First of all we want to know what is the relation ship between Nutrition and Nutrient. Nutrition meaning is the process by which food is taken in and utilized by the body .
Nutrients means the chemical substances present in food and are responsible for nourishing the body.
Food provides nourishment to the body and enables it to stay fit and healthy. The food that we eat undergoes many processes, like, first the food is digested, then it is absorbed into blood and transported to various parts of the body where it is utilized. The waste products and undigested food are excreted from the body.
So finally NUTRITION = Eating Digestion Absorption Transportation Utilization
Nutrients are of two types:1. Macro nutrients
2. Micro nutrients
Both macro nutrients and the micro nutrients are equally essential for good health. Each nutrient plays a significant role in the body.
These are present in large quantities in foods and are also required in large amounts by the body.
Carbohydrates, proteins, fats and oils are macro nutrients.
Carbohydrates are present in a large quantity as starch in cereals, legumes, pulses and potatoes. They are present as simple carbohydrates in sugar, jaggary, fruits, honey and milk. Starch and sugars are easily digested and provide energy to the body.
Functions of carbohydrates :
Carbohydrates provide energy Carbohydrates are the main source of energy , Carbohydrates spare proteins for body building function Dietary fiber increases the bulk in stool and helps in defecation
Protein are needed in the body for body building.
Proteins are made up of smaller units known as amino acids. There are all together 22 amino acids, out of which there are 8 amino acids which our body needs.
(i) Needed for growth, maintenance and repair of tissues.
(ii) Necessary for production of enzymes, hormones, antibodies, heamoglobin, etc.
(iii) Help in the clotting of blood (iv) Provide energy, if necessary
Fats and Oils:
Fats and oils are the concentrated source of energy in our diet. 1 gm of fat gives 9 kcal of energy. Fats are made up of small units called fatty acids. The nature of fats is dependent on the type of fatty acids present. Fatty acids may be saturated or unsaturated. Saturated fatty acids are found in solid fats whereas oils contain more of unsaturated fatty acids. Vegetable oils are rich in unsaturated fatty acids.
Functions of fats and oils :
(i) Provide concentrated source of energy
(ii) Reduce the use of proteins for energy
(iii) Carry fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K) into the body and help in the absorption of these vitamins
(iv) Help to maintain body temperature. The layer of fat under the skin helps to conserve body heat
(v) Act as a cushion to certain vital organs
(vi) Help in growth of tissues
Other important nutrients which are present in small quantities in foods but are essential for our body are called micro nutrients. These are minerals and vitamins and are required in very small quantities. If these micro nutrients are not eaten in required amounts, it results in deficiency diseases.
Our body contains very little quantity of vitamins, however, you will be surprised to know that they are responsible for all the major functions of the body. These vitamins are of two types: (i) Fat soluble: A,D,E and K (ii) Water soluble: B and C
Minerals constitute a very small amount of the total body tissues. However, these are essential for many vital processes and also for the maintenance of the body. In total, there are about 19 minerals required by the body in various amounts.
Water is the major constituent of our body. It forms about two-thirds of the body weight. We can do without food more readily than water.
It is present in all the cells, being a vital part of all living tissues. It surrounds tissues and organs, and gives protection from shock. Water helps in digestion, absorption and
transportation of nutrients in the body.
It helps to excrete unwanted materials in the form of urine and maintains body temperature through perspiration. Normally, we need to drink 6-8 glasses of water everyday. Other forms in which we can receive water are milk, juice, kanji, etc.