In our day to day life we all are given many lessons on the importance of nutrition in our schools and at home when we are young. Elders who suffer from different kinds of diseases are asked to consume quality food. The truth is that nutrition is an essential part of every person’s life – be it children, teenagers, adults or aged people. Doctors and nutritionists suggest that only a balanced diet can provide us with the essential nutrients and minerals necessary for growth and repair of wear and tear of our body. For athletes, it is especially important to consume nutritious food. The intake of healthy foods can help them achieve high levels of endurance and stamina.
A diet can be called nutritious if we obtain essential macro nutrients, such as proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, as well as micro nutrients, like vitamins and minerals from it.
The function of macro nutrients is to provide energy and strength to the body. Micro nutrients play an important role in the smooth functioning of cells of our body. An adequate and proportionate intake of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats is essential from the point of keeping infections, cardiovascular diseases and contagious diseases at bay.
Proteins perform the function of building tissues of muscles and maintaining and repairing them. By consuming protein-rich foods, one can meet the amino acid requirement of the body. Amino acids are necessary for proper functioning of our body. It is possible to meet protein requirement of our body through milk, milk products, legumes, nuts, etc.
Carbohydrates are useful from the point of meeting energy needs of the body. However, we should not consume them in excess because by doing so, the fat content in our body can rise to dangerous levels. The accumulation of fats in the body takes place if carbohydrates are left unused. Carbohydrates are of two types: simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates are useful from the point of meeting immediate energy requirements of the body; this is because they provide the body with quick energy. Complex carbohydrates, on the other hand, provide the body with energy that requires a comparatively longer time for assimilation.
The main function of fats is to protect delicate organs of our body. Fats are the insulators of human body, and hence, consuming them in sufficient amounts is necessary.
Minerals and calcium assist in proper contraction of muscles and clotting of blood – these are amongst the important processes of human body. Calcium and phosphorus assist in the growth of bones and teeth whereas iron supplies oxygen to lungs; these nutrients help in the smooth functioning of human bodily systems. Intake of sodium in right quantities is essential for the overall development of the body.