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What is nutrition and why does it matter?


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Nutrition is defined as the sum total of all substances which enter into or contribute to the maintenance of life. Nutrients are substances essential for growth, development, reproduction and other vital functions of living organisms. All cells require some form of energy in order to function properly. Energy comes from three sources: carbohydrates (carbohydrates), fats and proteins. Each substance affects the amount of each type available to us depending upon its concentration within our bodies.


For example, if one person consumes a high percentage of protein while another eats a high percentage of carbohydrates, their bodies will have less carbohydrate than necessary to maintain normal levels of energy. Similarly, if one person consumes a large quantity of fat while another consumes little or no fat, their bodies will have too much fat and not enough carbohydrate. When these two individuals consume certain foods together they may experience adverse effects such as weight gain or even death.


The human body is made up primarily of water. Water is needed for many bodily processes including breathing, heart rate, blood pressure and digestion. However, when people drink too much water, they become dehydrated. Dehydration causes them to lose physical strength and mental alertness.


People who eat a diet low in calories often develop symptoms similar to those caused by dehydration such as fatigue, headache and weakness. Water provides the main source of energy for the body. It also serves as a lubricant and insulator. Without water, the human body would cease functioning completely. A person’s blood contains approximately 70% oxygen and 30% carbon dioxide; this balance varies according to age, gender, physical condition and other factors. Blood plasma consists of red blood cells (which carry oxygen throughout the body) and white blood cells (which fight infection). In extreme cases, dehydration can cause death.


There are many nutrients required by the body. The three macronutrients are carbohydrate, fat and protein and these are needed in large amounts. They are used as sources of energy during the oxidation-fixation-cellular respiration process (known, respectively, as the digestion, metabolism and storage process). Besides these three macronutrients, the body also absorbs certain micronutrients.


Several factors affect the amount of water in a person’s body, the most important of which are weight, height and age. The surface of every human cell, located inside the cell known as the mitochondrion, contains an energy-producing organelle known as a cristae. This mitochondrial water is important in allowing the body to produce ATP, the body’s main energy source.g. calcium, magnesium, sodium) or vitamins (e.g. thiamine, niacin, pantothenic acid).


Carbohydrates: They are organic (carbon-containing) molecules containing hydrogen and oxygen atoms. To be correctly classified as carbohydrates, these compounds consist of three additional elements: Carbon, Hydrogen and Oxygen. Dehydration causes the body’s cells to suffer from ATP depletion, which leads to tiredness and fatigue.


The human body is made up of many systems, each working in harmony to keep it alive. The nervous system sends messages between the brain and the rest of the body. It also controls involuntary actions such as breathing and heartbeat. The endocrine system consists of glands that secrete hormones into the bloodstream. These hormones travel through the bloodstream to target specific organs and control their activity. The most common types of carbohydrates are sugars, which contain only carbon and oxygen atoms. Carbohydrates are classified as either simple or complex.


Simple carbohydrates are made up of chains of simpler carbohydrates known as monosaccharides. They can be quickly digested and absorbed into the blood stream. Complex carbohydrates consist of larger carbohydrate units such as disaccharides, oligosaccharides, and polysaccharides. Because they are made of multiple units, they can’t be broken down into simpler forms, so they need to be digested more slowly. They are usually more nutritious and are important for the production of energy in the cells.


Some types of carbohydrates provide quick bursts of energy, such as those found in fruits and milk. Other complex carbohydrates such as whole grains and vegetables are used by the body for energy production. The body will break down these complex carbohydrates into simpler forms using the chemicals found in the stomach as energy.


The body uses twenty different types of carbohydrate, but only nine of these are essential. This means that the body can live without them, and they only become necessary because the body can’t manufacture them.