Nutrition describes the processes by which all of the food a person eats are taken in and the nutrients that the body needs are absorbed. Good nutrition can help prevent disease and promote health.
Vitamins and minerals are an important part of nutrition. Vitamins are organic substances present in food. They are required by the body in small amounts to regulate metabolism and to maintain normal growth and functioning. Minerals are vital because they are the building blocks that make up the muscles, tissues, and bones. They also are important to many life-supporting systems, such as hormones, transport of oxygen, and enzyme systems.
There are many nutrients the body absorbs from food and each of the food groups supplies at least one nutrient. For example, oat bran, which is a whole grain, can supply fiber and a mineral called magnesium. A good nutrition plan will ensure that a balance of food groups, and the nutrients supplied by each group, is eaten.
Nutrition is important throughout adults’ lives. As younger adults, good nutrition helps keep people strong as they need energy for active lives that may involve athletic pursuits and busy days filled with work and raising children. Pregnant women will need to pay particular attention to nutrition. In the middle years, proper nutrition helps prevent disease and weight gain that normally is associated with aging and lives that may become more sedentary. And as people reach their mature years, nutrition becomes critical, as many people in their later years fail to eat properly due to medical conditions and medications or social factors.
Sometimes, people who are ill need artificial nutrition to help them receive the proper nutrients. The nutrition may come in the form of special drinks that supplement their diets or even be provided through intravenous (IV) injections in a hospital or other facility