Nutrition is very important for healthy living. Complete nuterition includes macronutrients and micronutrients. Nutrition is the way in which you consume food or liquids, digest them and use them for health and growth. WHO is also very concerned about nutrition for children. Also, nutrition is a three-part process i.e. consumption, digestion and circulation of the food. Check out nutrition food chart or human body nutrition chart

Nutrition definition

Nutrition is the process in which you consume food or nourishing liquids, digest and absorb them and use them for health and growth.

Nutrients Synonym

Generally, food and nutrition are considered synonyms to each other which is improper. In fact food is a mixture of various substances which are essential for life whereas nutrition is a dynamic process in which body is made healthy by the consumption of food. So the synonyms of nutrients are fortified, dietary, dietetic.

Types of nutrients

On the basis of the amount of nutrients required by the human body they are classified in the following two categories.

  1. Macronutrients
  2. Micronutrients

Macronutrients :

Macronutrients are those nutrients which are required in large amounts.

  1. Carbohydrates :
  2. Carbohydrates are the most important source of energy. They contain elements of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. The ratio between hydrogen and oxygen in carbohydrates is 2 : 1 like water. Carbohydrates are major component of macronutrients. These compounds are important for different digestive functions in our body. Carbohydrates are of two types:

    sources of carbohydrates

    Types of Carbohydrates

    1. simple carbohydrates
    2. These are soluble in water and sweet in taste. The sources of simple carbohydrates are milk, sugar, jam, vegetables, fruits etc.

    3. Complex carbohydrates
    4. These are insoluble in water and not sweet in taste. The sources of complex carbohydrates are cereals, pulses, vegetables etc.

    Functions of Carbohydrates

    Carbohydrates have various functions in human body as given below:

    1. They provide energy for working muscles.
    2. It provide fuel for central nervous system.
    3. They help enabling fat metabolism.
    4. They help preventing protein from being used as energy.

  3. Fats :
  4. Fats are composed of fatty acids. They provide more calories as compared to other constituents of food. They are essential for the absorption of Vitamins like A, D, E and K. They are good source of energy. Fats are important component of our diet and macronutrients. Fats are derived from the following two sources:

    sources of fat

    Sources of Fat

    1. Animal sources
    2. It consists of meat and dairy products such as milk, butter, cheese and egg yolk.

    3. Vegetable sources
    4. It consists of various edible oils of groundnut, mustard, cottonseed, sunflower and coconut.

    Types of Fat

    1. Saturated fat
    2. It is solid at room temperature. It is mostly present in animal foods such as milk, cheese and meat. It is also present in tropical oils such as coconut oil, palm oil etc. Saturated fat can raise your cholesterol level. A healthy diet should have less than 10% calories from saturated fat.

    3. Trans fat
    4. It is a fat that has been changed by process of hydrogenation. It is mostly present in processed foods, snacks, cookies etc. Trans fat can raise your cholesterol level. So, eat as little trans fat as possible to live healthy.

    5. Unsaturated fat
    6. It is liquid at room temperature. It is mostly present in oils from plants. If you eat unsaturated fat instead of saturated fat, it may help to improve your cholesterol level. It is of two types:

      Types of Unsaturated Fat

      1. Mono unsaturated fat
      2. It is mostly present in vegetable oils such as canola, olive and peanut oils. It helps to lower your 'bad' LDL cholesterol and keeps 'good' HDL cholesterol level high.

      3. Poly unsaturated fat
      4. It is mostly present in vegetable oils such a sunflower, soyabean, corn oils etc. It also help to lower your 'bad' LDL cholesterol level.

    Functions of Fat

    Fat has various functions in human body as given below

    1. It maintains skin and hair.
    2. It keeps us warm and give protection to organs.
    3. It is necessary for normal functioning of glandular and eptihelial tissue.
    4. Fat helps in skeletal growth.
    5. It is a storehouse of energy because it can be stored in the body.

  5. Proteins :
  6. Proteins are very important in a balanced diet. The proteins consists of amino acid. Proteins help in growth and building new cells and repair the present ones. Lack of proteins can cause energy deficiency in the body, anaemia, low level of immunity, loss of weight, dry skin and irritability etc. Proteins are major component of macronutrients. There are two main dietary sources of proteins:

    sources of proteins

    Sources of Protein

    1. Animal sources
    2. It consists of meat, fish, egg, milk, cheese etc.

    3. Plant sources
    4. It consists of pulses, cereals, nuts, beans, peas etc.

    Functions/Importance of Protein

    Protein has various functions in human body as given below:

    1. Repair and Maintenance:
    2. Protein is termed the building block of the body and is vital for maintenance of body tissue, including development and repair.

    3. Source of energy:
    4. Protein is major source of energy.

    5. Creation of some Hormones:
    6. Protein is involved in creation of some hormones. These substances help to control body functions that involve the interaction of several organs.

    7. Transportation and storage of molecules:
    8. Protein is an important element that helps in transportation of various molecules.

    9. Antibodies:
    10. Protein forms antibodies that help preventing infection, illness and disease.

  7. Water:
  8. Macronutrients - Importance for us and benefits
    Water is very important element of food or diet. Our blood contains 90% of water. Water helps to regulate nutrients of food in the body cells. It is also very useful for excretion of waste products from the body. Water is also an important component of macronutrients. It regulates the body temperature. A normal person requires 4 to 5 litres of water everyday.

    Functions of Water

    Water has various functions in the human body as given below:
    1. It helps to remove poisonous substances and waste products from the body.
    2. It helps in food digestion.
    3. It helps to form body fluids i.e. plasma of the blood, the lymph and digestive juices.
    4. It protect the bones to become dry and brittle.
    5. It helps to maintain the tissues in a soft and flexible condition.
    6. It helps in blood circulation.
    7. It helps to maintain the body temperature.
    8. It helps to supply mineral salts to the body.

Nutrients and their functions table

WaterTo provide body fluid and to help regulate body temparature.
CarbohydratesAs fuel for energy for body heat and work.
FatsAs fuel for energy and essential fatty acids.
ProteinsFor growth and repair.
MineralsFor developing body tissues and for metabolic processes and protection.
VitaminsFor metabolic processes and protection.
Indigestible and unabsorbable particles, including fibre To form a vehicle for other nutrients, add bulk to the diet, provide a habitat for bacterial flora and assist proper elimination of refuse.

Nutrition summary

So, we can say that all living beings need proper nutrition for maintaining energy in the body for doing work. The food which we eat is known as 'diet'. The energetic food in our diet consist of various types of essential chemicals for our body termed as 'nutrients'. An athlete should take balanced food (proper nutrition), which has all the essential macronutrients like proteins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins etc. We need food (proper nutrition) not only to get the supply of energy, but for the growth and compensation of body also. The broken cells of the body are repaired by the food which we take. Food is also necessary for the formation of new cells. It also regulates the various activities of the body.

Also Read

Anorexia nervosa

Bulimia - An eating disorder
Bulimia - An eating disorder

More you will like

Postural Deformities
Food Supplements, their benefits and harms

Information about health concerned organisations

Canadian Diabetes Association
World Bank
Save the Children
Medical Teams International
Fig Tree Foundation 
World Health Organization
UN Aids
Energy For All


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  1. Very very informative, you cant underestimate the importance of water in ones diet. I 'm quite a lover of peanuts ,lots of protein .

  2. Good post. Very informative content.
    I like this site.

  3. This post is so informative and well researched!


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