Importance of Nutrients:
The word nutrition comes from the Latin root ‘nutr’, which means to nurture or nourish. Right from the moment of conception till death, the body needs to carry many vital functions such as breathing, digesting, excreting and so on. Body needs energy to support all these diverse physical activity.
A nutrient is a component in foods that an organism uses to survive and grow. A substance in suitable amount is essential for the growth, maintenance, function and reproduction of a cell or organism is called nutrients. Nutrients consist of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins and minerals.
Food is not only to be consumed, digested and absorbed but should be useful for various functioning of the body. Thus food and nutrition in turn play a prominent role in providing health. Food is essential because it contains substances which perform different important functions in our body. These essential substances derived from our food are called nutrients.
“Nutrients are small chemical components of food that are needed by the body in adequate amounts in order to grow reproduce and lead a normal healthy life.”
Nutrients are defined as the constituents of food which help us to maintain our body functions, to grow and to protect our organs. The human body requires 19 vitamins and 24 mineral elements for various day-to-day activities.
Nutrients can be classified as macro nutrients and micro nutrients. Both are extremely important for our body as each nutrient has a specific role.
· Macro nutrients like carbohydrate, proteins, fats supply energy in large quantities to the body and build tissues.
· Micro Nutrients like vitamins and minerals are needed in small quantity but they play a crucial role to regulate and control body processes.
· Water and Fibre is the overall vital nutrient that sustains all our life processes.
Nutrients provide nutrition to the body as such or after digestion. All these have a definite role and are obtained from different food products.
Nutrition is the quantitative science which deals with the accounts of nutrients contributed by different foods and action of each in the functioning of the body.