The 3 Types of Nutrition: What You Need to Know

Nutrition is essential for all living things to survive. It doesn't matter if the organism is a human being, an animal, a plant, a bacteria, a fungus, an algae or an insect, every living thing on Earth needs nutrients to thrive. To better understand the concept, it is important to know how many types of nutrition are available and their role for a healthy lifestyle. There are two main types of nutrition: autotrophic and heterotrophic.

Autotrophic nutrition is when organisms prepare their own food from inorganic minerals such as carbon dioxide, water, mineral salts, etc. This process is called photosynthesis and is seen in plants. Heterotrophic nutrition is when organisms consume other organisms for their nutrients. This type of nutrition is seen in animals and humans.

Typically, nutrients include fats, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, dietary fiber, minerals, and water. These elements provide nutrition to the body and protect it from major diseases. Micronutrients such as calcium, iron, vitamins, etc., are also necessary for the body's metabolic activity and to repair and build damaged tissue to support organs. Macronutrients are the crucial source of energy in the body which is produced by breaking down food.

Compounds such as proteins, fats and carbohydrates are considered macronutrients. Carbohydrates are also known as saccharides or sugars. They are distinguished according to the number of monomers such as disaccharides, monosaccharides or polysaccharides. Foods such as rice, noodles, bread, cereal-based products, etc., contain carbohydrates because the human body breaks down carbohydrates into glucose which supports brain and body function. They also prevent muscle loss by preventing the body from breaking down protein into energy.

Therefore, consuming complex carbohydrates can keep a person fuller for a long time and control body weight. Proteins are made up of different amino acids. While the body can create some amino acids on its own, there are many essential amino acids that can only come from food. A human body needs amino acids to produce new proteins and repair damaged proteins. Including several foods in a diet such as eggs, red meat, dairy, beans and nuts would meet protein requirements. Fats are essential to support cell growth and provide energy to the body.

The body uses fat to absorb vitamins. They supply the body with energy and protect organs from damage. Fats are known to keep the body warm and energetic. Every human being needs 2 liters of water a day which helps in the formation of digestive juices, the basis of blood, urine and sweat. In addition, water is needed to regulate body temperature, reduce the risk of cystitis, maintain cell health, lubricate cushion joints and keep the bladder clean of bacteria. Minerals are essential micronutrients that help build strong bones and maintain a healthy heart rate.

Sodium, chloride, magnesium, sulfur, phosphorus and calcium are vital minerals for the human body. Dietary fiber is a form of carbohydrates or polysaccharides that aid digestion. However, the human body doesn't get any nutrients or calories from fiber but it helps eliminate toxic wastes from the digestive system. Vitamins are essential nutrients that the body needs in small amounts. The body is usually unable to produce vitamins so they should be consumed on a diet. They are grouped into water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins. Vitamins D, A, E and K are fat-soluble vitamins that travel easily through the kidneys and are excreted while folate, riboflavin, vitamin C, vitamin B12, vitamin B6 niacin and thiamine are water-soluble vitamins stored in the body's cells. An adult should consume almost 800 milligrams of protein every day; 30 grams of fiber regularly; 325 grams of carbohydrates regularly; 77 grams of fat per day; 1.5-2 liters of water every day; simple carbohydrates; complex carbohydrates; vitamins to maintain normal blood pressure levels; best vitamins for diabetic patients; best vitamins for kidney health; differences between synthetic and natural vitamins; differences between vitamins and proteins; differences between vitamin D2 and vitamin D3. It is imperative to know that some types of nutrition in humans are produced independently by breaking down food but without proper nutrition an organism cannot produce the energy and cells it needs to sustain life.

If food becomes scarce an organism will begin to initially consume itself through involuntary biological processes that extract nutrients from less vital tissues such as muscles. The reason nutrition is important is because without nutrients all living things would die.