What is nutrition? Why is nutrition important? Nutrition, nourishment, or aliment, is the supply of materials - food - required by organisms and cells to stay alive. In science and human medicine, nutrition is the science or practice of consuming and utilizing foods (MNT, 2014). A nutrient is a source of nourishment, an ingredient in a food, e.g. protein, carbohydrate, fat, vitamin, mineral, fiber and water. Macronutrients are nutrients we need in relatively large quantities. Micronutrients are nutrients we need in relatively small quantities (MNT, 2014). The six common substances that are known to be essential for the human body to function properly are carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, vitamins, minerals, simple sugars and water.
Carbohydrates are compounds of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, which provide the body with energy when they are broken down in cellular respiration (LABS-AIDS INC., 2012). Starches and sugars are considered two carbohydrates. Our bodies use carbohydrates to make glucose also known as sugar, which gives you energy and helps keep everything going. Our bodies use glucose immediately or stores it in our liver and muscles for when it is needed. Carbohydrates found in fruits, vegetables, grains (cereal, breads, etc.), milk, and foods with added sugars. The foods that contain added sugars, such as cakes and cookies, are considered to be “bad” carbs in most cases. “Good” carbs can be found in natural foods, such as strawberries and bananas.
Fats like Lipids are an important source of energy; however, fats and proteins take longer to break down. Fats and carbohydrates both have compounds which contain carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. Fats contains more carbon and hydrogen atoms than oxygen whereas lipids are soluble in ether or similar nonpolar solvents (LAB-AIDS INC., 2012).
Proteins are large molecules consisting of amino acids. Amino acids are organic compounds that contain carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen. Amino acids help with the growth and repair of the body tissue and to make hormones, enzymes, and antibodies. An individual’s daily protein depends on several factors, such as: age, sex, weight, muscular exertion, muscle mass, and health. (Permacology, 2013) A vitamin is an organic compound required by an organism as a vital nutrient in limited amounts. The great differences in their chemical composition, origin in nature, and divergence in nutritive and other physiological functions (LAB-AIDS INC., 2012). Vitamin C is widely distributed in the nature with many plants and all known mammals except primates and the guinea pig (LAB-AIDS INC., 2012).
A mineral is an element or chemical compound that is normally crystalline and that has been formed as a result of geological processes” (Nickel, E. H., 1995). Minerals are needed for the formation of hormones, enzymes and other body substances. If the body lacks in minerals, our bodies can be affected. Iron is...