What is nutrition? Nutrition is the intake of liquids and foods to produce sufficient energy to carry out daily physical activities. The most important functions of the human body; such as breathing and proper blood circulation, is largely supported by one’s nutrition. Plants and animals also require proper nutrition to carry out growth and repairing functions as humans do.
Why is Nutrition Important?
Several of our bodily processes depend on good nutrition to thrive. The building material for bones, body tissue, and blood, is obtained from one’s nutrition. Good eye-sight, hair, skin, and nails, are all a reflection of what is put in the body. Thus, it is important to eat nutritious foods that can benefit your body by keeping it healthy both internally and externally.
Many people assume that living a healthy lifestyle means eating very little and experiencing constant hunger. However, this is not the case. It is impossible to acquire a healthy body without eating solid foods and drinking liquids. However, eating excess or harmful foods can lead to illnesses of the body. On the other hand, not eating enough of the right kinds of food can drain the body of energy, which may put your life at risk.
Nutritionists and Dietitians
Similarly how experts on healthcare are doctors, experts on food are called nutritionists. Dietitians are experts with knowledge on special diets. They assist sick individuals who require specific diets to cater to their individual needs, such as diabetics. Dietitians help sick people decide which foods they should be eating.
Eat a Balanced Diet
The human body thrives on a variety of nutrients. There are several different sources of these vitamins and nutrients available to provide energy and building materials for bodily growth and maintenance. Unfortunately, not all food products sold at grocery stores contain the proper vitamins and nutrients required to live a healthy lifestyle.
The term ‘balanced diet’ means having a diet that contains correct proportions of the main nutrients and vitamins. There are several foods that contain a mixture of these nutrients. Make wise health choices by avoiding foods that are unnatural, processed, and high in fat. Instead, target foods that contain the following nutrients:
- Protein:Proteins are large molecules made from amino acid structures. The human body is able to produce some amino acids. However, other kinds are not produced within the body and can only be obtained from food content. Proteins are the body’s ‘builders’. Much of the human body, such as bones, skin, nerves and muscles, are largely made of protein. This is why it is important to incorporate protein in our everyday diets. In foods, this protein is identified as ‘essential amino acids’. Foods that contain these essential amino acids include meat and fish, potatoes, nuts, bread, peas, beans, and lentils.
- Fats:In food, fats fall into 2 categories: those derived from animals (such as butter, eggs, milk, cream) and those from plants (nuts, sunflower, olive, and safflower oils). It is important to remember that fat intake is a vital part of enjoying a balanced diet. However, try to make food choices that contain plant fats. Research shows that avoiding excessive fats, especially from animal content, may prevent one’s chances in acquiring heart disease.
- Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates in food provide energy in the diet. Glucose is a sugar carbohydrate that is used by the body as a basic source of energy. Glucose is found in the blood and stored in the liver as a glycogen. It is hardly eaten. There are two carbohydrate categories in foods today: refined and unrefined carbohydrates. Refined carbohydrates are in processed foods treated during manufacturing. Refined carbs contain only carbohydrates, or pure energy, with no body-building materials. On the other hand, unrefined carbohydrates are found in less-processed foods, thus providing both energy and nutrients. Examples of foods with refined carbs are syrup, jam, and sugar. Unrefined carb-foods include bread, whole-grain cereals, fruits, beans, peas, and potatoes.
- Fiber: Fiber is also referred to as ‘roughage’, and cannot be digested by the intestine. Rather, its function is to add extra ‘bulk’ to food. This helps to grip food as it passes through intestines during the digestive process. Fiber helps relieve or prevent diseases of the intestine, such as constipation. The digestive system’s natural function is to digest fibrous foods. On the other hand, a diet full of processed and high-in-fat foods is unnatural and difficult for the body to withstand. Diets high in fiber are usually recommended for losing weight. This is because fiber is full-filling and cannot be absorbed by the body. Fibrous foods include whole wheat cereals, bread, fruits, and green leafy vegetables such as spinach.
- Minerals:Minerals are elements that the human body requires for healthy functioning. For example, calcium is needed for strong bones and teeth. Iron is needed for the production of red blood cells, and to prevent anemia. Calcium is mostly found in dairy foods such as milk. Iron is found in red meats, eggs, leafy vegetables, and pulses (lentils, chick peas, and so on). There are several other kinds of minerals contained in healthy and nutritious foods.
Live a healthy and balanced lifestyle by eating foods that are enriched with nutrients and vitamins. Try to incorporate and maintain fitness activities on a daily basis. When making healthy choices in our diet, the quantity is not as significant as the quality of the food taken.
Improving food-intake habits offer better long-term results than paying for weight loss programs and opting for risky fast-weight loss diets. Remember that the correct way to lose weight and improve your fitness level is by implementing a change of lifestyle