- To eat well
- To consume nutritious food
- To have sustenance
- To be well-nourished
- Access to clean, nutritious food
- Capability and means to eat
Nutritional health has significant effects on one's body, brain, and risks of diseases. For a full breakdown of the effects of neglect and fulfillment of this needs, please see the Effects table.
- Amount of nutrients absorbed by the body
The amount of nutrients absorbed by the body can be tracked daily by calculating the sum nutritional value of all foods eaten during the day.
Calculate the amount of nutrients in each food eaten.
- For each food eaten, multiply the number of portions/servings eaten of the food by the amount of nutrients in each portion/serving of the food.
Calculate the sum of nutrients consumed.
- Add together the amount of nutrients in each food eaten that day.
There are several nutrients to measure, including:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
- Pantothenic acid
- Overall, I have been eating well.
- I have been eating nutritious foods.
- I have been eating clean and fresh foods.
- I have been eating foods that are properly stored and prepared.
- I have been eating appropriate amounts of necessary nutrients.
- I have been eating appropriate portions.
- I have been eating within a reasonable timeframe.
- I have been feeling well-nourished.
- I have been feeling full of energy for a majority of the day.
Eating and nutritional needs vary from person to person depending on personal differences including:
- Physical activeness
- Body size and type
- Metabolic rate
- Medical conditions
Ideally every human should
- Have access to clean water and food
- Have access to nutrient-dense whole foods
- Calculate and understand personal nutrition needs
Fulfill personal nutrition needs daily
- Drink the daily amount of water necessary to meet personal needs
- Absorb the daily amount of nutrients necessary for personal needs by regularly eating the necessary amount of food
- Track nutritional needs daily and/or weekly
Set daily and/or weekly nutrition goals based on personal nutrition needs
- Build and maintain healthy, consistent eating patterns and habits
- Balance daily nutritional needs through day-by-day adaptations that increase or decrease the consumption of particular nutrients based on whether or not there was a deficit or excess of the respective nutrients during the days prior
- Limit the consumption of sugars, saturated fat, trans fat, sodium, and alcohol
Calculate how much you need of each nutrient based on your personal factors. The USDA's Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) Calculator is perfect for this purpose, because it takes your age, gender, pregnancy, body size, and activity level into account.
Be intentional about the foods you choose to eat regularly, ensuring the foods you eat will provide you with the variety of nutrients you need. The following resources will provide you with information on the nutritional composition of foods:
- USDA: What's in the foods you eat (Search tool)
- USDA: Food composition database search
- MyFoodDiary.com food search
- NutritionValue.org food search
Mindfully balance your daily nutritional needs. If you have a deficit of any nutrient, then try to eat foods rich with that nutrient, and if you have an unnecessary excess of nutrients such as sodium, sugars, or saturated fat, then try to limit or replace foods rich in those nutrients.
Try to measure your nutritional absorption daily or at least weekly to track your needs.
To further understand these principles in action, see a real life example of calculating, tracking, and fulfilling this need.
- HealthFinder.gov: Eat Healthy
- Canada's Food Guide
- United Nations FAO: International Food-based Dietary Guidelines