What is nutrition?
Nutrition is the intake of food and drink by the human body and the subsequent chemical and physical processes that occur within the body when the food is broken down and the nutrients needed to maintain the body and keep it in good working order are released.
Why is good nutrition so important?
Food and the nutrients obtained from food are vital to keep the body healthy and alive. Nutrients are required in order to build and repair cells and body tissues, maintain the organs and bones in optimum working condition and to provide energy, fuel and warmth.
Good nutrition is essential for good health and eating nutritious food can help to prevent against common ailments, as well as more life threatening illnesses and diseases.
Medical scientists now believe that a third of all cancers and most cases of heart disease are related to poor diet.
Nowadays, we are becoming more aware of how our diet is important to our health and that it is vital that we eat the right kinds of food to stay healthy and fit.
How is good nutrition achieved?
Different types of food provide the body with different nutrients. It is impossible to obtain all the necessary nutrients needed for good health and growth, solely from one type of food. Therefore, good nutrition and good health is achieved by eating a well-balanced, healthy and varied diet.
What is a balanced diet?
Food can be broken down into 5 major groups. These groups are carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals and water. The body needs varying amounts of these types of food so that the adequate amount of nutrients is supplied to the body. A well-balanced diet does not mean an equal amount of each type of food, as our body requires more of some nutrients than others.
Each type of food plays a significant role in our body but excesses or deficiencies of certain types of food can also harm the body and produce a negative impact on our health.
It is very important that we know how much of each type of food we are supposed to consume and that we eat in a sensible way. This means eating regular meals at least three times a day and drinking plenty of water.
What are carbohydrates and how much should we eat?
Carbohydrates provide the body with fuel and energy to keep going throughout the day and should make up half the daily intake of food.