Role of Nutrition in Maintaining Health
The role of nutrition in the human body is supporting growth and a stronger immune system. Individuals gain these nutrients by following a healthy diet.
Human beings need a balanced proportion of seven vital nutrients: protein, minerals, fats, vitamins, fibre, carbohydrates, and water. Typically, these nutrients perform a specific task in maintaining metabolic functions of the body. Are you curious about the role of nutrition in maintaining health?
Keep scrolling to find a detailed explanation on the said topic.
Why Do Human Beings Need a Nutritious Diet?
Adequate nutrition is the key to sustainable growth through all stages of life. The role of nutrition begins from the embryo stage, where cellular formation occurs. This is the reason why doctors suggest pregnant women consume fresh fruits and vegetables rich in micronutrients.
Lack of a nutritious diet can lead to foetal death or functional changes in neonatal organs. This issue is widely known as malnutrition. Moreover, the baby born has a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and poor organ function.
Nutrient deficiency in adults can cause severe issues like mental imbalance, stress, poor eyesight, higher risk of infectious disease and lower lifespan. Hence, the choice of the right food and proportional quantity becomes crucial.
Here is an explanation of the importance of nutrition in health upkeeping.
The Role of 7 Nutritions on Human Health
As discussed above, the seven nutrients work together to maintain the overall development of cells and muscles in the human body. Take a look at the role of nutrition in the health and prevention of diseases discussed below. Having a brief idea about their functions would aid an individual to plan a diet chart that combines the benefits of these elements together.
Proteins are small groups of molecules that form amino acids in the body. These molecules support muscle and enzyme formation. Proteins are also crucial for hormonal balance in the body. Scientifically, there are nearly twenty amino acids in the body where ten are absorbed from the diet.
These amino acids generate new proteins, which repair muscle, skin and other tissues. Proteins also help balance body fluids, fight infection and carry oxygen through the blood. Food items like red meat, eggs, dairy, beans and nuts are rich sources of protein.
Carbohydrates, also known as carbs or saccharides, perform six major functions. They regulate blood glucose and offer energy to the body. Carbs prevent ketosis by breaking down the fatty acids. Moreover, they build macromolecules like RNA, DNA and ATP in the body.
Food items like rice, noodles, bread, grain-based products, etc., are rich sources of carbs. Consuming complex carbohydrates can keep an individual fuller for a long time and help an individual in managing body weight.
Fats store the converted energy and supply it to the body. Typically, the fats store far greater amounts of energy in a reduced space. The body uses fat to absorb vitamins and protects organs from damage. Fats are known to keep the body warm and energetic.
Food items containing low saturated fat include butter, seafood, cheese, coconut oil, chocolate, etc. Including these items in a diet would support healthy living.
Minerals are micronutrients that help in the composition of bone, tissues, teeth, muscles and nerves. They help in the formation of vital body fluids, including blood, for bodily function. Minerals also play a significant role in maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system, supporting healthy nerve function, and regulating muscle tone. Sodium, chloride, magnesium, sulfur, phosphorus and calcium are examples of minerals needed in one’s body.
Dietary fibres are a form of carbohydrates that help in digestion. It helps in removing the toxic waste from the digestive system and regulates bowel movement. Soluble fibres lower the low-density lipoprotein, thereby reducing the blood cholesterol levels. It can also slow the absorption of sugar and prevent diabetes.
Scientifically, high fibre foods are more filling, which aids in weight management as well. Wheat, nuts, beans, peas, legumes, vegetables, wholemeal bread, etc., are examples of fibre-rich foods.
Vitamins are essential nutrients that the body needs in small amounts. They are grouped as water-soluble and fat-soluble. Fat-soluble vitamins D, A, E and K easily travel through the kidneys and get excreted.
On the other hand, folate, riboflavin, vitamin C, vitamin B12, vitamin B6, niacin and thiamin are water-soluble vitamins stored in the body’s cells. The body needs vitamins to support metabolic function and nerve functioning.
They work as antioxidants to remove the free radicals that damage cells. Some vitamins also take care of the immune system, bone and teeth growth, mucous membrane and skin health management.
Every human being needs 2 litres of water per day. It helps in the formation of digestive juices, acts as the basis of blood, urine and sweat. In addition, water is required to regulate body temperature, reduce the risk of cystitis, maintain cell health, lubricate cushion joints, and keep the bladder clean from bacteria. Water keeps the body hydrated and supports healthy skin.
The stated information explains the role of nutrition in health management. However, with the availability of instant food, the demand for nutritious food has significantly reduced.
Following this practice can lead to serious health issues. Some of them are discussed below.
What Are the Health Issues Related to Malnutrition?
Here is a list of health problems related to nutrition absence that needs immediate attention. Individuals should consult a doctor to begin the treatment if any of the following diseases are diagnosed.
Avoiding a nutritious diet can contribute to stress, poor gut health, lower stamina, inflammation, anxiety, skin irritations and more. These problems can give rise to serious issues like insomnia or sleep depravity.
Lack of protein and calories in the diet can lead to Marasmus. The common symptoms include wasted muscles, loss of body weight, body fat depletion.
It is caused due to deficiency of iron in the diet. Anaemia is a common issue in women and girls. It can lead to menstrual and pregnancy issues.
Consuming junk and oily food can increase body weight. Obesity is the primary source of major health issues like diabetes, cardiac diseases, high cholesterol, etc. According to WHO, nearly 1.9 billion adults are overweight or obese.
Lower level of protein intake can lead to Kwashiorkor disease. It causes swelling in the body, especially in the feet, hands, and face. Individuals can also suffer from dry skin and chipping.