Nutrition is the biological and chemical process by which an organisms uses food for its survival. It consists of absorption, digestion, assimilation, production, distribution, metabolism and excretion. Nutrition is a complete science which involves the study of nutrients, their effects on other bodies and their mode of use as food.
Nutrition can be improved through eating healthy food and by eating a balanced diet. Nutrient values must be taken into consideration when we eat food. These values must be in accordance to body type, height, weight and activities. Eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly help improve nutrition. The nutritional needs vary with different people because everybody is different and to give an idea of the nutrients required by an individual, we can divide human body structure into five parts, so that we may be aware of what are the basic necessities needed by our body and how to provide those needs.
Metals, non-metals and vitamins constitute the major part of nutrition. There are three types of minerals, which are Iron, Calcium and Zinc. There are also minerals which constitute the major part of nutrition, but their value is not as apparent as other minerals since they are consumed with meals or with snacks. Minerals are used to build the body, to create and repair cells, to produce hormones, enzymes and DNA. Some of the important minerals are:
Vitamin A, B, C and E are the most abundant vitamins and are present in fruits and vegetables. They work together to maintain good health by producing enzymes, hormones, antibodies, tissues and DNA. These are building blocks for tissues and organs and therefore it is essential to get enough of them. The body can produce its own vitamin A, but some people need to take vitamin A supplements.
Plant nutrition is the process of converting food into energy. It involves the breaking down of plant material to use the nutrients in them for human consumption. The human body cannot produce all the essential nutrients on its own, and requires an external source to obtain the vitamins and mineral substances it needs. This external source could be animal or human food. Animal nutrition is animal based food such as meat, milk and eggs.
Human nutrition on the other hand, is totally different. Human nutrition is concerned with how many calories we consume per day and how much we expend in activities of daily living to maintain our health and stay healthy. Calories are the nutrients that the body needs to perform its functions. Activity is required to burn up calories so as to supply energy for the activities of daily living. Different foods provide different kinds of calories and therefore human nutrition is divided into several groups: fatty foods, starchy foods, fiber rich foods, vegetables and fruits.
Nutrient balance is an important aspect of good nutrition. Nutrient balance means that the nutrients present in the diet do not become depleted over time. During childhood and in children the need for nutrients increases and their hunger is also increased as a result of their requirements. During pregnancy, the need for nutrients is increased and so does the desire to eat and these two factors cause malnutrition or deficiencies in children. Similarly, adults suffer from malnutrition when they do not take adequate care to replenish their bodies with the right amount of vitamins and minerals.
A balanced diet, including both plant and animal nutrition, is essential to human nutrition. However, it is always better to take supplements to ensure that you get the correct quantity of the nutrients that you need. Vitamins, minerals and proteins alone are not enough for a healthy and disease free life and taking supplements in sufficient quantities helps to keep you in good health. There are a number of online stores that sell different kinds of nutritional supplements at affordable prices.
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