Nutrition is the consumption of healthy food and the study of the connection between diet, health, and disease. This process allows our bodies to take in nutrients from the food we eat.
Nutrients refer to substances that provide our bodies with nourishment. They enable our bodies to maintain tissues, make energy, and regulate bodily processes such as breathing, sleeping, and healing.
Types Of Nutrients
Vitamins are essential organic compounds found in natural foods. There are several types of vitamins: vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C, D, E, and K.
Vitamins are grouped into fat-soluble or water-soluble vitamins. Examples of fat-soluble vitamins include vitamins A, D, E, and K. Water-soluble vitamins include Vitamin C and all forms of vitamin B.
Vitamins promote the growth and proper development of children, and they also help adults maintain the organs, tissues, and cells.
Essential minerals are grouped into two; macrominerals which include potassium, chloride, sodium, sulfur, magnesium, & calcium, and microminerals which are zinc, iron, copper, and iodine, among others.
Minerals enable our bodies to stay healthy, grow, and develop. For example, they are instrumental in the building of stronger bones in our bodies.
These nutrients act as our primary source of energy. Other uses include helping your body break down fatty acids, which help in the prevention of ketosis, helping in the regulation of blood glucose, and helping to preserve muscles, among many others uses.
Carbohydrates can be found in foods such as potatoes, cookies, popcorn, corn, milk, spaghetti, and bread, among others.
Proteins help in the growth and repair of torn or worn-out muscles and other body tissues. They also enable communication between our organs, tissues, and cells. Biochemical reactions such as blood clotting, digestion, muscle contraction, and energy production also happen, all thanks to proteins such as enzymes.
Fats are a backup source of energy for our bodies. Other functions include insulating our bodies which helps us maintain a steady core body temperature and helping in the storage and absorption of vitamins.
Fiber helps your body control blood sugar, improves your skin health, helps in weight management, and boosts your digestive system.
Your body cannot function without water. Water helps remove unwanted products from the body, transportation of nutrients to the cells, and the maintenance of constant internal body temperature.
Factors Affecting Your Nutritional Requirements
Several factors affect the number of essential nutrients required by your body, and some of them include the state of your body, age, gender, genetic makeup, height, and weight. This means that; the older you are, the more nutrients and fewer calories you need than younger people.
This is because children have different nutritional value needs than grownups. Gender also affects the number of essential nutrients that the body needs because men and women are different.
For instance, women undergo menstrual cycles, pregnancies, and breastfeeding, which require specific nutrients. The same case applies in the case of illnesses; a person who is not feeling well has different nutrients requirements to the healthy one.
Benefits Of Good Nutrition
1. Improves Brain Health
When you eat well, blood flow to your brain increases, protecting your brain cells. This helps to prevent diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Steamed, baked, or even grilled foods are better for the health of your brain compared to fried foods.
2. Improves Bone Strength
Having a diet that is rich in calcium helps to keep your teeth and bones strong. If you are between 19 years to 70 years, it’s recommended you take 1,000 milligrams of calcium daily to ensure that your bones are strong and healthy.
3. Helps To Control Your Weight
To avoid gaining weight, you have to ensure that you consume the exact calories you burn daily. Having good nutrition will help ensure that you do not eat more calories than you can burn, leading to weight gain.
4. Improves Your Heart’s Health
Heart disease is caused by diet, and you can be able to prevent it by consuming a diet that is low in sodium, fats, and cholesterol. Diets rich in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables can help reduce the risk of you having heart disease.
5. Provides High Energy Levels
A healthy balanced diet leads to an increase in your energy levels while at the same time eliminating refined carbohydrates such as white bread, excess fats, and sugars. This helps to prevent the fluctuations of your blood sugar.
The one thing that we all wish for is staying healthy and living a long and productive life. However, for you to realize this fantastic dream, one of the things you have to do is to get rid of unhealthy eating habits.
Changing your diet is one of the hardest things you can do as it requires a lot of discipline, but the benefits of practicing good eating habits are well worth the struggle in the long run.