In these new times, food is taken in a very different perspective by the people. As in the name of looking good, skinny, or zero size we usually see people starving themselves, not eating the correct amount or dieting the whole time, and moreover taking the diet into a completely wrong direction that is by surviving only on fluids or salads which is completely wrong. Some people are also seen following the FAD diets which are really harmful to one’s health.
On the other hand there are people who can be seen binging the whole day on snacks that are food containing excessive amounts of sugar, salt or are either fried. Or gorging on food by not realizing it and going through emotional eating, stress eating etc. and gaining weight that is turing overweight or obese. By increasing weight people also invite health problems that go from diabetes, hypertension to cardiovascular diseases.
It is very important to learn the basic meaning of food, nutrients, nutrition, health, its function etc and so we can inculcate these things in our life accordingly and can eat and live a healthy life.
Food is that nourishes the body; it may also be defined as anything eaten or drunk which can be absorbed by the body to be used as an energy source, bodybuilding, regulating or synthesizing the protective material. Intake of the right kind and amount of food must satisfy hunger and fulfill psychological, social and sensory needs. It also protects the body from diseases. Food contains substances called nutrients that are necessary for growth, survival and different processes of the body.
Nutrients are the constituents in food that must be supplied to the body in suitable amounts. This includes carbohydrates, proteins, fats, minerals, vitamins and water.Nutritious food is that which can fulfill the primary functions of food. It provides sufficient energy and essential nutrients, helps in maintenance of all biological processes of the body, maintains body weight and protects from invasion of harmful microorganisms (disease causing organisms) and onset of any disease.
Food helps one’s body in many ways like growth and development, maintenance of life, functions of vital organs, production of energy, production of body and food also helps fulfill the physiological, psychological and social functions.
Food also has many physiological functions of food like it provides energy for voluntary and involuntary activities of the body. It helps in growth and development, maintenance of and repair- required for the worn out cells (like RBC cells have limited life span once they die out a replacement is required), maintenance of body temperature, maintenance of acid-base balance, support the functions of hormones and neurotransmitters (protein and fats) cholesterol is used for the synthesis of steroids and sex hormones, removes metabolic waste products from the body, protection of body from injection, injuries and other related diseases.
The Psychological functions of food includes that it satisfies hunger and taste buds, it acts as a means of expression like love, affection and security, it provides enjoyment, provides comfort in depressed mood, it is also used as a reward and a punishment.
The social functions of food are like it creates an atmosphere for joyful eating, helps in improving social relationships, used as an offering in religious functions and fast, it is the many concepts of any gathering or party, means of communication and relationship and also means of social prestige.
Nutrients are the constituents in food that must be supplied to the body in suitable amounts. They play a critical role in health, nutrients and disease. The deficiency of nutrients in diet may have adverse effects on health. Re-addition of missing nutrients in diet can help ensure that missing nutrients in diet can help ensure optimum health, nutrients in foods are classified as either macronutrients or micronutrients. These include carbohydrates, fats, proteins (macronutrient) vitamins, minerals and water (micronutrients).
Nutrition is the sign of food and its components, their action, interaction and balance within the body. It includes the study of processing of food within the body such as digestion, absorption transport function and disposal of end products. Nutrients are utilized for provision of energy, building of body tissues and their repair and protection from micro organisms/heat and other stressors.
This article is written and submitted to The E Today by Shrushti Mehta.
We thank her for her research and analysis and hope to see the awareness about health and nutrition being spread ahead to larger mass of our citizens.