Hello friends, as you all know nutrition is the key for a good health. In this article, I am empowering you with the knowledge about Nutrition, Nutritional Deficiency diseases, Malnutrition and related statics.
Also, I will clear your understanding on few important doubts like Why should we focus on it? What does it play role in our body? How is it dangerous if we ignore it in our lifestyle?
What is Nutrition?
In simple way, it can be define as “A process of providing all essential value containing foods to the body in optimal quantity.“
We can say “Nutrition is nourishment of the body cells by required amount of nutrients.”
What is a nutrient?
A nutrient is a substance required to survive, grow, and reproduce by the cells of any organism.
Nutrients are required in small quantity. It is important for biological functions in our body.
Why Nutrition is important:
I think this question is clear in the definition. Cells are the smallest unit of our body. Cells make tissue and tissue makes organ and organ makes the whole body. So, if a cell will survive and grow well then our body will automatically be in a healthy condition.
Proper nutrition maintains many function of our body like blood pressure, high cholesterol and Reduce risk of heart disease, stroke, cancers and osteoporosis. It also improves immune system, well being and energy level of our body.
You get energy, protein, essential fat, vitamins and different minerals from the food. These all things are important to live, grow and function properly.
Nutritional requirement can different for different person. It depends upon various factors like age, physical measurements, activity level, diseases etc.
What, If we ignore Nutrition in our lifestyle?
Ignoring a proper nutritional diet is like you are ignoring the importance of fuel in your car or ignoring charging your cell phone on time or using continuously your hand watch without considering winding it on time and many more examples of things which you think is important and you cannot live without.
Now, think how you will enjoy your favorite things if your body will not be able to support you. Lack of proper nutrition may leads to certain type of malnutrition.
Nutritional deficiency is not having enough quality food to eat. Malnutrition results from poor diet or inability to absorb nutrients.
Types of nutrients:
Mainly, nutrients can be divided into two categories-
1. Macro nutrients
2. Micro nutrients
1. Macro nutrients:
Macro nutrients are required in a bit large amount (mostly measured in mg) to the body. We all required three major macro nutrients which are-
a. Carbohydrates (Sugar or starches):
It is also known as Saccharides or Carbs. Carbs are chain of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. They provide around 4 calories/gm.
For most organisms, they are major food source and a key form of energy. We get Carbs mainly from grains, fruits and vegetables. Again, it is divided into 4 types-
I will go into details later in the dedicated article for carbs.
It is also known as Triglycerides. They provide 9 calories/gm. Fat is the most energy-dense macro nutrient found in foods.
We get fats mainly from Avocado, Cheese, Whole eggs, nuts, Chia seeds and Fatty fish.
Our body stores energy in the form of fat. It is divided as below-
I. Saturated fat
II. Unsaturated fat
- Cis fat
- Trans fat
Major Macro nutrient which required in structural components of body tissues such as muscle and hair. They provide 4 calories/gm.
We mainly get Protein from Meat, chicken, fish, eggs, beans, soy foods, nuts and seeds. Proteins are made of amino acids. Amino acids are of two types-
I. Essential amino acids
II. Non- Essential amino acids
No need to tell you about water, we all know our body is made of 60 to 70 % of water. Water is a universal solvent. The body requires 1 to 7 liters of water per day to avoid dehydration. It depends upon body size, activity temperature, humidity and other factors.
Most of the specialist agrees to drink 4-6 liter water per day to keep your body hydrated.
We also take water from various foods, beverages and other supplements, so you cannot tell exact amount of water required directly to our body.
2. Micro nutrients:
These are substance required in trace (little) amount for normal growth and development of living organisms. Micro nutrients are vital to disease prevention, development and well being.
Usually not produced in body, hence this requirement must be completed from diet. These are dietary components mainly divided as below-
I. Fat soluble vitamins-Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin K
II. Water soluble vitamins- Vitamins B1 to B12, Vitamin C
I. Minerals required in larger amount- Calcium, Sodium, Potassium, Magnesium, Chlorine and Phosphorus
II. Minerals required in smaller amount- Iron, Copper, Iodine, Zinc, Boron, Cobalt, Chromium, Selenium, Molybdenum and Manganese
People generally think that malnutrition is only deficiency of nutrition but, as per WHO,
“Malnutrition refers to deficiencies, excesses or imbalances in a person’s intake of energy and/or nutrients. The term malnutrition covers 2 broad groups of conditions. One is ‘undernutrition’ includes low height, low weight, underweight etc and the other is overweight, obesity and diet-related noncommunicable diseases such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer.”
The World Health Organization estimate that more than 2 billion people suffer from micro nutrient deficiency globally.
“Malnutrition affects people in every country. Around 1.9 billion adults worldwide are overweight, while 462 million are underweight. An estimated 41 million children under the age of 5 years are overweight or obese, while some 159 million are stunted and 50 million are wasted. Adding to this burden are the 528 million or 29% of women of reproductive age around the world affected by anaemia, for which approximately half would be amenable to iron supplementation.”
Statics graph credit: unicef
Nutritional Deficiency Diseases:
- Rickets: It Occurred due to deficiencies of Vitamin D along with Calcium and Potassium. Characterized by soft and weak bones, bowed leg and bone deformity. Same applied for osteoporosis as well.
How to avoid it: Eat Fish, dairy products, oil and take sunlight.
- Beri Beri: Lack of vitamin B1 or Thiamine in body causes this disease. Wet Beri Beri and dry Beri Beri these are the two types of it which we will discuss later.
Wet Beri Beri affects heart and circulatory system and Dry Beri Beri affects the nerves and can lead to decreased in muscle strentgth.
How to avoid it: Eat Meat, eggs, whole grains and dried beans.
- Pellagra: Occurred due to lack of Vitamin B3 i.e. Niacin. Its symptoms are inflamed skin, dementia, diarrhea, dementia or sometimes death.
How to avoid it: Eat Tuna, whole grains, peanuts, mushrooms and chicken.
- Scurvy: When level of vitamin C or ascorbic acid alarmingly decreased, Scurvy developed. Scurvy inhibits the production of collagen which is a protein that connects the tissues.
How to avoid it: Eat citrus fruits like oranges, lemon, strawberry and broccoli regularly.
- Night Blindness: It happens because of lack of vitamin A.
To avoid it, eat carrots, green and leafy vegetables, cantaloupes.
- Goitre: Deficiency of Iodine causes goitre.
To avoid it eat iodinated salt and salt water fish which are rich source of iodine.
- Iron deficiency anaemia: It is caused by lack of Iron in body. Lack of iron in body leads to decrease in Red blood Cells (RBC) or haemoglobin count.
To avoid it eat Spinach and all green leafy Vegetables, meat, chicken, eggs, and fish.
Friends, even if you are busy in your daily lifestyle one thing you can’t ignore that is nutrition. Because, it is basic necessary to keep your body functioning well.
Just keep in mind that Nutrition is a basic thing required throughout your life.
Do your best in nutrition intake process. Now what does this means?
It means that whenever possible; try to consume sensible food which will provide you a good nutrition.
Instead of junk food (which has only calories but not good nutrients) try to eat nutritional food.
For example you can consume Jaggery which contains more nutrients than refined sugar because of its molasses content.
I know we all like to eat junk food because it attracts us, sometimes because of the situation we have to eat it. For a treat to our tongue you can eat them sometimes rarely, but don’t eat junk food frequently as it will harm to your health. Also you should keep an eye on the ingredients and cooking place (best is homemade).
For good nutrition eat optimum Vegetables, Pulses, grains, sprouts, dry fruits, seasonal fruits, drink milk and Non-veg.
Non-veg diet depends on choice or you can avoid if you are a vegetarian as many celebrities also prefer to be vegetarian. Check our article on Vidyut Jammwal.
I will cover it soon in detail in my coming article of “daily diet plan”. Do subscribe our newsletter for regular update direct in your inbox.
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