Food is an essential substance to maintain life. We need it to gain the energy we need to perform our everyday tasks. Furthermore, it helps our bodies grow, as well as acquire nutrients to fight diseases. That is why food is vital for our survival – ever since prehistoric times, people took efforts to hunt for food.
However, in contrast to some belief, not all food will give us the same benefits and nutrients to maintain a healthy body. Instead of helping our body grow and stay fit, some food would be the main cause for us to acquire diseases – especially when not consumed moderately.
In our modern world, we are all exposed to various kinds of food. Despite the incredible taste of the variety of food on the market, it is unfortunate that not all of them have the proper nutrients required to maintain a healthy body. And with the advancement of many food industries is also the rise of what we call ‘junk foods.’
During the invention of the variety of processed foods, people were still unaware of the various health-threats it could cause. Throughout the years, several symptoms started to show, which concerned human health.
These are only some of the reasons why scientists also take measures in understanding the nutrients found in the food we eat. Interestingly, the studies conducted by scientists are part of a branch of medical and health sciences. Although it has its relation to biology, it is categorized under medical and health sciences since it covers more specific topics about our health.
In this article, we are going to look into the more in-depth definition of nutrition and how it is important to our lives. Furthermore, what is its history and how did it evolve into the stage that it is in our modern world.
What is Nutrition?
For starters, nutrition is the science of food and nourishment. It is a branch of medical and health sciences devoted to the study of nutrients and other substances found in food and its effects on the maintenance, growth, reproduction, health, and disease of an organism. With this said, we can say that nutrition is not only centered on human health but also in other organisms, such as animals.
One of the fundamental principles of nutrition is that the food we eat represents our diet. Meaning to say, having a healthy diet heavily influences a healthy body, and for us to do this, we must consider several factors, such as preparing and storing our food. We should also be aware of the seven major human nutrients, which include carbohydrates, fats, fiber, minerals, proteins, vitamins, and water.
Why is Nutrition Important?
Nutritionists are the scientists who focus on the science of nutrition, and it is their duty to study the various nutrients found mainly in the food we eat. One of the main reasons why nutrition is vital in our society is the lack of nutrients people eat. Not consuming ample amounts of nutrients from the food we eat may lead to nutrient deficiency.
Nutrient deficiency, from the name itself, is caused by the lack of nutrients in the body. It is often a result of improper diet, which could lead to serious health problems. One of the most common nutrient deficiency around the globe is iron deficiency. Furthermore, having low amounts of iron in our bodies could lead to anemia, which is known for causing fatigue, weakness, as well as many other symptoms.
Other health problems caused by nutrition deficiency are blindness, scurvy, preterm birth, stillbirth, and cretinism. Even though lacking nutrition could be a problem, consuming excess amounts might not be a good option as well. Similar to nutrient deficiency, nutrient excess also has health-threatening conditions that could cause harm to our bodies. Some of these conditions include obesity, wherein 2016 data shows that thirteen percent of the world’s adult population was obese.
Besides these, there are many other factors related to human nutrition, as well as the nutrition of other organisms. Over the years, nutritionists are continuously conducting studies to gain a deeper understanding of how our foods affect our bodies. Furthermore, it could help us prevent health-threatening diseases, as well as improve our health altogether.