Diet And Nutrition Plans in History

Diet and Nutrition in History

Diet and nutrition in history dates to at least the 5th Century BC where food, diet and nutrition was closely observed for its effect on human health

Today the unique skills of nutritionists are needed to promote diet and nutrition plans to counteract the growing western abundance of nutrient deficient, processed foods and sub-optimal health. 

c. 475 BC: early reference to diet and nutrition where Anaxagoras states that food is absorbed by the human body and therefore contained "homeomerics" (generative components), thereby deducing the existence of nutrients

c. 400 BC: Diet and nutrition was observed by the father of modern medicine Hippocrates when he said, "Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food."

Bible: The first recorded diet and nutrition plan experiment is found in the Book of Daniel

  • Danifoel and his friends were captured by the king of Babylon during an invasion of Israel.
  • Selected as court servants, they were to share in the king's fine foods and wine.
  • But they objected, preferring vegetables and water
  • The king's chief steward reluctantly agreed to a trial
  • Daniel and his friends received their diet for 10 days and were then compared to the king’s men.  
  • Appearing healthier, they were allowed to continue with their diet!

1500s: Scientist and artist Leonardo da Vinci compared metabolism to a burning candle thereby linking the importance of diet and nutrition plans in fueling the body

1747: Dr. James Lind, a physician in the British navy, performed the first scientific diet and nutrition plan experiment (thanks to a Dutch tip), discovering that lime juice saved sailors who had been at sea for years from scurvy, a deadly and painful bleeding disorder. The discovery was ignored for forty years, after which British sailors became known as "limeys." The essential vitamin C within lime juice would not be identified by scientists until the 1930s

1770: Antoine Lavoisier, the "Father of Nutrition and Chemistry" discovered the details of metabolism, demonstrating that the oxidation of food is the source of body heat.

1880s: With continuing investigation, the elements nitrogen, carbon, hydrogen and oxygen were isolated and soon associated with diet and nutrition plans as essential for good health.

Work done by Justus Liebig of Germany on carbohydrates, fats and proteins led to research in the area of vitamins in the early 20th century

1912: Polish doctor Casimir Funk, coined the term "vitamins" as essential factors of diet and nutrition plans and from this point through the early 20th Century, numerous vitamins and minerals were discovered.

1930s: Recognizing the need for vitamins in our diet and nutrition plans was an element of good health gave birth to the supplements industry.

1998: Nutrition itself has become a modern science leading to significant breakthroughs including the 1998 Nobel Prize winning research concerning nitric oxide as a signaling molecule in the cardiovascular system and the amino acid arginine that is solely responsible for its production.

You can find dieticians in most hospitals, schools and prisons adhering to averaged national standards of nutritional guidance whereas nutritionists are commonly found in private practice and apply a holistic perspective on nutrition.  Both are essential in their roles.