What is Nutrition?
Nutrition is the science of food, the nutrients in foods and how the body uses those nutrients. It includes the process of ingestion, digestion, absorption, metabolism, transport, storage and excretion of those nutrients. It also includes the environmental, psychological and behavioral aspects of food and eating.
The six classes of nutrients include: carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals and water. Today scientists have also identified compounds in plant foods called phytochemicals. Although not technically identified as a nutrient, these compounds have been associated with a variety of health benefits when consumed as part of a balanced diet.
Examples of phytochemicals include lycopene (the red pigment in tomatoes), isoflavonoids in soybeans and capsacin (the flavor compounds in hot peppers). Research of these compounds are showing phytochemical are an important contribution to a healthy diet.
Nutrition principles are applied throughout the life cycle from the time of conception to needs in the later years for older adults. Areas of nutrition emphasis include pregnancy, infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood and the ‘older’ adult. The relationship between diet and health is strong. A look at the research documents the connection with chronic diseases and nutrition. Diet is an important factor in heart disease, stroke, hypertension, cancer, diabetes mellitus and obesity.
Nutrition is also involved in consumer concerns for food and water safety, environmental contaminants, pesticides, food additives and biotechnology, the genetically modified foods in the marketplace.
Hunger, malnutrition and food shortages are global environmental problems that are being investigated. Nutrition is a far reaching area of study that affects each and everyone of us daily.
Each day people learn about nutrition from the television, newspapers, radio, books and the Internet. Sorting out the truth can be challenging to even the savvy consumer.
To best assess the information you read look for reliable credentials from the author. The resource section of this site will introduce you to reliable Internet nutrition information.
Would you like help creating a customized nutritional program designed to help you reach your personal goals? Do you or your family need help developing a menu? Pre and post game or practice snack and meal ideas? Sports Nutrition Optimization?