A balanced diet is essential for not only providing energy and nutrients but also preventing disease. Changes in lifestyles and what we eat have greatly influenced human health, resulting in higher risks of noncommunicable diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart ailments. This is an increasingly crucial social and economic issue.
In ancient times, people found sustenance in raw vegetables and animal flesh. Today, better nutrition and eating habits can be both affordable and effective in maintaining health -- but unhealthy diets have also become a serious problem. Eating well can seem like a complex challenge, given how the modern food chain is interlinked with the economy, environment and individual lifestyles. Research is the key to understanding our nutritional needs, and how food impacts health and the mechanisms of disease.