Nutrition is the biological and physical process through which an organisms uses food to sustain its existence. It includes absorption, assimilation, metabolism, biosynthesis, decomposition and exocytosis. Nutrition is a science of the proper ways to provide the right food for the appropriate amount of calories so as to maintain the tissues, organs and cells in health condition. Every living thing needs nutrition to survive and grow; Plants require nutrition for growth and development, animals need nutrition for sustenance, and humans require nutrition for their survival.
The nutrients, vitamins and minerals found in whole foods provide the body with the adequate supply of all the essential nutrients it needs for health. But the lack of nutrition can cause many ailments and diseases like anemia, obesity, chronic diarrhea, heart disease, osteoporosis, cancer, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. There are certain foods that are recommended as an important part of a healthy and balanced diet. These are rich sources of nutrition and they include milk, eggs, fish, poultry, nuts, seeds, soy products, fruits, vegetables, legumes and grains.
Dairy products like milk, cheese, yogurt, butter and yoghurt are rich in calcium, protein, iron and vitamin D. Egg yolk is rich in vitamin B12 and folic acid. Eating food that is rich in fiber will aid in the digestion of fats, and increase the rate of the fat break down. Foods that are rich in carbohydrates are easily converted into glucose, which is used as energy. Carbohydrates should be consumed in small quantities, since excess consumption leads to diabetes, obesity, heart disease and related disorders. Whole grain foods are beneficial in lowering cholesterol and promoting healthy bowel movement.
Nutritional foods are those in adequate quantity and composition so as to meet the nutritional requirement of the body without causing the imbalance in the essential nutrients of the body. The main factors that lead to an imbalance in nutrients are over consumption of refined sugars and carbohydrates, under intake of vitamins, and unhealthy life style, like junk food, fast food, and processed food. In order to keep our body fit and healthy, we need to eat a variety of healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes and nuts.
Nutrition is necessary for the growth and development of an infant’s body. It helps in preventing and controlling a wide range of diseases and prevents cells from degeneration. Metabolism is a process that converts food into chemical substances (amines, ions and water) needed by the body. Digestive enzymes, fats and proteins found in vegetables, fruits, legumes and nuts are required for healthy digestion and excretion of wastes. Nuts and seeds contain high amounts of soluble fiber, calcium, protein, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc and bromelain, which are beneficial for the overall health and help in maintaining a normal blood sugar level.
Fats, proteins and carbohydrates constitute the major components of the nutrition; they supply the necessary energy for the body, but also supply the body with the fat that maintains a balance in weight. A diet rich in fats, proteins and carbohydrates helps in quick metabolism and storage of energy for daily activities, while a diet rich in carbohydrates facilitates the digestion of fat and cholesterol, produces hormones responsible for storing fat in the body, and facilitates the breakdown of fat stores. Carbohydrates can be broken down into simple sugars that are immediately converted into glycogen, which is stored in the liver and muscles for later use. The glucose or Sucrose (complex of glucose) found in artificial sweeteners, white bread, rice and other carbohydrate rich foods is lost quickly in the digestive system and is not used for energy production.
Nutrition mainly depends on the type of food we eat, which determines how much is absorbed and how much is used. Carbohydrates, proteins and dairy products provide the bulk of our nutrition; a rich and varied diet including green leafy vegetables, cereals, whole grain bread, beans and nuts provides all the essential nutrients. While it is true that a healthy diet can provide enough energy to run the body without any problems, an unhealthy diet can cause obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, etc. Therefore, if you want to lead a healthy life and stay fit you should learn to eat properly, even if you don’t like eating particular types of foods.
Today there are many dietary supplements available in the market that help in providing all the required nutrients. They can be used by anyone irrespective of their age, sex or even weight. The best advantage of using these dietary supplements is that you get the required amount of nutrients in the form of vitamins, minerals and even fat. However, if you are a chain smoker or take medications, then it is advisable to talk to your doctor before taking any dietary supplement.
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