Aug 18, 2016

Facts That Everyone Needs to Know About Nutrition!



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In the past, food never made news the way it does now. A young middle-class adult ate what his mother prepared for him. Food choices were made on intuitions, traditions or availability.

In the present day, things are different. On one hand there are umpteen food choices, while on the other hand there is information explosion about right diets and health scares! The media is full of so-called healthy diets, low carb diets, high protein diets, only vegetable diets, only fruit diets – an endless list of magic diets.

In a world that is raining food, choices about what to eat and how to eat is not easy. It is important to make healthy food choices, so that you end up eating a balanced diet, which results in good nutrition.

What is Nutrition?

Nutrition is the outcome of systematic processes whereby the body utilize food for growth, development and the maintenance of health. Those processes include digestion, absorption and metabolism of food.

The food that we eat, needs to be broken down into simpler substances before it can be utilized by our body. This is called digestion. These simpler substances are absorbed into our blood stream and reach various organs. Metabolism is the term used for thousands of chemical reactions that take place at the cellular level in our body.

How does nutrition help?

It helps to determine the height and weight of an individual. It can also affect the body’s ability to resistance to disease, of one’s life span and mental well-being.

Good nutrition enhances appearance, which is commonly exemplified by shiny hair, clear skin and eyes, erect posture, alert expressions, firm flesh on well developed bone structure.

What are nutrients?

Just like our body, food is also a mixture of chemicals, some of which are essential for normal functions. These essential chemicals are called nutrients.

What is kilocalorie?

Whatever we eat, gets completely broken down to release energy in a form that cells can use. This energy is measured in kilocalories. In simpler terms it means fuel.

Human body needs all nutrients. Even the so-called villains like fat and carbs! The catch is that our body requires them in specific amount. A healthy diet requires a balance of all nutrients. Diet is balanced if one chooses a variety of foods and eats a moderate amount. It is balanced if the amount of energy that one takes in equals the amount one expends in daily exercise.

For the sake of convenience, we have divided food into various food groups. these are Cereals; pulses; vegetables; fruits; fats, oils, sugar and sweets; milk and milk products; and meat, poultry and fish.

There are six classes of nutrients:

Carbohydrates: These are starches and sugars found in grains, vegetables and fruits and dairy products but meats contain almost none of it. These get converted into a simpler form, which goes into circulation and provides energy to cells and tissues.

Proteins: They help build and maintain body processes but in needs can be used as a source of energy. They are found in grains, legumes: but the richest sources are meats and dairy products.

Lipids: They are commonly known as oils and fats. These are major source of energy. They are also required, for providing cell structure, making hormones and carrying fat-soluble vitamins in the body. Major sources are oil and oilseeds and meats and dairy products.

Vitamins: They themselves are not a source of energy but are needed to extract energy from carbohydrates, proteins and fats. They also regulate body processes. Fruits and vegetables are important source but are also present in meats, grains, legumes, dairy products and fats.

Minerals: These are required for a wide range of functions like building of bones and teeth. They also regulate fluid balance in the body and muscle function.  They are present in animal as well as plant foods.

Water: It is a very important nutrient. Our body is nearly 60% water. It is important for temperature control, joints lubrication and to transport nutrients and waste.

Conclusion: So, in order to have a pleasing mental and physical health, nutrition is the door key. It is all clear from the above that the type and amount of food that we eat, determine the growth and development of our body. Nutrients are the key factor for growth, repairs to the body tissues and building new muscle tissues. This is also concluded that there is no single food that can provide us all the essential nutrients required by our body. We need to blend foods from all the food classes to meet daily needs of the body.


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