Nutrition means eating healthy and balanced diet. Every living organism requires energy to survive, grow, repair, move and reproduce because our body consists of multiple cells and tissue. These cells and tissue require energy to perform basic body processes and this energy comes into our body through Nutrients. One can get energy and nutrients from foods, drinks and other dietary supplements. In other words, nutrition is the study of a person’s food intake, nutrients in food and how our body uses them for regulating body functions. So, nutrients are the food substances, humans and animals needed to grow and live. Plants also need nutrients to grow and reproduce and they gets them from soil. Multiple nutrients, including Micronutrients and Macronutrients, are essential for maintaining overall health and well-being of animal and human body.
Micronutrients are a type of nutrient that a body needs in small amounts. These nutrients include vitamins and minerals.
There are two types of vitamins.
1) Water soluble vitamins included folic acid, B1, B2, B6, and B12.
2) Fat soluble Vitamins included Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, and Vitamin K
These nutrients perform a vital role in protecting living organisms’ bodies from several diseases, regulating metabolism, and in the maintenance of tissue functions. Deficiency and excess of these nutrients can cause equal harm to our body. Rich sources of micronutrients included fish, eggs, dark green leafy vegetables, cheese, beans, oranges, and milk. Deficiency of these nutrients can cause several diseases in our bodies. For instance, a Deficiency of calcium can cause tiredness, paleness, shortness of breath, and heart palpitation. Vitamins perform a valuable function in our body like boosting the immune system, maintaining healthy skin, supporting healthy blood, and aiding brain and nervous system functions. Less intake of vitamins through food and dietary supplements can cause deceases like night blindness, Anemia, Rickets, etc.
Macronutrients are those types of nutrients that a body needed in the large amount. These nutrients include carbohydrates, fat, protein, and water. We need these nutrients in our daily lives to keep our bodies healthy and safe.
“Macronutrients are the nutritive components of food that the body needs for energy and to maintain the body’s structure and systems,” says MD Anderson Wellness Dietitian Lindsey Wohlford.
Macronutrients perform various functions in our bodies. Some of them are the following;
- It provides energy and calories to our bodies.
- It helps in our digestive and respiratory systems.
- It regulates our tissue and metabolic system.
Carbohydrates act as fuel for our bodies. One should get 45% to 65% of calories from carbohydrates. It can be found in healthy and unhealthy food. The unhealthy source can cause many diseases like diabetes, hypertension, obesity problem, and heart disease. Rich source of carbohydrates is beans, grains, fruits, and vegetables.
Fat is another important part of one`s diet. Fat is important because it provides essential fatty acid our body cannot make, a component in the cell wall absorbs fat-soluble vitamins and provide energy. One should get 20% to 35% calories from fat. The healthiest type of fats comes from plants and are called monounsaturated. Good sources of these types of fats are Olive oil, Canola oil, Peanut oil, Avocados, Corn oil, and Sunflower oil. Saturated fat comes mostly from animal sources like Beef, Butter, Coconut, and palm oil. Excessive intake of these fats in food may cause blood cholesterol problems.
Protein plays another important role in performing our body functions. Rich sources of protein include beans, nuts, seeds, grains, poultry, Seafood, eggs, and dairy products.
IMPORTANCE OF HEALTHY EATING
A well-balanced and healthy eating is essential for maintaining our body health. It gives us the energy to keep active in our daily life. Healthy nutrients help us to grow, repair, and reproduce. A healthy diet includes equal amounts of micronutrients and macronutrients. Consuming healthy nutrition throughout our lifetimes can protect us from malnutrition and several other diseases. However, with the increase in the production of processed food, rapid urbanization, and change in the lifestyle of human beings, there is a rapid shift in dietary patterns taking place. Many people are now consuming more foods rich in energy, fats, and protein that cause severe diseases like obesity, hypertension, etc. Most people are not consuming enough fruits and vegetables, especially children which leads to health issues.
According to the WHO “healthy dietary practices should be started from early life, like breastfeeding increases children`s immune system, improve cognitive development and may have long term health benefits.
A healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, grains, and low-fat dairy products can reduce the risk of heart disease by maintaining blood pressure and cholesterol level. As almost everyone knows, higher blood pressure and high cholesterol level can be a symptom of too much salt and saturated fats in your diet. Eating fish i.e. Salmon can reduce the risk of heart disease. A diet rich in calcium can keeps our teeth and bones healthy. It can reduce the risk of bone diseases like OSTEOPOROSIS and Rickets.
Eating healthy food that includes fruits, vegetables, and protein in a moderate amount can help in weight maintenance. Fewer amounts of unsaturated fats, calcium, milk, protein, fats, and carbohydrates can also cause malnutrition and can lead to various problems i.e. Constipation, hair loss, aging, etc. Excessive intake of foods that are rich in fats and proteins causes weight gain. Weight gain is one of the major problems nowadays.
Water is one of the most essential nutrients that requires in our body. It constitutes almost eighty percent of our body. It is the major component of blood, tissues, and cells. It regulates body temperature, carries nutrients and oxygen to the cells, lubricates joints, and lessens burdens on the kidneys and liver by flushing out waste products in the form of urine. A normal human body requires almost eight to twelve glasses of water in a day.
Nutrition in simple words is body intake. A living being cannot produce energy without adequate nutrition. Not only humans, plants, fungi, algae, bacteria, or an insects needs energy to survive. In other words, nutrition is necessary for every living creature on earth. Without nutrition every living creation would die. For human, one can keep own self healthy by adding various nutrients in his diets. We can keep ourselves healthy by adding healthy and balanced diet in our daily lives. The diets that are rich in macronutrients and micronutrients is perfect for good health. Healthy eating means consuming a variety of foods that include fruit, vegetables, meat, seafood, etc. In addition to the variety of food one should give attention towards the portion size. One can improve his health by making healthier food choices, balanced portion size and by proper exercise.