Monday, April 9, 2012

Nutrition

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Nutrition is the relationship of foods to the health of the human body. Proper nutrition means that you are receiving enough foods and supplements for the body to function at optimal capacity. It is important to remember that no single nutrient or activity can maintain optimal health and well being, although it has been proven that some nutrients are more important than others. All of


the nutrients are necessary in different amounts along with exercise to maintain proper health.


There are six main types of nutrients used to maintain body health. hey are carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals, and water. They all must be in balance for the body to function properly. There are also five


major food groups. The groups are fats and oils, fruits and vegetables, dairy products, grains, and meats.


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Exercise is also an important part of nutrition. Exercise helps tone and maintains muscle tissue and ensures that the bodys organs stay in good condition. Healthy eating without exercise will not result in good nutrition


and a healthy body - neither will exercise without nutrition. The most important thing about exercise is that it be practiced regularly and that it be practiced in accompaniment with a healthy diet. It is also desirable to


practice more that one sport as different sports exercise different areas of the body. Carbohydrates, proteins, and fats are the sources of energy for the body. The contained energy is expressed in calories. There are calories per gram in fat and there are about 4 calories per gram in proteins and carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are the main source of energy for the body. This energy is mostly


used for muscle movement and digestion of food. Some sources of carbohydrates are grains, fruits, vegetables, and anything else that grows out of the ground. The energy in carbohydrates is almost instantly digested. This results in a quick rise in blood sugar which is soon followed by a drop in blood sugar which is interpreted by the body as a craving for more sugars. This sugar low may also result in fatigue, dizziness, nervousness, and headache. However, not all carbohydrates do this. Most fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains are digested more slowly. Fats, which are lipids, are the source of energy that is the most concentrated. Fats produce more that twice the amount of energy that is in carbohydrates or proteins. Besides having a high concentration of energy, fat acts as a carrier for the fat soluble vitamins, A, D, E, and K. Also, by helping in the absorption of vitamin D, fats help make calcium available to various body tissues, in particular, the bones and teeth. Another function of fat is to convert carotene to vitamin A. Fat also helps keep organs in place by surrounding them in a layer of fat. Fat also surrounds the body in a layer that preserves body temperature and keeps us warm. One other function of fat is to slow the production of hydrochloric acid thereby slowing down digestion and making food last longer. Some sources of fats are meats and nuts as well as just plain oils and fats. Proteins, besides water, are the most plentiful substance in the body. Protein is also one of the most important elements for the health of the body. Protein is the major source of building material in the body and is important in the development and growth of all body tissues. Protein is also needed for the formation of all hormones. It also helps regulate the bodys water balance. When proteins are digested they are broken down into simpler sections called amino acids. However, not all proteins will contain all the necessary amino acids. Most meat and dairy products contain all necessary amino acids in their proteins. Proteins are available from both


plants and animals. However, Animal proteins are more complete and thus


desirable. Knowledge of the nutrients and their function is essential to


understanding the importance of good nutrition. As mentioned above, there are


six nutrients. All vitamins are organic food substances that are found only in


living things, plants and animals. It is believed that there are about twenty


substances that are active as vitamins in human nutrition. Every vitamin is


essential to the proper growth and development of the body. With a few


exceptions, the body cannot make vitamins and must be supplied with them.


Vitamins contain no energy but are important as enzymes which help speed up


nearly all metabolic functions. Also, vitamins are not building components of


body tissues, but aid in the construction of these tissues. It is impossible to


reliably determine the vitamin requirements of an individual because of


differences in age, sex, body size, genetic makeup, and activity. A good source


of a recommendation is the RDA. The RDA makes its recommendations based on


studies of consumption of the given nutrient. On the recommendation it will


usually specify what size diet the recommendation is based on, for example, a


two thousand calorie per day diet. It is harmless to ingest excess of most


vitamins. However, some vitamins are toxic in large amounts. Vitamin A is a fat


soluble vitamin which is only available in two forms. Pre-formed, which is


found in animal tissue. The other is carotene, which can be converted into


Vitamin A by animals. Carotene is found in easily found in carrots as well as


other vegetables. Vitamin A is important to the growth and repair of body


tissues and helps maintain a smooth, soft, and disease free skin. It also helps


protect the mucus membranes of the mouth, nose, throat, and lungs which reduces


the chance of infection. Another function is helping mucus membranes combat the


effects of air pollutants. Vitamin A also protects the soft lining of all the


digestive tract. Another function of vitamin A is to aid in the secretion of


gastric juices. The B complex vitamins have many known sub-types, but they all


are water soluble vitamins. The B vitamins can be cultivated from a variety of


bacteria, yeast, fungi, or molds. They are active in the body by helping the


body convert carbohydrates into glucose, a form of sugar. B vitamins are also


vital in the metabolism of proteins and fats. They are also the single most


important element in the health of the nerves. B vitamins are also essential


for the maintenance of the gastrointestinal tract, the health of the skin, hair,


eyes, mouth, liver, and muscle tone. The intestine contains bacteria that


produce vitamin b but milk-free diets, and taking sulfonamides or antibiotics


can destroy these bacteria. Whole grains contain high concentrations of B


complex vitamins. Also, enriched bread and cereal products contain high


concentrations of B vitamins due to a governmental intervention of the whole


food group to ensure that the nation was getting enough B vitamins Vitamin C,


also known as ascorbic acid, is a water soluble vitamin. It is sensitive to


oxygen and is the least stable of all vitamins. One primary function of


vitamin C is to maintain collagen, a protein necessary for the formation of skin,


ligaments, and bones. Vitamin C also plays a role in healing of burns and


wounds because it aids the formation of scar tissue. It also helps form red


blood cells and prevents hemorrhaging. Another function is to prevent the


disease, scurvy, which used to be seen in sailors because of their lack of


vitamin C in their diet. This was corrected by issuing each sailor one lime per


day which supplied citric acid, a source of vitamin C. Other sources include


broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Strawberries, Oranges, and grapefruits. Vitamin E


is a fat soluble vitamin which is made up of a group of compounds called


tocoherols. There are seven forms of it but the form known as Alpha tocoherols


is the most potent. Tocoherols occur in the highest concentrations in cold


pressed vegetable oils, all whole raw seeds and nuts, and soybeans. Vitamin E


plays an essential role in cellular respiration of all muscles, especially the


cardiac and skeletal. It makes these muscles able to function with less oxygen,


thereby increasing efficiency and stamina. It also is an antioxidant, which


prevents oxidization. This prevents saturated fatty compounds from breaking


down and combining to form toxic compounds. Minerals are nutrients that exist


in the body and in organic and inorganic combinations. There are approximately


seventeen minerals that are necessary in human nutrition. Although only about


four or five percent of the body weight is mineral matter, minerals are


important to overall mental and physical health. All of the bodys tissues and


fluids contain some amount of mineral. Minerals are necessary for proper muscle


function and many other biological reactions in the body. Minerals are also


important in the production of hormones. Another important function of minerals


is to maintain the delicate water balance of the body and to regulate the bloods pH. Physical and emotional stress causes a strain on the bodys supply of minerals. A mineral deficiency often results in illness, which may be treated by the addition of the missing mineral to the diet. Calcium, a primary mineral, is available through dairy products. In order to get all the other minerals, one should eat protein rich foods, seeds, grains, nuts, greens, and limited amounts of salt or salty foods. Nutrition is just one aspect of total


body health. It is important to remember that on must compliment good nutrition


with good exercise and emotional health in order to achieve complete well being.


It is also important to remember that no one part of nutrition will completely


fulfill the bodys requirements for health.





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