Nutrition is the science that links foods to health and disease (Wardlaw & Smith, 2011). It includes the processes by which the human organism ingests, digests, absorbs, transports, and excretes food substances (Wardlaw & Smith, 2011). It is a key to developing and maintaining an optimal state of health for you. Nutrition is vital for growth and maintenance of a healthy body throughout life. Nutrition provides the energy your body needs to function. A good nutritious diet will provide you with those phytochemicals and antioxidants that will help keep you feeling young, and looking great.
The two most important determinants of good health are what we eat and how active we are. We all know that exercising daily will have huge impacts on your health and overall well-being. Nutrition’s connection to good health lies in the fact that it plays a role in promoting optimal growth in people of all ages and preventing many chronic diseases. The good news is that the increased interest in health, fitness and, nutrition shown by Americans has been associated with long-term decreasing trends for heart disease, cancer, and stroke (the three leading causes of death) that continued in 2005.
(Wardlaw & Smith, 2011). The six classes of nutrients are carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, vitamins, minerals, and water. Essential nutrients are nutrients that, when left out of a diet, leads to signs of poor health. The body either can’t produce this nutrient or can’t produce enough of it to meet its needs (Wardlaw & Smith, 2011). Nutrients come from a variety of sources to include fruits, vegetables, meats, and dairy products to name a few. Nutrients give us essential vitamins and minerals, energy and provide maintenance to tissues and other organs.
Good nutrition allows us to function mentally and physically. Vitamins have a variety of chemical structures and can contain the elements carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, sulfur, and others. The main function of vitamins is to enable many chemical reactions to occur in the body (Wardlaw & Smith, 2011). Some of these reactions help release the energy trapped in carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins. Minerals are critical players in nervous system functioning, water balance, structural (e. g. , skeletal) systems, and many other cellular processes, but yield no calories as such for the body. (Wardlaw & Smith, 2011).
Minerals work together with vitamins in order to bring the body to complete wellness. Vitamins and minerals boost the immune system, support normal growth and development, and help cells and organs do their jobs. Eating a balanced diet means choosing a variety of foods and drinks from all of the food groups. When you eat a balanced diet, you will consume things in moderation such as fats, refined sugar, salt and alcohol. The goal is to take in nutrients you need for health at the recommended levels.
One way to balance your diet as you consume a variety of foods is to select foods from each of the six major food groups every day (Wardlaw & Smith, 2011). Healthy food promotes good health while unhealthy food leads to weight gain and some diseases. Foods contain vital nutrients that aid our body’s metabolic function. A lack of these nutrients leads to an accumulation of toxins within the body, resulting in chronic diseases. Overnutrition is a state in which nutritional intake greatly exceeds the body’s needs. Undernutrition Failing health that results from a long-standing dietary intake that is not enough to meet nutritional needs
(Wardlaw & Smith, 2011). Overnutrition and undernutrition affect energy metabolism, with overnutrition raising energy output and undernutrition lowering it. The danger of overnutrition is consuming a lot of carbohydrates and fats. Undernutrition affects the balance of all the nutrients in your body because you’re lacking the essentials that help the body function properly. Physical activity is important because its helps your body burns extra calories and keeps the metabolism at a high level.
Physical activity helps you to control your weight, reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and other chronic diseases. It also helps strengthen your bones and muscles and improve your overall mental health and mood. Regular physical activity complements a healthy diet. Whether it’s all at once or in segments throughout the day, ideally incorporate 30 to 60 minutes or more of such activity into your daily routine (Wardlaw & Smith, 2011). You can find dietary recommendations standards that have been developed such as DRI,RDA, AI, EER, and UL A Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) is the recommended amount of a nutrient based on