Nutrition in Human Beings

Nutrients can be defined as the substances in food that maintain the body and make it work.  Most of what one eats is formed of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.  Some of the vital nutrients that could be taken in smaller amounts are vitamins and minerals along with fibre and water.  Such a diet is called a balanced diet. 

Nutrition in Human Beings

Following are the major nutrients required by the human body:

  • Carbohydrates

Complex carbohydrates, particularly starch, are found in foods such as pasta, bread, rice potatoes, and cereals.  During digestion, starch is broken down to the simple sugar glucose, the body’s main source of energy.

  • Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamins and Minerals are required in minute amounts and are essential for maintaining a strong immunity, building strong bones and muscles and also promotes normal growth and development.  Most vitamins come from fresh fruit and vegetables, with some also found in fish, meat, dairy, and eggs.  Minerals, like the calcium and iron, also help the body perform optimally.  The best sources are vegetables, dairy, meat, and some fish.

  • Fats

Some fat supplying food are - Dairy food, meat, seeds, and nuts as do vegetable oils.  Fat is digested into fatty acids, which are used as an energy source and to form cell membranes.  Or they’re rebuilt into fat that, under the skin, insulates the body and helps to make and keep us warm.

  • Proteins

A rich source of protein is fish along with lean meat, poultry, and beans.  After digestion into the body, proteins supply the body with amino acids.  These building blocks are reassembled by cells into different proteins used for construction such as enzymes, and a myriad of other roles. 

  • Water

Around 50 – 70 per cent of our body is made of water. Therefore this amount should always be present in the human body. It is the only source via which all the important nutrients, vitamins, minerals and other wastes in the body are transported. Water also plays a vital role in regulating the body’s temperature.

Human Digestive System

Digestion has been an important procedure performed by the human body which provides energy by breaking down the massive food molecules into easily absorbable molecules to supply energy for various life processes. The complete process of digestion happens through a stepwise process which is common to all living organisms. Digestion includes the following processes-

  1. Ingestion: It is the process human beings follow of ingesting the food by actually eating it. In the mouth the food material is subject to cutting, tearing, chewing, and a little bit of pre-digestion using the salivary juice and eventually swallowing it.

  2. Digestion: It’s the breakdown of the ingested food into microscopic and finally molecular fragments. Most of the digestion happens in the stomach and a small part of it also occurs in the small intestine.

  3. Absorption: This is often a critical stage in which the nutrients are taken up from digestive organs and distributed to the body’s tissues. This process is where food swallowed is converted to actual energy to be used in human bodies.

  4. Excretion: This is the last process where waste material is excreted from our bodies.

Why is Nutrition in Human Beings important? 

Nutrition in human beings is vital because of the three main reasons - 

  • Undernutrition includes problems like low weight, small height and low weight as per the age.  

  • Can also cause Micronutrient-related malnutrition, which includes micronutrient deficiencies or insufficiencies.  

  • Issue of being overweight, obese and diet-related noncommunicable diseases (such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and some cancers). 

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q1.Name the Important Nutrients Required by the Human Body?

Ans - The important nutrients required by the human body are:

  • Carbohydrates

  • Fats

  • Dietary fibres

  • Vitamins

  • Proteins

  • Minerals

  • Water

Q2. Why is Nutrition Important to the Human Body?

Ans - Nutrition is important for a healthy lifestyle. A healthy body gives you the strength to fight diseases and improves your overall health. It also strengthens the bones and muscles and improves memory.

Q3. What is a Balanced Diet?

Ans - A balanced diet is a diet that contains all the vital nutrients required by a human body. The important nutrients that fulfills a balanced diet include carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, proteins, and fibre.

Q4. What are the Problems Caused by Lack of Nutrients in the Human Body? 

Ans. - Undernutrition includes problems like low weight, small height and low weight as per the age.  

  • Can also cause Micronutrient-related malnutrition, which includes micronutrient deficiencies or insufficiencies.  

  • Being overweight, obese and diet-related noncommunicable diseases (such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and some cancers). 

Q5. Why is Water Considered As One Of the Most Important Needs of the Human Body? 

Ans - Around 50 – 70 per cent of our body is made of water. Therefore this amount should always be present in the human body. It is the only source via which all the important nutrients, vitamins, minerals and other wastes in the body are transported. Water also plays a vital role in regulating the body’s temperature.