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NUTRITION SESSIONS

Nutrition

Nutrition is the study of nutrients in food, how the body uses them, and the relationship between diet, and health.

Nutrition is about eating a healthy and balanced diet. Food and drink provide the energy and nutrients you need to be healthy. Understanding nutrition makes it easier for you to make better food choices.

WHY IS NUTRITION IMPORTANT?


A healthy diet throughout life promotes healthy pregnancy outcomes, supports normal growth, development and ageing, helps to maintain a healthy body weight, and reduces the risk of chronic disease leading to overall health and well-being.


Some people choose to follow a specific diet, in which they focus on certain foods and avoid others. People who do this may need to plan carefully to ensure they obtain all the necessary vitamins to maintain their health. A diet that is rich in plant-based foods and that limits added animal fats, processed foods, and added sugar and salt is most likely to benefit a person’s health.


 If people do not have the right balance of nutrients in their diet, their risk of developing certain health conditions increases.

NUTRITION GROUPS

There are more than 40 different kinds of nutrients in food and they can generally be classified into the following 6 major groups:

Carbohydrates & Fibers

Sugar, starch, and fiber are types of carbohydrates. Sugars are simple carbs. The body quickly breaks down and absorbs sugars and processed starch. They can provide rapid energy, but they do not leave a person feeling full. They can also cause a spike in blood sugar levels. Frequent sugar spikes increase the risk of type 2 diabetes and its complications. Fiber is also a carbohydrate. The body breaks down some types of fiber and uses them for energy; others are metabolized by gut bacteria, while other types pass through the body. Fiber and unprocessed starch are complex carbs. It takes the body some time to break down and absorb complex carbs. Complex carbs are a more healthful choice than sugars and refined carbs. After eating fiber, a person will feel full for longer. Fiber may also reduce the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and colorectal cancer.

Water

Water is essential for life because it helps regulate body temperature, lubricate joints, maintain blood volume, flush toxins from the body, and transport nutrients inside the body.

A lack of water intake, or increased water loss (such as through sweating), results in dehydration. That can be dangerous and even fatal. The adult human body is up to 60% water, and it needs water for many processes. Water contains no calories, and it does not provide energy.
Many people recommend consuming 2 liters, or 8 glasses, of water a day, but it can also come from dietary sources, such as fruit and vegetables.

Adequate hydration will result in pale yellow urine. Requirements will also depend on an individual’s body size and age, environmental factors, activity levels, health status, &so on.

Vitamins

Vitamins help your body grow and work the way it should. There are 13 essential vitamins — vitamins A, C, D, E, K, and the B vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, B6, B12, and folate).

Vitamins have different jobs to help keep the body working properly. Some vitamins help you resist infections and keep your nerves healthy, while others may help your body get energy from food or help your blood clot properly. By following the Dietary Guidelines, you will get enough of most of these vitamins from food. People need small amounts of various vitamins.
Some of these, such as vitamin C, are also antioxidants. This means they help protect cells from damage by removing toxic molecules from the body. Vitamins can be found in vitamin C, B, A, D, K.

Proteins

Proteins consist of amino acids, which are organic compounds that occur naturally.

There are 20 amino acids. Some of these are essential Trusted Source, which means people need to obtain them from food.

Some foods provide complete protein, which means they contain all the essential amino acids the body needs. Other foods contain various combinations of amino acids.

Most plant-based foods do not contain complete protein, so a person who follows a vegan diet needs to eat a range of foods throughout the day that provides the essential amino acids.

Vitamins & Minerals

Micronutrients include vitamins and minerals are essential in small amounts. The body needs dietary minerals, such as iron, potassium, and so on. In most cases, a varied and balanced diet will provide the minerals a person needs like potassium which enables the kidneys, the heart, the muscles, and the nerves to work properly. If a deficiency occurs, a doctor may recommend supplements. Too little minerals can lead to high blood pressure, stroke, and kidney stones, while too much may be harmful to people with kidney disease. Minerals can be found in Avocados, coconut water, bananas, dried fruit, squash, beans, and lentils are good sources.

Fats

Fats are essential for helping organs produce hormones and enabling the body to absorb certain vitamins.
It is also essential for preserving brain health.

Too much fat can lead to obesity, high cholesterol, liver disease, and other health problems.

However, the type of fat a person eats makes a difference.

Unsaturated fats, such as olive oil, are more healthful than saturated fats, which tend to come from animals.
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