Essay On Nutrition – 2000 Words Essay
There are very few topics that people truly care about as much as their diet. We all know that what we eat can have a huge effect on our health, and the health of those around us. Yet, it is hard to know what foods to eat, and how much we should be eating of them. This article aims to answer some common questions about food consumption in order to better inform you for when you are making your next grocery list and going through the drive-thru at fast-food joints…
What is nutrition?
Nutrition is simply a word for “the science of food” or another way of saying “what we consume”. It encompasses any and all aspects of the food we eat. The most common area of nutrition is dietetics, which deals with the science of eating; the second-largest area is biochemistry, which deals with how our body processes food and using the energy from consumed food; it handles issues such as what to eat and how much. The final subject is microbiology, which studies bacteria and other microorganisms.
The most important part about nutrition for survival is that our bodies are very good at regulating what we eat, even if it means not eating anything but water. Most people in general know this from personal experience. If you don’t eat anything at all, your body would most likely survive just fine. That is what starvation mode is for, and it comes into play when one is needing to be in a far-lasting survival situation.
What we do not have control over are the diseases of the body, which are caused by invading microorganisms. This area, known as pathology, has its own literature or disciplines such as infectious disease; immunology; biochemistry… It’s a very complicated topic for sure.
How much should I be eating?
There are no real regulations on how much you can consume per day in general, and many people will disagree with me on this. For example, fast-food restaurants will give you a completely different answer than that of chefs at gourmet restaurants.
To start with, your body will tell you exactly how much to eat. Your stomach will tell you when it is full if you are listening. Another method would be to say that one should eat until satisfied, not to overstuff oneself. If your body says stop eating or that it’s time for the next meal already, listen to it! This just means your body knows what it needs at the time and where the most important energy-giving foods should be used for; therefore don’t mess with it unless there is a reason such as a disease or starvation mode.
As I mentioned above, there are no real regulations on how much we should be eating. It’s all about your own body, it’s needs, and your own personal experience. I would say though, that anything between 1/4 to 1/2 of each person’s daily calories should be from fruits and vegetables. Anything over this would probably be excess, but if you’re not used to eating a lot of these foods (or you don’t like them) then they may taste awful and are unnecessary for your healthy diet plan.
Fruits and vegetables
There is a huge difference in what people think of fruits versus vegetables. Fruits are varieties that grow on trees (except grapefruits which do as well). A few examples are apples, oranges, pineapples, lemons, oranges, and grapefruits. Fruits are good because they are concentrated sources of energy. They have a lot of vitamins and nutrients that your body needs. All fruits also contain water (as do vegetables), therefore getting enough water will help you stay healthy as well.
When I say vegetables, the first thing that comes to most people’s mind are things like carrots or broccoli; however, vegetables can be as varied as one would like. They can be in the form of seeds (many grains), such as corn, peanuts (which are NOT nuts), or beans (such as lentils). They can be leaves (like lettuce), cores (like potatoes or beets), stems (like corn, celery, or onions) or roots (such as carrots, sweet potatoes, or parsnips). They can also be things like chives, cilantro, and many other herbs. Some vegetables are sometimes called “roots” instead of being named as a type of vegetable for example tomatoes and squash.
What I am trying to say is that there is no such thing as a good fruit vs. bad vegetable debate in survival; it’s all about what you feel comfortable eating and which tastes better to you. Also keep in mind that you can eat these foods in many different ways such as stews or soups. They can also be used as toppings for other foods such as bread, or things such as pizza (just remember that they still aren’t healthy).
Some examples of fruits are apples, strawberries, lemons, and blackberries. Some examples of vegetables are applesauce (which is just fruit), carrots, broccoli, celery, onions, peppers (such as jalapenos, mushrooms), corn (of course), tomatoes… there are many more.
What are the best fruits and vegetables to eat?
These will give you the most nutrients/energy per calorie; therefore if you’re not eating these kinds of foods from nature then you’ll have a very hard time getting enough nutrition. For example, bananas are a good source of potassium and vitamins B6 and C. They also contain a bunch of fiber for your stomach that helps you feel full. They also have a lot of calories and are very cheap, so they can be eaten all day without gaining too much weight (some people even say this is a good way to lose weight).
The best fruits to eat are probably oranges, bananas, pears, and dried apricots. They aren’t crazy amounts of fruit though so if you happen to be brought up with other types it may take some getting used to. The best vegetables to eat are probably tomatoes, carrots, and asparagus; however celery is a low-calorie vegetable that tastes great (most people hate the flavor of celery so I’d suggest getting a few stalks if you plan on eating them).
You don’t need to know every nutritional value of the foods you eat. However knowing how many calories are in the food and its nutrient content can help you make better choices of what to eat. For example, let’s say you find a peach that tastes very good and it’s about the same price as a banana when you’re out in the stores or picking your own. The banana has more calories in it, but is also higher in other vitamins/minerals than a peach (it is not a deal-breaker though; it just means you should choose what suits you best).
Malnourishment, or malnutrition, is the condition that results from a lack of a certain nutrient or sufficient amount of nutrients. Some nutrients such as vitamin A, B6 and C are stored in the body and are unavailable for use unless they have been consumed. To make matters worse, some of these nutrients are water-soluble and are lost through sweating, urination, or defecation. Malnutrition can cause increased susceptibility to disease and leads to a decreased working capacity (ability to concentrate), which may affect the quality of life.
Malnutrition is more common in less developed countries than in developed countries. In fact, one out of six children aged 5–59 months worldwide is estimated to be undernourished.
Malnourishment may be caused by:
-a low-protein diet from a lack of meat; or insufficient protein in the diet.
-an exclusive focus on indigestible foods like juice, or artificial “diets”.
-too much sugar/sugar substitutes (honey, soft drinks, jams) in the diet instead of more nutritious foods like nuts and seeds.
A deficiency of nutrient will cause you to feel hungry, tired, and/or dizzy. It can also cause your skin or hair to look pale and porous. A lack of certain nutrients in your body may also cause you to think you’re not getting enough energy if it’s causing you to be exhausted or lethargic all the time. You may also start to have a delayed growth rate such as development being slow or stunted. Also, there is a large risk of depression because junk-foods/peanut butter sandwiches, etc all contain unhealthy fats which create stress hormones that people use up at an alarming rate and can result in mood swings (in some cases even “psycho-sis”).
How to avoid malnourishment
First off, find out what foods you should eat and what foods you shouldn’t. Keep in mind that not all of these foods are ‘bad’, they’re just not particularly healthy. Examples of ‘good’ foods are:
-oats (or any rich, grainy cereal, like wheat or rice)
-healthy carbohydrate sources (popped quinoa, boiled sweet potato, baked potato)
-low-fat dairy products (cottage cheese/yogurt/ice cream)
-salty vegetables (lettuce, cucumber)
Examples of ‘not so good foods’ are high-fat proteins/chips/bread etc.
A reasonable way to avoid malnutrition would be to check out the food pyramid from your local government, or from a website such as Wikipedia. Remember to look at their suggestions in terms of amounts of servings per day, and remember that if you’re trying to lose weight then you should cut down on the amount of food you eat.
Last but not least: remember that a balanced diet is one that contains foods from all 5 groups (vegetable, fruits, dairy, healthy carbohydrates, and meats) of the food pyramid. This will ensure that you’re getting all the nutrients you need properly.
Nutrients and their role in the body
Most people think that food just has energy in it; however, this is not true. In fact, food can have many, many different things besides just energy as well such as vitamins (like A, etc.), essential fatty acids (like omega-3s), minerals (calcium, etc.). If your diet is missing any of these nutrients then it will inevitably lead to some kind of deficiency. The most common types are sodium deficiency, potassium deficiency… Try taking one thing each day and try adding it into your diet (i.e. add some salt to your food if you eat a lot of processed food/rice to your diet), and if nothing else just try it out. It’s actually quite fun!
How to get extra nutrition from the foods you eat
The good news is that you can get most (if not all) of your essential nutrients from a plant-based diet. The bad news is, however, that to get complete nutrition with all of them, we have to pay attention to the smaller number of calories in foods and be concerned with how well the food provides us with sufficient energy. Depending on what’s important for each person, you may have to make some adjustments in your daily diet which may involve eating less/more or skipping some days of food altogether. There are also ways of getting even more nutrients, such as supplementing through capsules or powders, but that is beyond the scope of this article and requires more research.
Nutrition and health are linked, and both are based on energy. Food provides energy through calories and nutrients. The calories from the food you eat determine how many calories you will get from a meal or, in other words, how much energy you will get (after all, food is what gives us energy). Nutritionists often refer to calories as kilocalories (kcal or kcal). In order for us to function properly and stay healthy, we need an appropriate number of calories every day depending on our activity levels. This is called energy balance (or caloric balance). The amount of nutrients in our food also determines how healthily we eat. If a person consumes more calories than he burns off, then he gains weight with this excess amount stored as fat cells. But if food does not supply enough calories, he or she will be hungry and unable to absorb the calories from the food that is consumed.
Why does nutrition matter?
Eating a balanced and nutritious diet is important because it can improve your health, as well as your ability to get through survival situations should one happen. A good diet helps people feel healthier and has been shown to reduce the risk of certain diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease, as well as being important for healthy development in children. In fact, the risk of dying from any cause halved when people were eating a healthy diet that included plenty of fruit and vegetables. Incorporating fruit and vegetables into a healthy diet helps people to reduce their risk of heart disease, cancer, and stroke. Eating a varied diet is important for many other reasons too; it helps you get all the vitamins that your body needs, as well as giving you the energy that your body needs to function properly. There are also other ways in which your diet can affect your health that aren’t related to nutrition or may involve foods such as alcohol, smoking, or stress. But most importantly these factors are all linked with health and should be kept in mind when choosing what you eat.
Health is wealth so take care of yourself!