Importance of nutrition
Before we talk about the Importance of nutrition first we need to understand what is nutrition, its types, and all of its elements.
What is Nutrition?
Nutrition is the set of the dynamic process, by which the consumed food is utilized for nourishment and structural and functional efficiency of every cell of the body. Quality nutrition means maintaining a nutritional status that enables us to grow well and enjoy good health. Nutrition is a basic component of our health.
There is a relationship between food and our health. Essential nutrients like carbohydrates, fat, vitamins, minerals, and water. Human nutrition is mainly achieved through the process of putting foods into our mouths, chewing, and swallowing it. The required amounts of the essential nutrients differ by age and structure of the body. For eg.physical activity, disease present (breast cancer, osteoporosis, medications, pregnancy, and lactation).
Types of Nutrients
Macronutrients are nutrients that provide energy or calories. It includes carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. They are called macronutrients as they are required in large amounts to fuel the body.
Micronutrients are essential elements needed in small quantities. These nutrients include minerals and vitamins.
Elements of nutrition
Carbohydrate is the main source of energy in the diet. Each gram of carbohydrate gives 4 calories and serves as the main source of glucose for the brain, skeletal muscles during exercise. Sugar, honey, fruit, and milk are the best sources of carbohydrates. It is important for oxidizing fats in normal fat metabolism.
Proteins are organic compounds composed of amino acids. They contain carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen. Proteins play a vital role in the growth and development, and normal functioning of all body systems.1 gram of proteins gives 4 calories of heat. Proteins can be classified as complete, partially complete, or incomplete.
The best sources of complete protein are meat, fish, poultry, milk, cheese, and egg. Source of incomplete proteins are dried peas and beans, peanut, butter, seeds, fruits and vegetables, bread, cereals, rice, and pasta. Partially, proteins contain sufficient amounts of amino acids to maintain life but do not promote growth.
Fats are usually called lipids that perform many important functions, including cellular transport, protection of vital organs. Fats are classified as saturated or unsaturated; based on chemical differences. Saturated fats have two hydrogen atoms attached to each of the carbon atoms in the carbon atom chain. Unsaturated fat has a single hydrogen atom missing from each of two side by side carbon atoms.
Most sources of fats contain a combination of saturated, unsaturated fatty acids. Coconut oil, palm oil are highly saturated. Chicken fat contains a higher percentage of unsaturated fatty acids. Fish and vegetable sources are classified as unsaturated because they contain a higher percentage of unsaturated fatty acids.
Minerals are inorganic substances found in all body tissues and fluids. They help to build body tissues and regulate metabolism. Minerals are further classified into macrominerals and microminerals. Macromineral present in the body includes (calcium, potassium, iron, sodium). Microminerals include (copper, zinc, cobalt, etc). They are necessary for the function of enzymes in the body.
Vitamins are organic compounds that are essential to the body in small quantities for growth, development, maintenance, and reproduction; they work together with enzymes and other substances that are necessary for a healthy life.
Vitamins do not supply energy but assist in the use of energy nutrients. There are various types of vitamins like vitamins A, B, C, D, E, and K.Water Soluble vitamins include vitamin B and C.Fat soluble vitamins are A, D, E, and k.
Water is the most important component of the body because cell function depends on a fluid environment. Water composed 60% to 70% of total body weight. The percent of total body water is greater for lean people than obese people because muscles contain more water than any other tissue except blood.
Infants have a greater percentage of total body water and older people have the least. In a healthy individual, fluid intake from all sources equals fluid output through elimination, respiration, and sweating.
Benefits/ Importance of Nutrition
1. Help in growth and Development
Proper nutrition is essential for growth and development as well as intellectual development for learning and behavioral development. Inadequate supply of nutrition leads to malnutrition during pregnancy may affect the fetus which causes stillbirth, premature birth, etc. Malnutrition in early childhood affects physical and mental growth. Such children have poor mental activity or power.
In the adult stages also good nutrition is essential for the maintenance of good health. Growth means the physical increase in the size of the whole body and the organ inside the body. Children especially need nutrients to carry outgrowth and development of the body because they grow and develop at a very fast rate in this stage.
2. Helps to prevent specific deficiency
Malnutrition is directly responsible for some of the nutritional deficiency disease. Good nutrition is essential for the prevention of specific nutrition deficiency diseases. Nutrition helps to promote our health in better condition. All nutrients like carbohydrate, protein, fat, vitamins are very necessary to maintain health. If these nutrients are not taken adequately it will cause different deficiencies:
- Vitamin A deficiency (leads to night blindness)
- Protein deficiency(leads to Kwashiorkor)
- Vitamin C deficiency( Leads to scurvy)
- Iron deficiency(leads to anemia)
- Vitamin D deficiency( leads to rickets)
- Energy Malnutrition(leads to Marasmus)
3. Promote Resistance to Infection
Malnutrition helps to fight different infections like tuberculosis.it also influences the outcomes of many clinical disorders, infection. severely malnourished children have a low resistance to disease. It affects the WBC by decreasing their ability to produce antibodies, which fight against different infectious diseases. Low intake of nutrition decreases immunity power.
4. Helps to Prevent Mortality and Morbidity
Mortality refers to death and morbidity refers to disease or illness. Severe malnutrition affects a person’s ability to fight the disease. There is a relationship between poor nutrition and poverty. Most of the undernourished people in the world are also the poorest people.
The effect of malnutrition on the community is creating a more general death rate, high infant mortality rate, high sickness rate, etc. Malnutrition is responsible for obesity, diabetes, hypertension, renal disorder of the liver, etc
Functions of nutrition
1.Provision of Energy
The function of food in our body is very important just like cars require petrol to go to. Humans need energy that we get from our food. From different food sources, we get all the needed nutrition for our bodies. It supplies energy for all the daily activities of a person and also helps to maintain proper body temperatures. Food must be ingested, digested, and absorbed to produce energy.
2.Body Building and Repair
For children to grow, cells need to multiply so that part of our body can grow in size. Proteins mainly help to replace cells that die e.g., like in wound healing. The nutrients, which promote growth and keep the body in good repair, are proteins and minerals. Bodybuilding food is milk, egg, fish, pulses, beans, nuts. A low intake of this food will delay the growth and development of the body.
3. Maintainance and regulation of tissue Function
There are different vital organs in our body. Foods rich in vitamins and minerals provide protection from illness and keep all the parts of the body functioning properly. Dark green leafy vegetables are rich sources of most of the vitamin and minerals.
Foods maintain and regulate different body organs. It includes the regulation of activities like the beating of heart, maintenances of body temperature, muscle contraction, control of water balance, clotting of blood, etc. Most of the fresh vegetables (eg. Leaves, roots, vegetables, fruits, and flowers) have higher water content, little fat, and few calories.
Fruits also provide valuable vitamins, minerals, and a variety of flavors to the diet. Fish seafood and animal products also can be the best sources for nutrition. In my view, it is good to keep in mind that consumption patterns and nutrient may vary with the seasons. In order to maintain and regulating tissue function, an adequate amount of food is required. Water forms the major part of blood, the intracellular body fluid which helps to regulate body temperature.
Factors affecting nutrition
The appetite is decreased by:
Physical and mental fatigue
- Worry and fear
- Bad smell from the mouth
- Use of a dirty plate
- Unfamiliar food pattern
- Lack of exercises
- Irregularity of mealtime
The appetite is increased by:
- Attractive serving
- Physical and mental relaxation
- Regularity in eating
- Clean environment
- Regular exercise
Here, we have pointed out the importance of nutrition, nutrition is an essential part of human life, without proper nutrition the physical and mental health of people is not been growing. For proper growth of physical health and mental health, you have to know the importance of nutrition.
Be known about proper diets and take proper nutrition daily so that it helps to grow your physical health and mental health. keep in mind that you must also care about children if they didn’t get proper nutrition food then they become victims of many diseases. So everybody can be known about the importance of nutrition.