Nutrition Explained: What You Need to Know About Eating Healthy

Nutrition is the biochemical and physiological process by which an organism uses food to sustain its life. It provides organisms with nutrients, which can be metabolized to create chemical and energy structures. Nutrition is about eating a healthy and balanced diet, understanding the nutritional terms, and knowing how the body breaks down food or drinks into nutrients. Malnutrition refers to a set of health problems that can be caused by a diet that contains too much or not enough of a particular nutrient.

Nutrition also focuses on how people can use dietary options to reduce the risk of disease, what happens if a person has too much or too little of a nutrient, and how allergies work. Prokaryotes, including bacteria and archaea, vary greatly in the way they obtain nutrients in all nutritional groups. Eating foods from all food groups is the best way to ensure a balanced, nutrient-rich diet. Most cultures add herbs and spices to foods before eating them to add flavor, although most don't significantly affect nutrition.

Early human nutrition consisted of seeking nutrients similar to those of other animals, but it diverged at the beginning of the Holocene with the Neolithic Revolution, in which humans developed agriculture to produce food. The first vitamin to be chemically identified was thiamine in 1926, and the role of vitamins in nutrition was studied in the following decades. Nutrient deficiencies, known as malnutrition, occur when an organism doesn't have the nutrients it needs. Your nutritional needs are unique to your body, especially if you have to consider food sensitivities or intolerances. Dutrochet towards the middle of the century, and Liebig's application of chemistry to agriculture and physiology cast aside the role of the atmosphere and soil in plant nutrition.

So today, it's important to consider nutrition as a biochemical and physiological process that provides organisms with nutrients for sustaining life.