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Importance of Nutrition
A living organism is the product of nutrition. A human being requires more than fifty different nutrients for its well- being. Food materials ingested by the body are digested, absorbed and metabolised. A number of foodstuffs have to be selected to get all the nutrients. The health of a person depends on the type and quantity of the foodstuff that is choosen in his/her diet.
Optimum nutrition is required to maintain good health. There are certain signs of good nutrition. In addition, nutrition is concerned with social, economic, cultural and psychological implications of food and eating.
Thus we come to know that “Nutrition functionally means food at work”.
The two main functions of nutrition are:
1. To provide material for growth and repair of tissues that eventually maintains the basic structure of our body.
2. To support the body with the energy required to perform all metabolic activities.
Nutrients are essential elements required for the normal functioning of our body. Nutrients when taken in excess or its deficiency results in over nutrition, malnutrition and under nutrition. Different types of nutrition are shown in the following chart.
Good nutrition: “Good nutrition is the state in which a person gets all the nutrients in correct amount and proportion and some nutrients are stored in the body after meeting all the body requirements”. This is known as optimum or adequate nutrition and it helps to maintain good health. Thus nutrients from food sources enable one to keep fit and maintain health. These substances include energy which gives the capacity to work, proteins which form our body muscles, bones, blood, organs, skin, hair and nervous tissues. Food supplies minerals and vitamins which protect our organs and regulate their functions and other physiological processes.
Malnutrition: Malnutrition means an undesirable quantity and kind of nutrition. Malnutrition is that state of ill-health which may be caused by the deficiency or excess of one or more essential nutrients in the body. Unhealthy environment also causes malnutrition. Physical, mental and intellectual well-being of a person is affected due to malnourishment.
A malnourished person is physically, mentally, socially and emotionally sick is of two types:
a. Under nutrition
b. Over nutrition
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