As a part of Science, Nutrition gives the food-related relationship between nutrients and other substances with respect to maintenance, growth, reproduction health and diseases of an organism. Nutrition also entails the food consumption, assimilation, digestion and excretion. It is the consumption of food, in relation to the dietary needs of the body. It is the process of taking in food for the purpose of growth, metabolism and repair of the body systems.
The combination of a well-balanced diet and physical exercise make up a good nutrition, which is a prerequisite for good health. Poor nutrition can result to low immunity, increased susceptibility to diseases and reduced productivity. The major classes of nutrient are:
- Carbohydrates: These include the energy giving foods. These sets of food gives energy required for the body to perform daily activities. The energy is usually in form of glucose which all the tissues and cells in our body readily use. The main sources of carbohydrates are: maize, rice, bread, potatoes, cassava, to mention just a few.
- Proteins: This nutrient is essential for growth in children, teens and pregnant women. It is also important the hormone and enzyme production in the body that helps repair tissues and supplying energy when carbohydrates are not available. Most animal food (like chicken, eggs, and meats fish) contains more proteins than plants. Other sources of proteins are groundnut, beans, and lentils.
- Fats and Oils: Young children need a lot of energy –rich food. Fats and oil are concentrated sources of energy which will be useful for children consumption. Sources are fats from fish, oils from sesame seeds and maize oil.
- Vitamins and Minerals: These are needed by the body to develop and function normally. The known vitamins are A, B, C, D and K. These nutrients boost the immune system, promote normal growth and developments. Fruits (apple, orange, pineapple, etc.) and vegetables( tomatoes, cabbage, cucumber etc.) are good source of vitamins and mineral.
Importance of Good Nutrition
Good nutrition is very crucial to leading a healthy life. Essential diet helps to maintain a healthy weight and reduce the risk of chronic diseases (like heart disease and cancer). The importance of good nutrition are but not limited to the following:
- Improves immune system: The consumption of fruit and vegetables which are rich in essential vitamins and minerals that help the system to fight against diseases like heart diseases, diabetes and cancer.
- Lowers high cholesterol: Cereal in take helps to reduce high cholesterol which could cause accumulation of cholesterol on the walls of the arteries which can reduce blood flow in the arteries that could result to complications like chest pain.
- Increase energy level: Consumption of Banana has been proven to help improve energy. The fiber in avocado also helps to maintain energy level.
- Improve ability to recover from illness and injury: Vitamin C help to heal injuries and clothing of blood, while vitamin B boosts the immune system. Regular intake of fruits and vegetables will be very helpful in this regard.
- Improves well-being : Nutrition h as a major role to play in the mental well-being of an individual, hence it is important to take a balanced diet for proper development of the mental health.
Below are some helpful tips for eating well (balanced diet):
- Eating plenty of Whole grains
- Taking enough fruits and vegetables
- Choosing low fat of fat free milk
- Trying out other source of protein
- Choosing lean meat
Have some other balanced diet helpful tips? share with us in the comment section below.