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Nutrition

Updated: Apr 2

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What is nutrition?


Nutrition allows living organisms (including humans) to grow, repair and maintain their bodies. The nutrition process includes the following:


  • Food intake

  • Absorption

  • Assimilation

  • Biosynthesis

  • Catabolism

  • Excretion


Furthermore, foods that we intake include the following nutrients:


  • Carbohydrates

  • Fats

  • Fiber

  • Minerals

  • Proteins

  • Vitamins

  • Water


Food intake


The amount of food you intake decides whether or not you will gain weight. This closely correlates to the amount of exercise an individual does. It's simple science really. If you intake more calories than you expend, you will gain weight. Similarly, If you intake fewer calories than you burn, you will lose weight.


Absorption


Absorption is the process of digestion. When food is consumed, the body must break these insoluble compounds into more suitable water-based soluble food particles. Digestion is broken up into two parts; mechanical and chemical digestion.


Assimilation


In biology, assimilation is a combination of two processes. Beginning with the process of absorption of vitamins, minerals, and other chemicals from food. In humans and the majority of mammals, this is done through chewing (mastication) and stomach acid (enzymes). Secondly, the absorbed food reaches the cells via the liver.


Biosynthesis


The process of constructing complex compounds from smaller units. These compounds are called macromolecules.


Catabolism


The process by which compounds are broken down into smaller units, ready for oxidation to release energy. Catabolism provides the chemical energy that is necessary for the maintenance and growth of living cells.


Excretion


The removal of waste product in living organisms. In humans, waste product (ejecta) is removed via urine and feces. This process is essential for life as waste is a byproduct of food intake.


Carbohydrates


Carbohydrates, sometimes known as 'carbs' consist of starches, sugars and fibers that are found in grains, vegetables, dairy and fruits. Carbohydrates are classified as a macronutrient. This is one of the three ways the body can gather energy to execute catabolism.


Fats


Fats are essential for a balanced diet. They act as an insulator and protect your organs from external damage. They also help regulate body temperature which is essential, especially if you live somewhere cold! A gram of fat has 9 calories compared to carbohydrates and protein which only have 4.


Fiber


This nutrient aids the digestion process and helps regulate bowel movements. Fiber also aids the regulation of blood sugar and improves overall heart health. Fiber can reduce the chance that you will be diagnosed with cancer and will improve overall longevity.


Vitamins & Minerals


These are essential for the regulation of many bodily functions. A few examples include:


  • Vitamin A - Supports eyesight and the immune system.

  • Vitamin D - Supports the strengthening of bone.

  • Calcium - Important for healthy bones and teeth

  • Magnesium - Needed for making protein and muscle contractions


Proteins


A macronutrient that is essential for building muscle mass and repairing torn muscles after strenuous exercise. Protein is comprised of amino acids which contribute to the building blocks of life. The average amount of protein required for an average person is 2 grams for every kilo of bodyweight, any more than this returns deteriorating results.


Water


Water is essential for all life that we are currently aware of. Water maintains body temperature (through sweating) and ensures that other bodily functions work as intended. Without water, most people won't last a week until death.


The Takeaway


Nutrition is an important part of life. It regulates the majority of your body and ensures that you operate properly. It's crazy the difference you feel when you have a proper nutrition plan. You have a huge amount of energy compared to a junk food diet.

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