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A short introduction to health and nutrition

A short introduction to health and nutrition

Health and nutrition is a science that is involved with the wellbeing of the human body especially in relation to the body having all the necessary nutrients necessary to support all the functions of the systems in the body.

The human being, like most other living organisms, depends on food for energy and other nutrients necessary for different body functions. Like a machine which needs fuel and other additives to ensure its smooth functioning, we also eat food regularly so as to continually supply the body. The body is usually constantly using up what we take in. So long as we are alive, the body functions are always active and therefore they are always demanding more supplies in form of nutrients.

The largest form of nutrients needed by the body are nutrients that provide energy i.e. carbohydrates. As we have said, the body is like a machine; and just like a machine needs a lot of fuel to operate, our bodies also need a lot of energy. The various systems of the body such as the circulatory system, digestive system, respiratory system, and nervous system all depend on energy from the foods we eat. Apart from this, we also use up a lot of energy through body motion and work.

Another type of nutrient needed by the body includes the nutrients that are essential for the growth of body tissue i.e. proteins. Proteins are especially important for fetal growth and for growing persons. However, even fully grown persons still need proteins since body tissue is constantly withering off and being replaced.

Vitamins are another kind of nutrient that is essential for the body. There are many kinds of nutrients and each have different types of biochemical functions in the body. Vitamins are important for the normal growth and development of multicellular organisms. They are responsible for the regulation of mineral metabolism, regulation of tissue growth and differentiation, they act as enzyme catalyst for different reactions, and some act as antioxidants.

There are other substances that are also necessary in sustaining a healthy body with proper functioning systems. A common very important substance is water.

The above nutrients are usually found in food. Some foods can have a combination of nutrients within them. It is important to identify what each types of foods are rich in. This will help us to know how to combine the foods so as to have a balanced diet. A balanced diet is a diet that consists the necessary amounts of all the vital nutrients.

Having too much of a nutrient can be harmful or can lead to negative effects. A common problem that is caused by consuming too much of a particular nutrient can be seen by the effects of taking too much carbohydrates which leads to accumulation of excessive weight.

Nutrients can be destroyed during food preparation or processing. For example, overcooking vegetables can destroy the vitamins within them. This is also the case with overcooking proteins. In today’s world, we can avoid overcooking food by timing our cooking. This can be done manually or by the use of programmable electric cookers.

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