Nourishing our mortal frame has been on our minds since we acquired the ability to think. What we ate was driven by instinct, trial, and error and raw survival needs. Culture, tribal customs and eventually an agriculture based civilization lead to the imposition of specific eating regimes upon the individual.

All this time the more aware and scientific amongst us started investigating and documenting the lessons learned from the consequences of food deprivation and poor food choices.
Some of the oldest human cultures and many still surviving indigenous peoples have developed knowledge of foods and plants over the last few millennia and successfully integrated the notion of “Food as Medicine” through modalities like Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine.

More recently (1747) a Scottish surgeon in the Royal Navy named James Lind conducted what may have been the first ever clinical trial. He was bold enough to seek a real explanation as to why many sailors on long voyages got sick and died.

He discovered that giving citrus fruits to sailors prevented what is now known as scurvy, and his findings gave birth to much of the basis of nutrition as we know it today.

It wasn’t until 1932 that we isolated and identified Vitamin C as the life-saving nutrient abundant in citrus fruits. Lind introduced us to the axiom of “essentiality” of certain unseen components in the foods we eat.

Taken by fir0002 | flagstaffotos.com.auCanon 20D + Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 - Own work, GFDL 1.2, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=257218

Taken by fir0002 | flagstaffotos.com.auCanon 20D + Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 – Own work, GFDL 1.2, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=257218

These invisible life savers are nutrients and what makes them essential is the fact that in their absence particular life-giving metabolic processes stop working. Most importantly these nutrients must be supplied from what we eat because we can’t make them from scratch.

We now know there are many essential nutrients. And we have identified the foods that supply them.

We also understand that a less than optimal intake of these essential nutrients can lead to a reduction in vibrant health, mediation of disease processes and co-morbidity. Error in food choice in the early stages of our evolution could result in death within minutes or hours. Today, poor eating choices don’t kill us quickly. Rather, we are lulled slowly and often painfully to an early grave via an increase in disease susceptibility.

By considering nutrition, we make sure we know about the foods and nutrients that are essential for a vibrant and healthy life. Researchers study many essential nutrients like protein, vitamins, minerals, omega 3 and omega six fatty acids, and scientists continue to document the amounts of these nutrients in foods we eat each year.

We can alleviate the symptoms and even the prognosis of many common diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular disease (CVD) and autism spectrum disorders that can have at their very root a contributing element of inappropriate food choices, accumulating toxic chemical exposures and chronic nutrient imbalances.

The above painting –

Beginning in the 1790s, the navy procured large numbers of these Bermudian vessels, some ordered directly from Bermudian builders, some bought up from commercial trade.

The most noteworthy example was HMS Pickle, which brought home news of British victory at the Battle of Trafalgar. The Bermudian ships, which might have from one to three masts, were employed at first to counter the menace of French privateers in western waters, and later became the standard advice vessels of the fleet – communications carriers, and fast transports of vital materials or persons.

They were also used for reconnaissance, chasing slave smugglers, and other uses. The vessel shown may be the earliest recorded example of the modern, triangular en:Bermuda rig on a multiple-masted vessel, though the rig had been used in Bermuda for some time before that.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:History_of_the_Royal_Navy#/media/File:Royal_Navy_-_Bermuda_Sloop2.jpeg