What is Nutrition?
What is Nutrition :Intake of proper nutrition foods is very important to maintain a good physical and mental health. A person needs to be very healthy in order to complete his/her day-to-day tasks. So, you need to eat the variety of foods that include fruits, vegetables, and whole grain products.
You can also eat poultry, beans, lean meats, fish, and low-fat dairy products. A person should limit the intake of sugar, alcohol, salt, trans fat, and saturated fats. Also, you need to drink lots of water i.e. 8-10 glasses of water per day.
- Some Facts about Nutrition
- Problems due to Poor Nutrition
- Types of nutrition
What is Nutrition If you eat such kind of foods, it provides you the energy and the essential nutrients to keep you healthy and fit. Nutrition is nothing but the interaction of nutrients and other substances to enhance the growth or development of our body, maintain good health, reduce the risk of various diseases, etc.
Nutrients consist of fiber, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, water, fats, and minerals. These are the most essential nutrients for the organisms and cells to stay alive and function accordingly. When we intake foods, the nutritional science examines catabolism i.e. how the body breaks food down and anabolism which means how the body repairs and creates cells and tissues.
The combination of catabolism and anabolism together is considered as metabolism. Nutritional science is nothing but it studies how your body responds to the food and provides energy.
Some of the Facts About Nutrition Include:
- Vegetables are very good for your health. Nutrition Eating vegetables on daily basis will improve your health to a greater level.
- More added sugar is hazardous to your health.
- Artificial trans fats are very dangerous for your health.
- Refined carbohydrates are very unhealthy.
- Intake of unprocessed foods has various health benefits.
- Supplements fail to replace the real foods.
- Omega-3 fatty acids play a crucial role in maintaining a good health.
- One should change his/her lifestyle and incorporate healthy habits.
- There’s no perfect diet and one cannot follow the particular diet for a long time.
Try to follow the above points and include healthy food habits in the day-to-day. If you do not take proper food, you may face various health issues. It may lead to poor nutrition or malnutrition and in that case, you need to consult a dietician or nutritionist.
Problems due to Poor Nutrition: –
Nutrition People generally do face problems due to malnutrition or poor nutritional habits. It might create various health issues in the different stages of life. Some of the problems include:
- Malnutrition is the major cause of diseases and leads to early deaths of the mothers and children.
- Chronic malnutrition or stunting is due to poor nutritional habits and is thus another form of growth failure.
- Millions of children die due to wasting.
- In all over the world, most of the people face vitamin and mineral deficiency which is most common.
- Pregnancy women’s those who are facing the problem of undernutrition can come across the different pregnancy risks.
- Brest feeding is more important for the people below 5 years and it also reduces children death.
Types of Nutrition: –
Proper food intake is the source of nourishment that provides various nutrients to your body. This includes carbohydrates, proteins, fats, minerals, vitamins, fiber, and water. There are two types of nutrients. That includes:
Macronutrients are the nutrients that should be consumed in large amounts. Whereas, micronutrients are the nutrients that should be taken in small quantities. Carbohydrates, proteins, and fats come under the type, macronutrients. Also, the nutrients like vitamins and minerals are termed as micronutrients.
Macronutrients: – Macronutrients are various food items that include carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. When consumed, they provide energy to our body and is measured in joules or kilocalories (kcal or calories). However, 1 kilocalorie = 4185.8 joules.
- Carbohydrates: – A carbohydrate is a biomolecule that consists of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. This includes four types of saccharides. They are monosaccharides (glucose, fructose, and galactose), disaccharides, and polysaccharides (starch).
The main function of the carbohydrates is to provide energy for the body. It is mostly found in all starchy foods like rice, bread, pasta, potatoes, and breakfast cereals. You can also find the carbohydrates in the form of sugars that are present in vegetables, fruits, and milk.
Polysaccharides are more beneficial as compared to monosaccharides. Polysaccharides are very complex molecules and therefore it takes a long time to break down and get absorbed into the bloodstream. Hence, it does not lead to major spikes in blood sugar levels and protects you from the heart and vascular related disease.
- Proteins: – What is Nutrition Amino acids are the organic compounds that contain amine and carboxyl functional groups. Also, amino acids are considered as the building blocks of protein. However, protein also plays a crucial role in providing energy to the body. There are 20 amino acids out of which 9 are essential in the diet.
These include histidine, leucine, methionine, threonine, valine, isoleucine, lysine, phenylalanine, and tryptophan are the essential amino acids that should be consumed through food. The other remaining amino acids are also essential for the proper functioning of our body but the body can make them naturally.
The foods that contain protein are meat, eggs, cereal products like bread, nuts, fish, dairy foods, soy products, and pulses.
3 Fats: – What is Nutrition When the molecules of fatty acids and the alcohol glycerol are combined, it leads to the formation of fats which are also called as triglycerides. However, fatty acids are the simple compounds which are called as monomers while triglycerides are the complex molecules which are known as polymers.
We can’t make these fatty acids on our own and need to intake via foods in the small amounts. You need to consume foods that contain fats to maintain body processes and the structure of cells in the body.
Fats are essential for various functions in our body that includes lubricating joints, assisting in the absorption of certain vitamins, preserving brain health, helping organs produce hormones, and reducing inflammation.
Some of the foods that contain fat substances are oils, dairy foods, nuts, avocados, meat and meat products, oily fish, and seeds.
Let’s have a look at the information about the other macronutrients that do not provide energy for the functioning of the body.
- Fiber: – Most of the carbohydrates are included in the fiber. Moreover, fibers are not easily absorbed by the body. Hence, the sugars and starches do not get penetrate into the bloodstream.
Fiber is the most important part of nutrition and provides What is Nutrition various health benefits and fuel for gut bacteria. Some of the fiber-rich foods are wholegrain breakfast cereals, bread, oats, whole-wheat pasta, barley, rye, vegetables like broccoli, sweetcorn, and carrots, fruits such as pears, melon, berries, and oranges.
- Water: – The maximum i.e. approx. 70 percent of the human body contains water. It is the main essential nutrient for the many processes included in the human body. We all know drinking more water has a crucial role but many are confused about how much amount of water one should drink.
There is no particular quantity of water you need to drink. One should drink water to avoid dehydration or to get rid of dehydration. The requirement of water to your body depends on body size, environmental temperatures, different states of health, age, physical activity, and dietary habits.
If the person consumes more salty food, he or she tends to drink lots of water. There is no scientific evidence that drinking more water keeps you healthy whereas the requirement of water varies from the person to person and must be evaluated individually.
Micronutrients: – Micronutrients are the essential nutrients that are required to the body processes in smaller quantities. These micronutrients include minerals and vitamins.
Minerals: – Till now we have seen about the elements that our body required which consist of carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, and nitrogen. Other than this there are many chemical elements which are termed under minerals.
People who try to follow well-balanced diet are likely to consume the required minerals from what they eat. However, minerals are the elements that are added to certain foods in the case of any shortages.
The best example is iodized salt where iodine is added to help the person suffering from iodine deficiency. It keeps our body healthy and some of the minerals include fluoride, iron, phosphorous, selenium, zinc, calcium, iodine, magnesium, potassium, and sodium. Also, studies have proven that there are 16 minerals that are required for the human biochemical processes.
- Calcium: – We all know that calcium is very important for muscle and bone health. Similarly, it also plays an important role for the proper functioning of your heart, digestive system, for assisting in the synthesis and for the normal functioning of the blood cells.
If you have the deficiency of calcium, it is called hypocalcemia. Calcium deficiency leads to spasms, muscle cramps, hyperactive deep tendon reflexes, and abdominal cramps.
If you have excess calcium content in your body, it is called hypercalcemia. It generally causes constipation, calcium stones in the urinary tract, impaired absorption of iron, undermined conduction of electrical pulses in the heart, impaired kidney function, and it also leads to iron deficiency.
Some of the calcium contained foods that should be included in your diet are milk, yogurt, green leafy vegetables, canned fish, cheese, fromage frais, calcium-fortified dairy alternatives, and bread.
- Potassium: – What is Nutrition Potassium is the most vital mineral for the normal functioning of the nerves and muscles. It helps to regulate the water content in the body and also maintains the normal blood pressure.
Potassium is very important in co-regulating ATP with sodium which is a carrier of energy cells in the body. Deficiency in potassium is known as hypokalemia which can affect the heart and the nervous system. Even if you have excess potassium content in your body, it affects the nervous system and the heart.
The foods that are rich in potassium content are dried fruits, poultry, fish, wholegrain breakfast cereals, red meat, milk, some fruits and vegetables like banana, avocado, parsnip, blackcurrants, spinach, and beetroot.
- Iodine: – Iodine is the most essential nutrient for the biosynthesis of thyroxine which is nothing but one type of thyroid hormone. It also helps to maintain brain health and allows it to function normally.
The deficiency of iodine causes fatigue, enlarged thyroid gland in the neck and development delays. Also, if you have excess content of iodine in your body, it can affect the functioning of the thyroid gland.
You need to intake foods that are rich in iodine such as milk, cheese, shellfish, yogurt, fish, and eggs.
- Chloride: – Chloride has the key properties to produce stomach acid and plays the vital role for the normal functioning of nerves. It is also very important for the transport of molecules between the cells.
The deficiency of chloride is known as hypochloremia. It reduces the salt levels which if gets severe can be very dangerous to your health. However, even if you have a large amount of chloride in your body, it can lead to the excess fluid loss.
Chloride is mostly found in vegetables and also in seaweed, tomatoes, celery, rye, lettuce, and olives.
- Phosphorus: – If you eat foods that are rich in phosphorous, it helps you to have strong bones and teeth. It also releases energy from the food and is very important for the structure of DNA. Also, phosphorus acts as the main component of the cellular membrane.
The deficiency of phosphorus causes rickets which is also called as hypophosphatemia. Also, you can face the problem of kidney failure due to a large amount of phosphorus that is known as hyperphosphatemia.
The foods that are rich in phosphorus are poultry, milk, yogurt, bread, red meat, fish, cheese, eggs, and whole grains.
- Sodium: – Sodium helps to generate the water content in your body. It acts as an electrolyte that is used for regulating ATP with potassium and is also important for nerve function.
Sodium deficiency is known as hyponatremia which causes malfunction of the cells. Also, even if you have very less content of sodium can be fatal. Excess sodium content also causes malfunctioning of the cells and extremely high levels can be fatal.
It is found in very small amounts in natural foods. It is often added as the salt in the foods we eat and the intake of sodium is reduced by most of the people.
- Magnesium: – Magnesium is the most essential nutrient to maintain the good health of bones and for the proper management of the muscle movement. However, hundreds of enzymes in our body depends on magnesium for the proper functioning of the body.
It releases energy from the foods we eat and the deficiency of magnesium causes hypomagnesemia. It can lead to the irritation in the nervous system with spasms of the hands and feet, constipation, larynx spasms, muscular twitching, and cramps. Magnesium in large amounts in the body represents nausea, impaired breathing, vomiting, low blood pressure and is known as hypermagnesemia.
The foods that you need to eat which are high in magnesium are nuts, wholegrain breakfast cereals, brown rice, seeds, wholegrain, seeded bread, and quinoa.
- Iron: – Iron is required for most of the proteins and enzymes in the body. The iron content is nothing but the hemoglobin that makes red blood cells and carries oxygen around the body. It also helps the brain to function normally.
The deficiency in the iron causes anemia and the excess iron content can lead to iron overload disorder and you can find some iron deposits especially on the heart.
The foods that include iron are red meat, pulses, seeds, quinoa, dried fruits, beans, nuts, fish, and whole-meal bread.
- Zinc: – Zinc is required by many enzymes and it has the crucial role in reproductive organ growth. It is very important in regulating the immune and the nervous systems and also maintains the proper health of the hair, skin, and nails.
It also helps the normal healing of the wounds if you consume the foods that include zinc. However, zinc deficiency can lead to anemia, enlarged liver and spleen, impaired wound healing, short stature, increased pigmentation of the skin, impaired reproductive function, and immune deficiency.
A large amount of zinc in the body suppresses the absorption of copper and iron. You need to consume the foods that include zinc such as poultry, shellfish, wholegrain breakfast cereals, seeded bread, meat, cheese, nuts, and wholegrain.
- Selenium: – Selenium is an essential cofactor for the antioxidant enzymes. It protects the cells in our body and prevents it from damaging. It makes the immune system work properly and maintains the proper health of the skin and the nails.
If the person suffers from selenium deficiency, it is known as Keshan disease. It causes the death of the tissue in the heart which is known as myocardial necrosis that generally leads to weakening of the heart. Selenium deficiency can also lead to the break down of cartilage which is known as Kashin-beck disease.
Even the excess amount of selenium can lead to various problems. It can cause gastrointestinal disorders, sloughing of nails, irritability, garlic smell breathing, hair loss, fatigue, and neurological damage.
Some of the selenium contained foods are eggs, fish, offal poultry, shellfish, nuts and seeds that include brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, and cashews.
Vitamins: – What is Nutrition Vitamins are the organic compounds that contain carbon. Sometimes, our body cannot synthesize or produce any, so we need to intake the required vitamins from our food.
However, vitamins are classified into two types, water-soluble vitamins and the fat-soluble vitamins. Water-soluble vitamins are the one that dissolves in the water whereas fat-soluble vitamins are the one that gets dissolved in fat.
There are four fat-soluble vitamins named as vitamins A, D, E and K. Also, there are nine water soluble vitamins which include vitamin C and eight B vitamins.
Fat-soluble vitamins get absorbed via intestine with the help of fats or lipids. When the vitamins are accumulated in the body, it is harder to get rid of it. However, too much formation of the vitamins can cause hypervitaminosis.
Also, if you tend to consume or follow the low-fat diet, it affects the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. Each vitamin is equipped with different functions. However, you need to make a note that vitamin overdose symptoms do not occur from the intake of foods but it occurs due to the supplementation or excretion or impaired metabolism.
Fat Soluble Vitamins: –
- Vitamin A: – The intake of vitamin A foods make the immune system work properly. It also helps you to have a clear sight or vision and makes the skin look soft and supple.
The vitamin A is chemically named as retinol, carotenoids, and retinoids.
However, the deficiency in Vitamin A night blindness and also the overdosage of vitamin A leads to degeneration of the cornea which is known as keratomalacia.
The sources of vitamin A are cheese, dark green leafy vegetables, butternut squash, papaya, liver, eggs, orange-colored fruits, and cantaloupe melon.
- Vitamin D: – What is Nutrition Vitamin D foods help the body to absorb calcium and thus keeps your bone strong and healthy. It allows the immune system to work properly and maintains the normal functioning of your muscles.
The chemical names of vitamin D are ergocalciferol and cholecalciferol.
The vitamin D deficiency causes rickets, softening of bone which is also known as osteomalacia, cancer, chronic diseases, and autoimmune disorders. If vitamin D in your body gets an overdose, it leads to a headache, disturbed digestion, tissue calcification, weakness, and increased blood pressure which is also called hypervitaminosis D.
The foods that include vitamin D are eggs, fat spreads, oily fish, and fortified breakfast cereals. Especially during the summer season, most of the people can get vitamin D for the skin directly from the sunlight or rays of the sun.
- Vitamin E: – Vitamin E is mostly used to protect the cells in our body from damage. The chemical name of vitamin E is tocotrienols and comes under the fat-soluble vitamins.
The deficiency in vitamin E mainly occurs in newborn babies and leads to the disease called hemolytic anemia. Even if it gets an overdose, it causes dehydration, irritability, the formation of excess calcium, vomiting, and constipation.
The foods that include vitamin E are seed oils like rapeseed, peanut, olive, and sunflower oil, vegetables, nuts, olive, avocados, and seed such as almonds and sunflower seeds.
- Vitamin K: – Vitamin K foods are important to maintain the normal structure of the bone. It is also essential for the normal clotting of the blood. The chemical names of vitamin K include menaquinones and phylloquinone.
However, the deficiency in vitamin K has a greater tendency of bleeding and bruise. Similarly, if the vitamin K gets overdosage, it may lead to the undermining effects of warfarin.
The sources of vitamin K are green vegetables that include broccoli, peas, leafy greens, and green beans. You can also consume some oils such as olive oil, rapeseed oil, soy oil.
Water Soluble Vitamins: –
- Vitamin B1: – It helps in releasing energy from the food. Vitamin B1 which is also chemically named as thiamin helps the nervous system and the heart function normally.
The deficiency in vitamin B1 causes Wernicke-korsakoff syndrome and beriberi. However, even the overdosage of vitamin B1 can lead to the rare hypersensitive reactions which resemble anaphylactic shock.
The foods that are rich sources of vitamin B1 are fortified breakfast cereals, meat, beans, bread, peas, nuts, and seeds.
- Vitamin B2: – The chemical name of vitamin B2 is riboflavin. It is used to release the energy from the foods we intake and thus reduces tiredness. Vitamin B2 also helps in maintaining the normal skin tone and the normal functioning of the nervous system.
The deficiency in vitamin B2 leads to the disease called ariboflavinosis which causes seborrhea, mouth lesions, and vascularization of the cornea. There are no complications with the overdosage of this water-soluble vitamin while the excess is excreted in urine.
The vitamin B2 contained foods are eggs, offal, mushrooms, milk and milk products, fortified breakfast cereals, oily fish like sardines and mackerel, and almonds.
- Vitamin B3: – The vitamin B3 helps to reduce the energy from the foods we eat. It makes the skin tone look good and allows the normal functioning of the nervous system. The chemical name of vitamin B3 is niacin which is also used to lower the tiredness in your body.
The vitamin B3 deficiency can lead to the disease called pellagra. Even the overdose of vitamin B3 can cause skin related problems, liver damage, and gastrointestinal complaints.
The sources of vitamin B3 or niacin are poultry, shellfish, bread, seeds like sesame seeds and peanuts, meat, fish, nuts, whole grains such as whole-wheat pasta, brown rice, and quinoa.
- Vitamin B5: – The chemical name of this water-soluble vitamin B5 is pantothenic acid.
The deficiency in vitamin B5 can lead to paresthesia which is also known as tingling, numbness of the skin i.e. it does not have any physical effect, and pricking.
- Vitamin B6: – It makes hemoglobin i.e. red blood cells that help in carrying oxygen in the body. Vitamin B6 levels make the immune system work properly which regulates hormone levels and thus lowers the tiredness. However, the chemical names of vitamin B6 are pyridoxal and pyridoxamine.
The deficiency of vitamin B6 can cause anemia and peripheral neuropathy. Also, the overdose of vitamin B6 can lead to nerve damage and impaired proprioception.
However, the foods that include vitamin B6 are some vegetables like avocado, banana, and green pepper, meat, fish, fortified breakfast cereals, yeast extract, sesame seeds, fruits, poultry, egg yolk, and soya beans.
- Vitamin B7: – The chemical name of the vitamin B7 is biotin. However, this is the water-soluble vitamin and has various health benefits.
However, the deficiency of vitamin B7 or biotin can lead to the disease called dermatitis and enteritis. Usually, an overdosage of vitamin B7 does not have any adverse effects on your health.
The main sources of vitamin B7 are liver or the other meats, yeast, salmon, avocados, egg yolk, nuts, etc.
- Vitamin B9: – The chemical name of vitamin B9 is folate or folic acid. It increases the hemoglobin levels by generating the red blood cells and helps to carry the oxygen throughout your body. It helps in developing the nervous system in unborn babies.
The deficiency of vitamin B9 or folic acid may lead to birth defects. However, overdosage can cause the increase in the risk of seizures.
The foods that include folate or folic acid i.e. vitamin B9 are green leafy vegetables, offal, oranges, fortified breakfast cereals, some types of bread, peas, beans, and berries.
- Vitamin B12: – Vitamin B12 helps in the formation of red blood cells which leads to the good hemoglobin levels and carries oxygen throughout your body. It reduces the feeling of exhaustion and also allows the immune system to work properly.
However, the chemical names of vitamin B12 are hydroxycobalamin, cyanocobalamin, and methylcobalamin. Furthermore, the deficiency of vitamin B12 causes a disease called megaloblastic anemia which is also known as the defect in the production of red blood cells.
The sources of vitamin B12 are like fish, milk, fromage frais, fortified yeast extract, meat, shellfish, cheese, eggs, and fortified breakfast cereals.
- Vitamin C: – The chemical name of vitamin C is ascorbic acid. Vitamin C helps in the collagen formation which is very important for the proper maintenance of bones, teeth, gums, and skin. It makes the immune system to work properly and maintains the normal functioning of the nervous system.
The deficiency of vitamin C can lead to the disease called scurvy. Even the overdosage of vitamin C has some adverse effects like nausea, burning upon urination, risk in the kidney stones, diarrhea, skin irritation, and the depletion of copper in the body.
Some of the sources that include vitamin C are fruits such as blackcurrants, papaya, citrus fruit, strawberries, kiwi, and also peppers, green vegetables, and tomatoes.
You can see the detailed description of the different types of nutrients that are mentioned above. Hence, try to maintain the strict diet plan based on your health and also intake all the essential foods that consist of various nutrients. However, intake of the proper nutritional food keeps you healthy and fit and also prevents from the occurrence of various diseases.