acid and it adds to joint disturbances, (more so when it's heated). Cranberries- also high in oxalic acid, (If you eat them on Thanksgiving, that is enough). Green plums.

The American Indians have a great philosophy, “Watch the birds if they will not eat it, then you should not eat it," (birds do not eat the above three foods).

In conclusion, I will leave you with some words spoken by a great man that knew so much so far beyond his times;

Hippocrates circa 431 B.C.

“Every disease has its own nature and arises from external causes,”

Natural forces within us are true healers of disease...

Healing is a matter of time, but it is sometimes also a matter of opportunity.

Everything in excess is opposed to nature. To do nothing is sometimes a

good remedy."

“Unprovoked fatigue signals the presence of disease."

You are what you eat and so are your patients. Take care of yourself, you are worth so much; never sell your self short. There is enough time in the day to take care of your self and then you can pass on your wisdom, your health and your wonderful smile to your patient.

Thank You and God Bless