The importance of nutrition lies in the fact that it is the biological process in which animal and plant organisms absorb the nutrients necessary for life from food.
Nutrition is important because it is fundamental for the functioning and maintenance of the vital functions of living beings, it helps to maintain the homeostatic balance of the organism, both in macrosystemic processes, such as digestion or metabolism.
Another important function is that nutrition allows for molecular processes (amino acids, enzymes, vitamins, minerals), which are physiological and biochemical processes, in which energy (calories) is consumed and expended.
Likewise, human nutrition is the science that investigates the relationship between the food consumed by man and health (diseases), in order to seek the welfare and preservation of human health.
Good nutrition prevents many chronic diseases and is related to a healthy lifestyle. A healthy diet can prevent many health problems by following the right proportions of each food.
The six kinds of nutrients the body needs daily are water, vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, proteins and fats.
The nutritionist or dietitian is the nutrition professional who specializes in human nutrition and has specialized studies on the subject. It is their responsibility to plan meals, develop menus and manage people’s food and nutrition programs.
TYPES OF NUTRITION
The importance of Nutrition.
Autotrophic nutrition is known as that used by autotrophic organisms, which are organisms that produce their own food, synthesizing the essential substances they need for their metabolism from inorganic substances, such as carbon dioxide.
There are different types of autotrophs, for example, the so-called chemolithotrophs, which are bacteria that use the oxidation of inorganic compounds for energy production, such as sulfur dioxide or ferrous compounds. There are also photolithoautotrophs, which are organisms that use photosynthesis, such as plants.
Heterotrophic nutrition is that of heterotrophic organisms, which are beings that need others to live, i.e. they feed on organic substances that are synthesized by other organisms.
Examples of heterotrophic nutrition are fungi, animals and a multitude of bacteria and protozoa or protozoa that manufacture complex organic molecules by taking advantage of the energy of the autotrophs with which they feed.
Heterotrophic organisms are divided into four classes (according to their nutrition), holotrophic (food chain, carnivorous, herbivorous or phytophagous, and omnivorous), saprophagous (feeding on the dead), symbiotic and parasitic.
The nutritional pyramid or food pyramid is a way of graphically representing how a balanced diet should be constituted.
The nutritional pyramid is divided into four parts with the base of the pyramid being cereals and tubers, at the next level are fruits and vegetables, then animal foods and legumes, and finally, at the apex of the pyramid, are sugars and fats.
Enteral and parenteral nutrition.
There are different ways of ingesting food, in addition to the natural way, which is by the oral route, especially for patients with special dietary or nutritional needs: enteral and parenteral.
– Enteral nutrition: it is performed by placing the food directly into the digestive tract.
– Parenteral nutrition: food is administered directly into the vein.