Since the induction of the United States Space Program in 1961, NASA had many questions to answer. The biggest questioned involved the safety and health of their astronauts. Nasa did the best they could to ensure the spacecrafts functioned properly, had enough air supply, and had enough food. These concerns are now magnified because the trips are longer. The moon missions took about week, and now the extended space missions last months. As the mission lengths have extended, the issue of food for astronauts has increased.
The weightlessness astronauts experience in space negatively affects nearly every part of the body. Some of the issues linked with weightlessness are:
- Bone and muscle atrophy
- Hormone disruptions
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Cardiovascular problems
Weightlessness heavily effects the body. One of the only ways to combat weightlessness is through the consumption of vitamin and minerals. Yet, astronauts are deprived of several key nutrients while in space, including vitamin D.
Many of the types of foods astronauts have access to need to be rehydrated. When the foods are originally dehydrated, they lose some of their nutritional value. Another problem is the confined area of space vehicles. Trash from packaged foods need to be able to take up the least amount of area possible. Also, crumbs are not allowed. They could block air vents or float into an astronaut’s eye, neither of which would be good. These are all problems space programs need to consider when deciding how best to provide much need nutrients to their astronauts.To combat these issues, NASA is constantly studying the biochemicals in astronauts to determine how and if they are getting all the nutrients they need.
Space programs have discovered many helpful ways to combat the physical hardships of space in their studies. Some of these improvements are:
- Increasing calorie intake
- Staying well hydrated
- Calcium rich foods
Increasing calorie intake helps the body have enough energy to function. The increasing calories directly combats muscle atrophy, just as calcium rich foods combat bone atrophy. Also, staying hydrated is always important. Staying hydrated will help the body preserve nutrients and flush out unnecessary or bad toxin. These are only a few of the ways NASA have found to keep their astronauts healthy.
If I were to recommend a food for space travel, the Youngevity GoFoods product line is it. Many of the GoFoods products, like Sausage-Flavored Pasta or the Baked Potato Cheese Soup, can easily be made by adding water and heating. All of the GoFoods products are made with our Plant Derived Minerals, thus providing a healthy, nutrient filled meal for a brave astronaut. For more information on nutrition for the space age visit: Truth About Nutrition .