The Essential Role of Nutrition in Human Health

Nutrition is the process of obtaining and providing the body with the nutrients needed for growth and development. It is essential for biological life to maintain its ability to repair, grow and function. Nutrition comes from nutrients in food, water, and other substances that the body absorbs; this maintains function, allows growth and helps maintain good health. Good nutrition is extremely important for humans, as it is necessary for cellular function, tissue repair, metabolism, immune competence, cognitive function, physical activity, maintenance of internal homeostasis and overall health.

Nutritional deficiencies are a lack of nutrients, and malnutrition is the result of a prolonged lack or excess of nutrients. Proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and water are all essential nutrients. If people don't have the right balance of these nutrients in their diet, their risk of developing certain health conditions increases. Specialized pet food has been manufactured since 1860 to address the nutritional needs of pets.

Nutrition science is the study of nutrition, although it usually emphasizes human nutrition. Nutrition describes how living organisms nourish themselves to obtain the necessary nutrients they need from food. Autotrophic nutrition is when an organism is able to produce its own food using only substances available in its environment. The first vitamin to be chemically identified was thiamine in 1926, and the role of vitamins in nutrition was studied in the following decades.

Nutrition also focuses on how people can use dietary options to reduce the risk of illness, what happens if a person consumes too much or too little nutrients, and how allergies work. Primitive human nutrition consisted of searching for 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 cultivation of cereals and the production of bread have been a key component of human nutrition since the beginning of agriculture. The three types of heterotrophs are holozoic nutrition, parasitic nutrition and saprophytic nutrition. An example of a low-nutritious food is hard candy, which contains no more nutrients than some simple carbohydrates in sugar. Nutrition plays a key role in optimal health, development and maintenance. We need food to survive; nutrients provide it to us.

Without the right amount of each nutrient, as well as without a balanced amount of a complete diet, the body doesn't function at normal levels.