What is nutrition? Why is nutrition important? Nutrition, nourishment, or aliment, is the supply of materials - food - required by organisms and cells to stay alive. In science and human medicine, nutrition is the science or practice of consuming and utilizing foods (MNT, 2014). A nutrient is a source of nourishment, an ingredient in a food, e.g. protein, carbohydrate, fat, vitamin, mineral, fiber and water. Macronutrients are nutrients we need in relatively large quantities. Micronutrients are nutrients we need in relatively small quantities (MNT, 2014). The six common substances that are known to be essential for the human body to function properly are carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, vitamins, minerals, simple sugars and water.
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Amino acids are organic compounds that contain carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen. Amino acids help with the growth and repair of the body tissue and to make hormones, enzymes, and antibodies. An individual’s daily protein depends on several factors, such as: age, sex, weight, muscular exertion, muscle mass, and health. (Permacology, 2013) A vitamin is an organic compound required by an organism as a vital nutrient in limited amounts. The great differences in their chemical composition, origin in nature, and divergence in nutritive and other physiological functions (LAB-AIDS INC., 2012). Vitamin C is widely distributed in the nature with many plants and all known mammals except primates and the guinea pig (LAB-AIDS INC., 2012).
A mineral is an element or chemical compound that is normally crystalline and that has been formed as a result of geological processes” (Nickel, E. H., 1995). Minerals are needed for the formation of hormones, enzymes and other body substances. If the body lacks in minerals, our bodies can be affected. Iron is needed for the formation of hemoglobin and Iodine is needed for the thyroid. Chlorine is needed for the information of the hydrochloric acid in the stomach. Minerals are used by the body in the form ions (LAB-AIDS INC., 2012).
The body needs these substances to functions and without anyone of these elements our bodies wouldn’t work properly.