Nutrition: A healthy diet

Energy from Food:

Every one needs food, obviously. What most people probably don’t know is why we need food. Most people might say that when we get hungry we need food. That is not it.

fast-food

We need food for multiple reasons. The food substances found in food, the carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, water is required by our cells to provide them with energy. These substances are also use to synthesize the protoplasm. The main reason is that it provides us with a healthy body. Lack of food will of- course result in deficiency. All organisms require energy. Plants can produce their own source of energy by the process of photosynthesis. Organisms like humans and animals depend on other source of energy mainly from other organisms like plants or animals.

Increase in energy does not mean it would remain the same. Energy cannot be destroyed but it can be lost by heat. An organism releases heat from its body around the clock even while resting.

Food also helps an organism to grow. Food like milk and yogurt provide with calcium and other substances which are necessary for the bones of a growing child. Reduction in such food substances would result in deficiency.

Nutrients:

 Nutrients are food substances which nourish the body of an organism. These nutrients are divided into two groups; The organic nutrients and the inorganic nutrients.

Carbohydrates, Protein, Fats, Vitamins, Dietary Fiber are all organic nutrients. Water and minerals such as iron and calcium are called inorganic nutrients.

Carbohydrates:

Carbohydrates are made of 6 Carbon atoms, 13 Hydrogen atoms and 6 aHR0cDovL3d3dy5saXZlc2NpZW5jZS5jb20vaW1hZ2VzL2kvMDAwLzA3OC8wMTIvb3JpZ2luYWwvY2FyYi1mb29kcy5qcGc=Oxygen atoms; C6H12O6. It is of 3 types. The monosaccharides, disaccharides, and the polysaccharides.

Monosaccharides are simple sugars like glucose, fructose, galactose.

Disaccharides are complex molecules forged by the condensation of monosaccharides among itself. Few examples are Maltose, Lactose and Sucrose.

Polysaccharides are more complex than Disaccharides and are forged by the condensation of disaccharides among itself. Few examples include Starch, Glycogen, and Cellulose.

The process in which molecules condense together to produce polysaccharides is called polymerization.

Starch:

It is formed by glucose molecules combining together and can be broken down by amylase enzyme.

Glycogen:

It acts as a storage in humans, animals, and fungi. These are also formed by glucose molecules.

Cellulose:

It is also form by glucose molecules. Cellulose is the material the cell wall is made out of. It cannot be digested by man but is necessary for the large intestine to work properly.

Functions:

  • Source of energy
  • to form supporting structures
  • to be converted to other substances
  • to form DNA
  • to synthesize lubricants
  • to produce nectar in flowers

Fats:

Fats are also energy providing nutrients. They are made of carbon, hydrogen andfats-and-meats-lg-1.jpg oxygen. In fats oxygen atoms are in low number compared to carbon and hydrogen.

Types:

Saturated fats also known as animal fats occur in animals and humans. Usually a substance is found alongside it called cholesterol which may be deposited in blood vessels causing heart attack.

Unsaturated fats are also known as vegetable fats are healthy and should be used more often.

Functions:

  • Source and storage of energy
  • Prevents excessive heat loss
  • Restricts water loss from skin

Proteins:

A very complex nutrient which is made up of Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen and Nitrogen. vital_ingredients_artwork-copy1.jpg

Proteins are always present in the protoplasm. Their molecule is formed by amino acids. When two amino acids form they make a strong bond called peptide bond. When more bonds are formed and joined they form a poly-peptide or peptone. Protein chains are not straight but rather coiled. Each Protein molecule have 2 peptones which are made of almost 500 units of amino acids in each peptone. The bonds between amino acids is weak, however.

An average adult needs 50 to 100g protein each day.

Functions:

  • Source of energy.
  • Used for formation of protoplasm.
  • Used to synthesize enzymes and form hormones.
  • Used to form antibodies.

Vitamins:

Vitamins are nutrients which the organisms don’t produce themselves. These nutrients don’t provide energy and aren’t even involved body building but still are needed. The amount of vitamins required varies by age.

There are two types of vitamins. The fat soluble vitamins and the water soluble vitamins_clock.jpgvitamins.

When vitamins are deficient in an organism small deficiencies are produced which is hard to detect. If the deficient vitamins are not taken soon this would result in greater deficiency and diseases like rickets, scurvy etc.

Vitamin D (fat soluble vitamin):

It can be obtained by fish liver oils, egg yolks, milk, and margarine and Ultra violet rays from sun. This promotes absorption of calcium and phosphorus and enables the body to form teeth and bones.

Vitamin C (water soluble vitamin):

It is obtained from fruits and vegetables and fruit juices. It is needed for the formation of inter-cellular substances and are necessary for maintaining epithelial tissues.

Vitamin A:

It is obtained from Dairy products, fish liver oils and vegetables. This is needed for formation of light sensitive pigment in Retina of an eye and for maintaining epithelial tissues.

Vitamin B complex:

It is obtained from yeast, liver and bran. Several of these are important coenzymes.

If any of these vitamins are deficient in an organism it will cause diseases and deficiencies like rickets, scurvy, swollen bleeding gums etc.

Water:

Water is an inorganic nutrient. It is very important for all living things. Seventy percent of a body is made of water. Even the protoplasm is made of water. Without water life is almost impossible. The amount of water needed by an organism depends on the activity of the organism.

A person going to gym or running would need a lot of water to cool off.

Functions:

  • medium in which chemical reactions occur.
  • it is a transporting agent
  • it is an important component of blood, lubricants and digestive juices

Minerals:

It is an inorganic material which does not provide energy. We obtain it from animals and plants. Some minerals like iron, calcium, phosphorous, potassium, chlorine, and sodium are needed in large amounts. Minerals that you need in minute amounts are called trace elements.

Dietary Fiber:

It refers to indigestible fiber such as cellulose which cannot be digested by the body. However, it is important for the process of peristalses. Peristalsis is the muscular movement of digestive tract.

If you want a healthy life then please follow a balanced diet so that you may remain fit and active.

With this i conclude this article.

 

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