One of the most helpful parts of any educational book was the glossary at the back. So I present to you the first part of my glossary of terms related to health and wellness. For each post I will present a set of vocabulary terms. We will begin with the basics key terms as an introduction to health and wellness, then continue to get more in depth and into the advanced terms.
CALORIE – A unit of energy; food calorie is the amount of energy that foods will produce in the human body.
- Calories have slowly become a term that is associated with negatively; something that many try to avoid. Particularly in western countries, people are SO scared about gaining weight that they try to restrict and limit their caloric intake. Yes, at the most basic level, we would want to expend more calories than the amount we intake in order to lose weight, but there are so many other factors involved when it comes to weight loss or weight gain. A a result, I HIGHLY encourage that when you think of calories, think of its official definition which is a unit of energy and slowly move away from its immediate association with weight loss or weight gain.
HEALTH – The state of being free from illness or injury; a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being.
- The first part of that definition is the ‘medical’ way of thinking about health. This is because back in the day, health was all about survival. The second part of the definition introduces a ‘holistic’ way defining health, branching away from simply the absence of disease. A third definition of health was created by the WHO through a health promotion initiative that states: “The extent to which an individual or group is able to realize aspirations and satisfy needs, and to change or cope with the environment. Health is a resource for everyday life, not the objective of living; it is a positive concept, emphasizing social and personal resources, as well as physical capacities.”
HOLISTIC – Focusing on the whole self, feelings, thoughts; how these are connected to the body and how the self interacts with the environment.
- Holistic health emphasizes on the connection between the body, mind and spirit, or the physical, emotional/mental and spiritual aspects of an individual. These are not independent of one another but are all interconnected. Together they impact overall health.
MINERAL – Naturally occurring elements found in the earth; minerals are nutrients that exist in the body and in food in organic or inorganic combinations.
- Minerals do not contain any calories themselves but assist the body in energy production. They are divided into macro and micro minerals in the body. Minerals are what remain as ash when plant or animal tissues is burned or decompose completely after death.
NUTRIENT – The building blocks of all living organisms, by providing nourishment essential for the maintenance of life and for growth.
- There are many types of nutrients, such as micro and macro nutrients, essential and non-essential nutrients. For example, vitamins and minerals are micro nutrients.
WELLNESS – A healthy balance of the mind, body and spirit resulting in the overall feeling of well-being.
- It is an integrative holistic approach that encompasses the various states of well-being: the physical, mental, and spiritual; as well as ones lifestyle and the surrounding environment.
VITAMIN – Vitamins are organic compounds that are found in plants and animals and are essential for optimal growth and nutrition.
- Vitamins are further divided into fat-soluble and water-soluble. Most vitamins cannot be manufactured by our body and also are not sources of energy as they have no caloric value.
This is only the beginning! So many more terms to come 🙂