As unfortunate as it might be, emergencies happen all the time—and they don’t discriminate. An emergency can strike at any moment and can happen to anyone. Natural disasters are a perfect example of an emergency that can occur quickly and with little warning. For example, fires, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, landslides, droughts, and snowstorms are all events that can cause safety hazards for you and your family. Therefore, it’s essential to know how to handle these situations properly. Making sure you and your family have food and water is a priority for survival. But it’s essential to know the best kinds of food to stock up on for emergencies, so you have the nutrition you need. Here we’ll explain the importance of eating healthy during an emergency.
What Is Nutrition?
We hear the word nutrition a lot, but we don’t often discuss what it means. It’s imperative to understand what nutrition is and isn’t so you can incorporate the right things into your diet, especially in emergency situations. Nutrition is essentially creating a healthy and well-balanced diet comprised of foods necessary for overall health, well-being, and growth. Not all diets are nutritious, so it’s important to know the difference. Nutritious foods are the ones that contain the nutrients we need to survive and thrive. Continue reading to learn more about nutritious foods and why they are vital during emergencies.
Why It’s Essential in Emergencies
Now that you know what nutrition is, it’s important to understand how it plays into emergency situations. Disasters can cause major issues for people when it comes to finding food. During emergencies, malnutrition becomes a serious concern due to the lack of fresh food available. Malnutrition is a condition that occurs when you are not receiving the proper amount of energy or nutrients from your diet. Malnutrition can happen if you aren’t eating enough food or aren’t eating the right kinds of foods. Eating as healthy as possible during disasters and emergencies is essential to maintaining your health and getting the nutrients your body desperately needs to survive.
What Nutrients Are Most Important
During emergencies, your body will need as much energy as it can get to keep you going. Many foods, especially heavily processed foods, lack the nutritional value that your body needs in these situations. Therefore, knowing what types of nutrients to look for in your foods is beneficial so you are getting what you need to survive. There are five major nutrients that you will want to include in your diet. These essential nutrients include carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals, and water. These are the things that your body needs to rebuild itself and perform its necessary functions.
Carbohydrates are the major source of energy and fuel for your body and brain. The human body breaks carbohydrates down into glucose, which your cells then use to create energy. Your cells, tissues, and organs need carbohydrates to function properly. Therefore, you should look for high-carb foods in the event of an emergency to give you the energy you need. Some of the best sources of carbohydrates are foods containing whole grains, such as whole-wheat bread, oatmeal, cornmeal, barley, and brown rice.
Proteins are another essential nutrient that your body needs to function and survive, especially during disasters and emergencies. Proteins provide the body with the necessary energy and help to build and repair muscle and tissue. This type of nutrient contains amino acids that act as building blocks for your body’s essential tissues like skin, bones, muscles, and hair. Foods that are high in protein include lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, beans, soy, nuts, and seeds.
Fats are also an important nutrient but are commonly misunderstood. Many people hear the word “fat” and assume that fatty foods must be unhealthy, but this is actually not the case. There is, in fact, such a thing as healthy fats, and your body needs them to survive. These fats provide backup energy for the body when carbohydrates are unavailable and act as insulation to protect your body’s vital organs. You can find the healthiest fats in fatty fish with omega-3 fatty acids, avocados, nuts, and seeds. You can also find them in things like canola oil, olive oil, sunflower oil, and other various cooking oils.
Vitamins and Minerals
Next on the list are vitamins and minerals. These are the nutrients that we hear about in health-centered conversations most often. Many people don’t get enough of these essential nutrients in their diets and often take supplements to make up for them. However, these supplements may not be readily available in emergencies, so you’ll want to find foods that contain them. The main role of vitamins and minerals is to help you maintain optimal health by helping your body perform its necessary physiological functions. Each vitamin and mineral has its own unique and individual role in your body’s overall health and functioning. For example, vitamin B supports the nervous system, vitamin C supports the immune system, and vitamin D and calcium support healthy bone development. Fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and dairy products are some of the best sources of vitamins and minerals.
And, of course, we can’t forget about water. The human body can live for weeks without food, but it will only last a few days without water. About 50-70% of your body weight is made up of water, making this perhaps the most important essential nutrient there is. Water aids your body in several vital bodily functions. For example, water helps to regulate body temperature, aids in digestion, normalizes blood pressure, flushes bacteria from the bladder, cushions joints, protects tissues and organs, and carries nutrients and oxygen to the body’s cells. These are all significant functions that your body needs to be able to perform for survival, and none would be possible without an appropriate amount of water.
Now that you understand why it’s important to eat healthy in emergencies, you can prepare for any disaster. NuManna Foundation has a high-quality and healthy selection of emergency family food supplies that will help your family to get all the essential nutrients you need in any situation or scenario.