Friday, 4 January 2013

What is Nutrition


What Is Nutrition?


The shortest definition of nutrition is the science pertaining to the factors involved in nourishing our body. Nutrition hinges upon the special relationship that exists between our body and the world we live in. From the moment of conception to the waning hours of advanced age, we live in a continuum to nourish our body. More specifically, we strive on a daily basis to bring nourishing substances into our body. These nourishing substances are called nutrients, which are chemicals that are used by our body for energy or other human processes. Proper nourishment supports body businesses such as growth, movement, immunity, injury recovery, and disease prevention, and, of course, the ultimate business at hand for all life-forms, reproduction.


All that we (our body) are, ever were, or are going to be is borrowedfrom the environment that we inhabit. This unique state of indebtednessis primarily attributed to our nutrition intake. We must be grateful to theearth’s crust for lending us minerals that strengthen our bones and teeth and allow us to have electrical operations that drives nerve and musclefunction. We must also pay homage to plants for the carbohydrate forms that power our operations and for the amino acids that make the protein in our muscle.


Nutrition refers to the science of nourishing our body. All too often we do not truly appreciate the relevance of nutrition to our basic being. But again, please keep in mind that nearly everything we are and are able to do is either a direct or indirect reflection of our past and current nutrition intake. No matter how oversimplified nutrition may seem in television commercials and on cereal boxes, it is without a doubt one of the most complex and interesting sciences out there. One of the major tasks of this book is to provide an understandable overview of nutrition as it applies to optimal health and longevity.

How Do We Begin to Understand Nutrition?

Certainly any great building must be constructed upon a solid foundation. So let us go ahead and commit ourselves to building a solid scientific foundation to explore nutrition. So, before we begin to learn how to nourish our body, we need to have a better understanding of what needs to be nourished. Our body is the product of nature and as such it must adhere to the basic laws of nature. In fact, you can think of nutrition as the scientific offspring of more basic sciences such as chemistry and biology. Therefore, understanding the what’s, why’s, and how’s of nutrition will be a lot easier once a few basic areas of chemistry and biology are appreciated. What follows are some fundamental principles of chemistry and biology and a description of their relevance to nutrition and the body.

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