Chapter One: Components of the Body

When discussing the body, there are three main components that create bodily wellness: nutritional or what we put into our body, physiological or what we do with our body, and lifestyle behaviors or where we put our body. These three components combine to create the overall degree of wellness in the body. Each of these components can be broken down further for deeper exploration.

The first subcomponent of the nutritional status is macronutrients. Macronutrients consist of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. These are the three food groups, and everything we consume will fall into one or more of these groups.

Carbohydrates provide the main sources of fuel for the body. 45-65% of the diet should be derived from carbohydrates[3]. Each gram of carbohydrates provides 4 kcals of energy. The best choices are complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, starchy vegetables, and legumes. Simple carbohydrates, such as refined sugars and refined flours should be limited.
Proteins are the building blocks of our body. They are broken down into amino acids responsible for building new cells and new tissue. 20-35% of the diet should be derived from proteins [4]. Each gram of protein provides 4 kcals of energy. The best choices are lean meats, seafood, dairy, beans, and nuts. Protein can also be obtained through soy products. However, some controversy exists regarding the safety of consuming soy.

Fats are also an energy source for the body but are primarily utilized during rest or low energy level activities [5]. 20-35% of the diet should be derived from fats. Each gram of fat provides 9 kcals of energy. Some fat is essential as it regulates biological processes [6]. Not all fats are created equal: the best choices are monounsaturated fats found in olive and canola oils, avocados, and nuts. Trans fats should be limited, such as those found in man-made margarine and processed foods.

Footnotes

3, 4, 5, 6

Thompson, J,, Manore, M. (2009). Nutrition: An Applied Approach, 2nd Edition.

San Francisco: Benjamin Cummings with Pearson Learning Solutions.

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Part 1: The Body Aspect

“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” Jim Rohn

One of the three aspects and the one that is easiest to relate to is the body. Our body is where our mind works, and our spirit resides. The body can be described as the temple for the soul or a biological machine. Either way, we need our body to live in this world. Without a body, we cannot explore, experience, or function. When our body deteriorates, either through age or misuse, we can no longer actively participate in life. When our body dies, so does our existence in this world. We must recognize the value of our body and treat it as a precious gift that allows us to be. We must do what we can to promote body wellness. We must ensure that our body functions at its best for as long as it possibly can. We must create the ideal home for our mind and our spirit. Seeing our body as a temple for our soul allows appreciation and proper care to be provided. This perspective allows us to love our body as a necessary tool for experiencing life. Body wellness aids the mind and spirit in creating a flourishing life.

Introduction

It’s not enough to just exist. Life is meant to flourish.

The overall aim of wellness is to facilitate fulfillment, in every aspect, to foster a thriving, healthy life. “Not [just] life, but a good life is to be chiefly valued,” Socrates is credited with saying. But what is wellness? Wellness is “a conscious, self-directed and evolving process of achieving [one’s] full potential.”[i] Assessing the different aspects of wellness reveals areas where change is desired, allows goals to be set, and control to be gained over one’s own life. This is the path to wellness.

So now that we understand that wellness is the goal, we need to understand what components combine to create wellness within our bodies. Is it merely the absence of disease, or is there more to wellness? 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 or infirmity,” in their 1946 Preamble[ii]. In other words, wellness involves more than the body alone. Each of us consists of three main aspects: a body, a mind, and a spirit. And each of these aspects contains three components with many subcomponents: they are multifaceted.   We are multifaceted. However, each aspect (body, mind, & spirit) is only as strong as its weakest component.  Optimally, our aspects are developed and strong, and ultimately work harmoniously with each other. This ultimate, optimal condition is known as wellness and is necessary for life to flourish.

For this blog, wellness is divided into its three main aspects: the body, the mind, and the spirit. Each aspect will be discussed along with its components. Additionally, the importance of managing each component and integrating the three aspects will be explained. The interconnectedness will be revealed, and greater understanding of how each of these aspects and their components either enhances or degrade each other will be gained.

It’s not enough to just exist. Life is meant to flourish. Each of us must cultivate wellness within our body, our mind, and our spirit. This is the only path to a thriving, flourishing life.

Footnotes

[i] National Wellness Institute. 2012. Defining Wellness. Retrieved fromhttp://www.nationalwellness.org/index.php?id_tier=2&id_c=26

[ii] World Health Organization. 1946. Preamble. Retrieved from http://who.int/about/definition/en/print.html