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Nutrition

Nutrition and Your Health
Nutrition is the branch of science which deals with and/ or interprets the interactions of nutrients and other substances in food in relation to body cells and tissue repair and maintenance, growth, reproduction, health and disease of an organism. Generally, it is the provision of essential nutrients which are necessary to support human life and health.

According to britainnica online, nutrition is the process by which substances in foods are transformed into body tissues and provide energy for the full range of physical and mental activities that make up human life. This include food intake, absorption, assimilation, biosynthesis, catabolism and excretion.

The science of nutrition is an all inclusive field, in that it involves biochemistry, physiology and molecular biology. It also include such fields as psychology and anthropology which explore the influence of attitudes, beliefs, traditions preferences on food choices.

Poor nutrition or under nutrition is generally tied to poverty, lack of education and cultural practices and often leads to chronic diseases and Complications. It is wide spread globally, leading to impaired growth, defective immune system and reduced work capacity.

Malnutrition: this is a condition caused by an improper balance between what an individual eats and what he/ she requires to maintain health. This condition is characterized by the inability to acquire sufficient nutrients or the lack of adequate nourishment. This condition is caused by an unbalanced diet, i.e. taking too much of one type of food at the expense of others, or by an inadequate intake of food (subnutrition) which can lead to starvation. It may also arise as a result of internal dysfunction, malabsorption syndrome or other metabolic disturbance within the body. Malnutrition have caused a lot of suffering, disabilities and death mostly in children globally.

The ultimate goal/ aim of nutrition and it's related fields is to promote optimal health and reduces the risk of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease (CVD), diabetes, cancer and in the prevention of deficiency diseases such as pellagra, kwashiorkor and marasmus. 

Compositions of The Human Body

The Human body is made of about 70% water, and the remaining 30% is composed of chemical compounds such as carbohydrates, proteins, fatty acids and nucleic acids (DNA and RNA). The chemical compounds consists of elemental components such as carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorus, calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium, etc. These chemical compounds may occur in the Human body in the form of hormones, vitamins, phospholipids, etc. 

Body Nutrients

There are basically seven major classes of nutritional requirements for humans. They are carbohydrates, fats, proteins, fibres, vitamins, minerals and water. This classes of nutrients are classified either as macronutrients or micronutrients.

Macronutrients: these classes of nutrients are, carbohydrates, fats, proteins, fibres and water. They are needed by the body in large quantities, some of them such as carbohydrates, proteins, and fats provides the body with structural materials and energy. While fibres which are nondigestible dietary materials such as cellulose are needed in large quantities for both biochemical and metabolic reasons.

Micronutrients: these are minerals and vitamins and are needed in small quantities by the body. Though needed in small quantities, their presence in the the body is of great importance as some of them serve as enzymes, coenzyms, metabolic intermediates, etc.


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