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Basic Aspects | Nutrition


DEFINITION:


Health

Health signifies the ability to deal with physical, biological, psychological, and social stress.

The World Health Organization (WHO) proposed a definition that aimed higher: linking health to well-being, in terms of “physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity”.


Being healthy is way more than just being physically fit or absence of diseases. We can recognize diseases only when we feel or see any symptoms. Many of the times we are good to do works and we think that we are fit or healthy but actually, we are not. Nowadays mental, physical and social illness is on top.


With nutrients, our surroundings & environment, physical activities, and self-satisfaction are also contributing to being healthy.


Nutrients

Nutrients are compounds in foods essential to life and health, providing us with energy, the building blocks for repair and growth and substances necessary to regulate chemical processes.


A nutrient is a substance used by an organism to survive, grow, and reproduce. Different types of organisms have different essential nutrients.


Nutrients are classified into two categories:

Macronutrients & Micronutrients


Macronutrients

Macronutrients are consumed in relatively large amounts; macronutrients are used primarily to generate energy or to incorporate into tissues for growth and repair.


Carbohydrates: pasta, rice, cereals, bread, potatoes, milk, fruit, sugar

Proteins: meat, dairy, legumes, nuts, seafood, and eggs

Fats: oils, butter, margarine, nuts, seeds, avocados and olives, meat and seafood


Micronutrients

Micronutrients are needed in smaller amounts they have subtle biochemical and physiological roles in cellular processes, like vascular functions or nerve conduction.


Dietary minerals: calcium, sodium, magnesium, etc.

Vitamins: vitamin A, C, D, K, Thiamine, Riboflavin, etc.


Nutrition

In science and human medicine, nutrition is the science or practice of consuming and utilizing foods.

Nutrition is how food affects the health of the body. Food is essential—it provides vital nutrients for survival, and helps the body function and stay healthy.


Nutrition is about eating a healthy and balanced diet. The food we eat and drink contains nutrients that provide nutrition to keep us healthy. Understanding these nutrition terms may make it easier for us to make better food choices.


Malnutrition

Malnutrition, in every form, presents significant threats to human health. Malnutrition includes both undernutrition and overweight.


Malnutrition is a condition that results from eating a diet in which one or more nutrients are either not enough or are too much such that the diet causes health problems.


Undernutrition:

Not enough nutrients or lack of nutrients in one’s body are called undernutrition or undernourishment.


Overnutrition:

While too much nutrients consumption caused overnutrition or the person considered as overweight.


Classification of Nutrients

Based on requirements by body nutrients are classified into two categories:

• Macronutrients

• Micronutrient


Both are equally important for good health. The amount needed to ensure good health varies from individual to individual depending on their age, gender, body size, activity and state of health. ICMR gives the RDA for Indians.


Macronutrients

Macronutrients are consumed in relatively large amounts; macronutrients are used primarily to generate energy or to incorporate into tissues for growth and repair.


Carbohydrates: pasta, rice, cereals, bread, potatoes, milk, fruit, sugar

Proteins: meat, dairy, legumes, nuts, seafood, and eggs

Fats: oils, butter, margarine, nuts, seeds, avocados and olives, meat and seafood

Water: An adult need about 2–3 ltr of water each day.


Micronutrients

Micronutrients are needed in smaller amounts they have subtle biochemical and physiological roles in cellular processes, like vascular functions or nerve conduction.


Dietary minerals

Minerals are the substances that people need to ensure the health and correct working of their soft tissues, fluids, and their skeleton.

Examples of minerals include calcium, iron, iodine, fluorine, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, selenium, and sodium.


Vitamins

Vitamins are also called protective foods.

Vitamins are further classified into two groups:

1. Fat-soluble vitamins: vitamins A, D, E, and K are soluble in fats and fat solvents. They are insoluble in water. So these are utilized only if there is enough fat in the body.

2. Water-soluble vitamins: vitamins B and C, and folic acid are soluble in water and so they cannot be stored in the body.


Based on chemical nature nutrients are classified as follows:

• Carbohydrates

• Proteins

• Fats

• Minerals

• Vitamins

• Dietary fiber

• Water


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