By Karen Longo – Nutritionist and Nutrition Consultant, Korin
The Brazilian National Health Day, celebrated on August 5, was established by Law no. 5,352/1967. This date was chosen as a way to honor Oswaldo Gonçalves Cruz, a Brazilian doctor and public health officer born in August 5, 1872.
In 1947, the World Health Organization (WHO) defined health as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease of infirmity”.
The actions implemented on this date aim to awaken health-related values whose definition goes far beyond the absence of disease and is directly linked to an authentic quality of life for people.
Being healthy depends on a series of physical, mental and environmental factors that should be part of everybody’s routine. As for food issues, it is important to prioritize eating fresh foods and minimize the consumption of processed foods. Besides that, it is crucial to understand the origin of the animals, the cultivation and farming methods, and the way they impact the production chain. This generates a sense of responsibility for making healthy choices that are good for people, for the environment, and for the future of the planet.
Human health and environmental health
The aim to contribute to a healthier life must be in accordance with the search for environmental health. Therefore, it is essential to value the cultivation and farming practices and respect the processes occurring along the entire production chain as they use the natural resources and affect human and planet health in the long term.
The education for public health issues had great importance in the history of humankind’s evolution, but currently there is a need for addressing toxicological issues involving environmental and food contaminants that can cause irreversible damage to health.
It is fundamental to care for the maintenance of soil life and water quality and purity, as well as understand the relation between food contamination with chemicals and the impairment of health and quality of life.
In addition to maintaining a good physical health, practices that promote emotional and social balance can ensure the individual and collective well-being, impacting the quality of life and integral health.
Suggestions for maintaining a good human and environmental health through the diet:
- Choose fresh foods instead of ultra-processed products, which contain artificial chemical substances that impair intestinal health and body’s detoxification processes;
- Choose foods produced in chemical-free organic/natural farming systems as the chemical substances used in agricultural production contaminate the food, soil and water, besides compromising the health of farm workers;
- When consuming meat and eggs, try to get information about the origin of the animals, cultivation and farming methods, medications, feeds, etc. as the residues accumulate in the final products and can cause serious damage to health;
- Support farmers, retailers and companies that invest in truly sustainable production processes since it will guarantee the access to pure foods and the preservation of human and environmental health in the long term.