The World Health Organization (WHO) defines nutrition as the consumption of meals, considered in relation to your body’s dietary needs. This process involves our bodies taking in nutrients from the food we eat.
Nutrients, on the other hand, refer to substances that enable our bodies to maintain tissues, to make energy, and to regulate bodily processes such as breathing, sleeping, and healing, among many others.
Types Of Nutrients
Seven key classes of essential nutrients are taken in by your body from the food you consume daily and they include:
In children, vitamins facilitate their growth and proper development while in adults, vitamins help in the maintenance of our organs, tissues, and cells.
They normally enable our bodies to stay healthy, to grow and also to develop. Minerals, for example, 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 to 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.
These essential nutrients help in the growth and repair of torn or worn-out muscles and other body tissues. Proteins also help 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.
They are a backup source of energy for our bodies. Other functions include insulating our bodies which helps us to maintain a regular core body temperature and helping in the storage and absorption of vitamins.
6. Roughage or Fibre
Fibre helps your body to control blood sugar, improves your skin health, helps in weight management, and your digestive system.
Your body cannot function properly without water. It helps in the removal of unwanted products from the body, helps in the 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, your age, gender, genetic makeup, height, and weight. What this means is that; the older you are the more nutrients and fewer calories you need compared to younger people.
The primary reason why this is the case is that children have different nutritional value needs to those of us grownups. Gender also affects the number of essential nutrients that the body needs because men and women are different.
For instance, women undergo things such as 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
There are a lot of health benefits that come with eating properly and some of them are as follows:
1. Improves brain health
When you eat well, the blood flow to your brain increases and this protects your brain cells and 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 teeth and bone strength
Having a diet that is rich in calcium helps to keep your teeth and bones strong at all times. Individuals between 19 years to 70 years are recommended to take 1,000 milligrams of calcium daily to ensure that your bones are strong and healthy.
3. Helps to control your weight
For you to be able to avoid gaining weight you have to ensure that you consume the exact calories you burn daily. Having good nutrition will help to ensure that you do not eat more calories than you can burn as it will lead to weight gain.
4. Improves the health of your heart
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 that are rich in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables can help to 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 most humans wish for is staying healthy and living a long and productive life. However, for you to be able to realize this amazing 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.