What is Nutrition

Nutrition the invisible hunger

I remember reading the words “Invisible hunger” and it summed it all for the importance of nutrition and how people have undermined its importance. Ask any person are you healthy and each one of them would answer back saying yes I am healthy. But are you sure?

Did you know that the major reason for mortality in kids is due to poor nutrition. The IQ can drop in the first 3 years after an infant is born due to poor nutrition. Many chronic fatal diseases  are due to poor nutrition.

Nutrition

What is Nutrition

Nutrition is the process of providing or obtaining the food necessary for health and growth. It is the relationship of the food to the well being of the human body. It is the process of taking in nutrients from the foods you eat.  Each and every line leads to the conclusion for a person to remain healthy he needs to ensure his diets comprises of the right nutrients.

The foods you choose to eat determine which nutrients, how much it will receive, is it as per your daily needs or less than what is required for your body to remain healthy.Nutrients are components in foods that an organism uses to survive and grow. Macro nutrients provide the bulk energy an organism’s metabolic system needs to function while micro nutrients provide the necessary cofactors for metabolism to be carried out. Both types of nutrients can be acquired from the environment. If you eat a healthy diet filled with a variety of high-nutrient foods like fruits / vegetables a proper mix , you are more likely to enjoy good health, than if you eat a poor diet like pizzas / burgers/ oily foods that is lacking in nutrients.

So what does nutrition do?

Each and every living organism in the world (you also) requires food and water to live. To have a healthy life and live well we need to ensure that we have the right kind of food which would impact in a positive manner. So how do we ensure that we are having the right food, the easiest and simple is to go back and reflect. The nature has been created with variety of foods and colours which definitely has some importance in our lives. Then it becomes imperative that our diet has all types of food green to white to red to orange. May be also one of the reason we were born with the capability of identifying all colours. Mother nature has his own way of educating us which only comes once we become aware of one self.

Nutrients can be classified in three major classes:

  • Macro Nutrients
  • Water
  • Micro Nutrients

Macro Nutrients:

There are five primary macronutrients: carbohydrate, protein, fat, fiber, alcohol. Macronutrients are defined as a class of chemical compounds which humans consume in the largest quantities (must be above a threshold amount) and which provide humans with the bulk of energy. While water does make up a large proportion of the total mass ingested as part of a normal diet, it does not provide any nutritional value. Alcohol is a calorically dense compound that can provide large amounts of bio available energy although it is not a necessary dietary component.

Why do we need carbohydrates?

Carbohydrate is an organic compound made up of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. Carbohydrates are sugars that break down inside the body to create glucose.Glucose is moved around the body in the blood and is the primary source of energy for the brain, muscles, and other essential cells. Carbohydrates are the main energy source for our body– they are the energy that gets used first (before protein, fat and alcohol). It is recommended by most sources (including the Guideline Daily Amounts) that about 45-60% of our energy intake should come from carbohydrates.

Starchy-foods

 

Why do we need protein?

Proteins are the main building blocks of the body. They’re used to make muscles, tendons, organs and skin. Proteins are also used to make enzymes, hormones, neurotransmitters and various tiny molecules that serve important functions. Without protein, life as we know it would not be possible. According to the Dietary Reference Intakes published by the USDA 10% – 35% of calories should come from protein.

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Why do we need fat?

Contrary to popular belief fat are essential too. We actually need fats and can’t live without them, in fact. Fats are an important part of a healthy diet: They provide essential fatty acids, keep our skin soft, deliver fat-soluble vitamins, and are a great source of energizing fuel. According to the Dietary Reference Intakes published by the USDA 20% – 35% of calories should come from fat.

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Water

This every one knows we all need to drink water to survive. Your body is approximately 60 percent water, your brain is 70 percent water, and your lungs are nearly 90 percent water. But each day, our body must replace 2.4 liters  through ingested liquid and foods. Your body uses water in many ways. Water cushions and lubricates joints; nourishes and protects the brain, spinal cord and other tissues; keeps the body’s temperature normal; and helps remove waste through perspiration, bowel movements and urination.

Glass-half-full

Humans are composed mostly of water, which is not surprising when you consider that humans descended from single-cell organisms that originated in the oceans millions of years ago. The best way to determine if you are getting enough water is to look at the colour of your urine. If it is a pale straw color, you are probably drinking enough. If it is dark yellow, you may need to drink more.

MICRONUTRIENTS

Although needed only in small amounts, micro-nutrients are essential for the proper functioning of every system in the body and are vital for good health. There are two classes of micronutrients, vitamins and minerals. Each vitamin and mineral has a specific role in bodily function. Usually a neglected part but today has become an important part for remaining healthy.

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  • Bones may break due to low calcium
  • Gums may bleed if you are short on Vitamin C
  • Blood may not carry enough oxygen to every cell if iron is not enough

A small note I would request each and every lady to ensure that the iron content is as per required levels. Hemoglobin is a main part of red blood cells and binds oxygen. If you have too few or abnormal red blood cells, or your hemoglobin is abnormal or low, the cells in your body will not get enough oxygen. Symptoms of anemia are like

  • Fatigue
  • Tiredness
  • Dizziness
  • Rapid/ Irregular heart beat

 occur because organs aren’t getting what they need to function properly.

 

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