Nutrition is the biological and chemical process through which an organism utilizes food to sustain its existence. It involves absorption, assimilation, metabolism, biosynthesis and excretion. This process is continuous and goes on all throughout our lives, although our body system may be broken down and nutrition deficient when we are sick or under severe stress. There are many important nutrients and minerals that are very essential for all of us to survive.
There are various dietary guidelines for individuals to ensure that the nutritional needs of people are met. Nutritional deficiency can result to a number of diseases and can also result in death. Thus, proper nutrition is very essential. This can be achieved through eating the right kind of foods. There are various sources of these nutrients such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, dairy products, meat, fish and poultry.
The first step towards maintaining nutrition is to have a good understanding of the food choices you make. For example, milk is one substance found in foods that can be classified as poor sources of nutrition. Milk represents only one among the different substances found in foods that are considered to be excellent sources of nutrition. Dairy foods are found to be excellent sources of calcium, protein, vitamin D and phosphorus. However, dairy foods should be consumed in moderation since they can cause calcium loss in lactating women during pregnancy.
Another important aspect of nutrition is understanding the food groupings and the nutrient content of each of them. Every single food has a unique nutrient makeup that can be categorized into different groups depending upon the nutrient content. These food groupings are carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vegetables, fruits, dairy and other. A diet that provides an adequate amount of nutrients for your body uses up the available food supply in the soil. Nutrient deficiency can result to a number of diseases in your body including weakening of the immune system and cause anemia.
Keeping a healthy and balanced diet is essential to keep your body healthy and fit. A balanced diet is divided into macro-nutrients and micro-nutrient categories. Macromaterials consist of elements that are in bulk or in large molecular size. Examples of macro-nutrients are: vitamins, minerals, starches, fats, carbohydrates, proteins, fiber, fats, salts and other dietary fibers. These food choices provide the necessary energy for our bodies to function properly so it is crucial to include them in your daily diet to keep you healthy.
On the other hand, micro-nutrients consist of smaller molecules that cannot be broken down in the digestive tract. Examples of micro-nutrients are vitamins, minerals, starches, fatty acids, carbohydrates, protein and fiber. These foods are important to be included in your diet so you can stay healthy. In addition, these foods also contain a variety of micronutrients such as iron, calcium, magnesium and potassium.
Carbohydrates are what make up most of the food we eat. They provide fuel and energy to our bodies for working and performing physical activities. Carbohydrates are divided into simple sugars (simple sugars include glucose) and complex carbohydrates. Simple sugars are less bioactive and do not provide the energy our bodies require to perform physical activities. Complex carbohydrates on the other hand provides more energy and is better for our digestive system.
Our bodies use two main substances for energy. One is ATP, which is also referred to as the battery of the body uses to store energy for later use. The other substance is ADP or adenosine diphosphate, which is used to break down stored sugar. While the use of these substances is vital to the normal functioning of the body, excessive intake of these substances can cause several negative effects. For example, excess sodium can cause high blood pressure and sodium inhibits the use of insulin.
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