Nutrition is the only remedy that can bring full recovery and can be used with any treatment. Remember, food is our best medicine!Bernard Jensen
In the third chapter of Shreemat Bhagwat Geeta, there is a line ‘Anant Bhavati Bhootanee‘, which means ‘the human being is made from food”. This is a statement of fact.
Everything in your body was once in the food you ate. The single-cell from which you were conceived in your mother’s womb, to your present size, food has become YOU. This process continues as long as you live.
Your brain, muscles, blood, and bones are all made from the food you eat.
Food gives you energy and stamina for work. It also gives you emotional stability and security. And don’t forget, the right kind and amount of food give you the appearance and feeling of radiant good health. This is the result of good nutrition.
What is nutrition
Let us understand some of the terms that are used in this context.
Nutrition according to the dictionary is that which nourishes the body. Food may also be defined as anything we eat or drink to meet the body’s needs for energy, bodybuilding, repair, and protection. As we learned in the introduction, food is the raw material from which our body is made.
Why Nutrition is Important
Physiological importance of Nutrition
Physiology means physical or function happening within the body since it is a basic course I will make it easier for everyone to understand.
The most important function of Nutrition from food is to build your body. We all have experienced how we have grown up from 2.5-3.2 kg at birth and now weigh much more than that depending upon many factors like our age, sex, and diet, etc.
Food provides the energy, your body needs for all its activities, voluntary (those actions on which we have our control ie walking ), and involuntary no control over their action (ie breathing especially while Sleeping.
The third function of food is to regulate all the activities of the body and protect it from infections. Examples of some of the activities which regulate the body are given below :
- The beating of your heart
- Maintenance of your body temperature
- Muscle contraction
- Removal of waste from your body, etc.
- Apart from these, food also helps to protect the.body from various infections.
Psychological Importance of Nutrition
Psychological is a mental phenomenon that includes the mind, feelings and emotions.
In addition to meeting your physical needs, your food also satisfies certain emotional needs. These include a feeling of security, love, and attention.
When we share our lunch with a colleague, we express acceptance and
friendship. If you are amongst friends, we try unfamiliar foods and enlarge our food experience. These are some of the positive aspects of food acceptance.
Socio-cultural importance of Nutrition
We all know how important food is in our social and cultural life. In most of our festivals and celebrations, we have feasts which bring family and friends together. Many times we use food as an expression of happiness.
Thus food helps to strengthen our social and cultural ties
Component of nutrition
The food we eat consists of a number of chemical substances. These are known as nutrients.
The food we eat provide us with following nutrients :
- DIETARY FIBER
Our body uses these nutrients to produce thousands of substances, which are necessary for our life, as well as for your physical and mental fitness.
You can say your nutritional status is Normal if you get all the essential nutrients that are correct in amount and proportion to meet our body’s needs.
Good health means that you are not only free from disease but that you enjoy physical, mental, and emotional fitness.
Malnutrition stands for undesirable kinds of nutrition,
which results in ill health. It may be caused by too little, too much, or an imbalance of nutrients in the diet.
When there is an insufficient supply of essential nutrients, Undernutrition occurs.
Function and source of Nutrients
Different foods are made up of the nutrients mentioned earlier. Let us get to know the functions of these nutrients in Our bodies.
Carbohydrate is energy giving food. The energy content of foods is expressed in calories. One gram of carbohydrate provides four (4) calories. If we take these in excess of our body’s need, the unused
the part is stored as glycogen in the muscle or converted to fat and stored for later use.
Food Source of Carbohydrate
The main carbohydrates in our diet are starches that is found in:
- Sugars from sugarcanes
- and Fruits.
The main function of protein is the building of new tissues, and the maintenance and repair of those already built. Further, a number of regulatory and protective substances (enzymes,
antibodies, hormones) in the body are made from proteins.
Energy supply is thus a secondary function of your dietary proteins. Each gram of protein gives four calories of energy to your body.
Food Source of Protein
Protein is present in vegetables and animal sources.
vegan source of protein (plants)
- legumes include lentils, peas, chickpeas, beans, soybeans, and peanuts.
- cereals ie Quinoa
Non-vegan source of protein (Animal)
- Milk and milk products
- Fishes and marine animals
- Meats ie flesh and organs of mutton, chicken or duck
Fats and oils are concentrated sources of energy. Each gram of fats gives nine calories of energy to your body.
We need fats as a medium for the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and essential fatty acids, which vegetable oils provide.
- Ghee or butter used as a spread
- Eggs and meat,
- and nuts
if you take more energy than your body needs, in any form, be it fats, carbohydrates or proteins, it is stored in your body as fat.
Minerals have an important role in the regulation of a number of body processes, e.g. muscle contraction, nerve stimulation, respiration, etc. we get the minerals that we need from a variety of foods. There are many minerals both macro minerals (we need in large amounts ) and micro minerals(we need in fewer amounts )
Food Source of Minerals
We get the minerals that we need from a variety of foods ie
- Calcium: yogurt, cheese, milk, salmon, leafy green vegetables
- Chloride: salt
- Magnesium: Spinach, broccoli, legumes, seeds, whole-wheat bread
- Potassium: meat, milk, fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes
- Sodium: salt, soy sauce, vegetables
Trace or Micro vitamins:
- Chromium: meat, poultry, fish, nuts, cheese
- Copper: shellfish, nuts, seeds, whole-grain products, beans, prunes
- Fluoride: fish, teas
- Iodine: Iodized salt, seafood
- Iron: red meat, poultry, eggs, fruits, green vegetables, fortified bread
- Manganese: nuts, legumes, whole grains, tea
- Selenium: Organ meat, seafood, walnuts
- Zinc: meat, shellfish, legumes, whole grains
We need many different vitamins, for example, vitamin A, B-complex, C.
D, E, K, etc.
Our body needs these to grow and develop, to help our eyes, nerves, and skin to remain healthy, and to protect us from infections. We need very small amounts of these vitamins.
Food Source of Vitamins
We get these from a variety of foods ie From leafy vegetables, carrots, amla, guava, Mosambi, oranges, deals, whole-grain cereals and eggs.
- B-1: ham, soymilk, watermelon, acorn squash.
- B-2: milk, yogurt, cheese, whole, and enriched grains and cereals.
- B-3: meat, poultry, fish, fortified and whole grains, mushrooms, potatoes.
- B-5: chicken, whole grains, broccoli, avocados, mushrooms.
- B-6: meat, fish, poultry, legumes, tofu, and other soy products, bananas.
- B-7: Whole grains, eggs, soybeans, fish.
- B-9: Fortified grains and cereals, asparagus, spinach, broccoli, legumes, orange juice.
- B-12: Meat, poultry, fish, milk, cheese, fortified soymilk, and cereals.
- Vitamin C: Citrus fruit, potatoes, broccoli, bell peppers, spinach, strawberries, tomatoes, Brussels sprouts.
Fat soluble vitamins
- Vitamin A: beef, liver, eggs, shrimp, fish, fortified milk, sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkins, spinach, mangoes
- Vitamin D: Fortified milk and cereals, fatty fish
- Vitamin E: vegetable oils, leafy green vegetables, whole grains, nuts
- Vitamin K: Cabbage, eggs, milk, spinach, broccoli, kale
Our body contains approximately 60-65 percent of water. We do realize that it is an essential part of our body structure.
It performs lots of functions such as it carries food into the body, helps in the digestion and absorption of food, and ensures the elimination of waste from the body. Water helps to regulate body temperature. It acts as a lubricant in the mobile parts of our body, such as joints, and prevents friction. You need about 5 to 6 glasses of water each day.
You get it from the water you drink Fruits and Vegetable and beverages such as tea, coffee, etc.
Fiber, also known as roughage, is the part of plant-based foods (grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and beans) that the body can’t break down. It passes through the body undigested, keeping your digestive system clean and healthy, easing bowel movements, and flushing cholesterol and harmful carcinogens out of the body.
Fiber comes in two varieties: insoluble and soluble.
Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water. It is the bulky fiber that helps to prevent constipation.
Sources of Insoluble fibre
- whole grains,
- wheat cereals
- vegetables such as carrots, celery, and tomatoes.
Soluble fiber dissolves in water and helps control blood sugar levels and reduce cholesterol.
Good sources of soluble fiber
- Fruits such as apples, berries, citrus fruits, and pears.
Many foods contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. In general, the more natural and unprocessed the food, the higher it is in fiber. There is no fiber in meat, dairy, or sugar. Refined or “white” foods, such as white bread, white rice, and pastries, have had all or most of their fiber removed.
- Absorption: The uptake of the end products of digestion through the cell membrane of the digestive tract into the blood and lymph circulation.
- Essential fatty acid: Fatty acid that cannot be synthesized by our body and thus has to be supplied by our diet.
- Dietary fiber: Dietary fiber is a type of carbohydrate that cannot be digested by our bodies’ enzymes. It is found in edible plant foods such as cereals, fruits, vegetables, dried peas, nuts, lentils, and grains.