How often do you think of your own nutritional needs and how it impacts your overall health? As an example, a lack of needed protein can mean that the brain itself doesn’t develop correctly, and women who don’t get enough of certain oils such as flax oil, omega-3 and omega-6 may have her metabolism impacted so that she actually gains weight as a result? There are many reasons to consider a person’s individual nutritional needs, and these needs are met – or are neglected – because of what we eat.To stay healthy every day, it’s important to understand those daily nutritional needs. Of course the government has even gotten involved in the nutritional needs of individuals, as they’ve formed the USDA to study a person’s needs by way of food and nutrition and of course the FDA is supposed to make sure that food is safely prepared and handled, as well as determining items that are unsafe.But set aside the government’s involvement; what about you? Do you really know what you need by way of nutrition and how to get what you need every day when it comes to the foods you eat? There is much talk today about food, but perhaps not enough about its real nutritional value. You may see on the supermarket shelves items that have been fortified with one element or another and some that claim to be a “good source” of different vitamins and minerals, but what does this all mean? What is nutrition and how does it apply to one’s everyday functions?Nutrition means nurturing the body; it is supposed to function in a particular way and needs to be kept healthy for that function. This means that the body must get vitamins, minerals, amino acids, protein, and other elements to be healthy and to function as it should.So how can you know if you are giving your body all these vital elements? First of course you must understand what the body needs! This means understanding about your body as well as what is needed for everyone in your family. And then you must take that understanding and use it when it’s time for food shopping and preparation, and for when dining out as well. Obviously what an adult needs is different than what a child needs, and so this application must work for all members of the family.Sometimes our needs for things like vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and other elements are not being met through what we eat and so a supplement may be used to fill in those gaps.Some may think that nutrition is too difficult to understand but it really isn’t; the knowledge you gain about it can be very useful since there is much to learn and because each person’s needs are different. Men and women have different nutritional needs, and adults and children need different things as well. Those needs also change as we go through life; what we need when we’re young is not what’s needed when we get older, and vice versa. And unfortunately we’re often just not educated enough about nutritional needs; the information that we do have often changes as well! Doctors often neglect addressing this subject with patients, other than those that are pregnant or who have certain medical conditions such as diabetes. But of course even a healthy person should consider their nutritional needs so that they can stay healthy – physically, mentally, and emotionally!