Literally speaking, “nutrition” is food or any source of nourishment for the body. It is defined as the process of providing or obtaining the food necessary for health and growth according to the dictionary. As a science nutrition deals with nutrients and nutrition in humans. The word nutrition has been derived from the Latin word “nutrire” which means to feed or nourish.
The medical fraternity has defined nutrition as the process of taking in food and using it for growth, metabolism and repair. This includes the nutritional stages of ingestion, digestion, absorption, transport, assimilation and excretion.
Wikipedia defines nutrition as the science that interprets the interaction of nutrients and other substances in food in relation to maintenance, growth, reproduction, health and disease of an organism. This includes food intake, absorption, assimilation, biosynthesis, catabolism and excretion.
The body absorbs the nutrients from the food that is ingested. These nutrients are essential for our body as they provide us with the energy, build and maintain tissues and regulate bodily processes. Our intake of nutrients depends on the diet that we take. A balanced diet gives all the minerals, vitamins, proteins, carbohydrates, water, lipids; which is essential for our bodies. An unhealthy diet can cause diseases due to deficiencies like scurvy, anemia, blindness etc. While an excessive intake of nutrients is also harmful as it may cause diseases like diabetes, cardio vascular diseases, obesity etc.
The phrase “you are what you eat” holds true for all our nutritional intake. The food we eat decides the nutrients that our body will receive. These macro nutrients, micro nutrients and water make up our body essentially. A balanced diet combined with regular physical activity is the foundation for good health.
Government’s all over the world run various nutrition programs to inform the populace about good nutrition and its effects on health. Nutrition literacy is a major objective for all globally.
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