Nutrition is the science of understanding how food works in the body and how it affects our health. It involves studying the components of food, such as vitamins, proteins, fats, and more, and how they interact with each other. Eating a variety of foods, including fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and grains, is essential for proper growth and development. Nutrition is the biochemical and physiological process by which an organism obtains nutrients from food to sustain its life.
It provides organisms with the energy and materials they need to grow, maintain, and reproduce. When an organism does not get enough nutrients, it can lead to malnutrition. Nutritional science focuses on human nutrition, but it can also be applied to other animals. Humans have been adding herbs and spices to their food for centuries to enhance flavor.
However, these ingredients usually do not have a significant effect on nutrition. Prokaryotes such as bacteria and archaea obtain their nutrients in different ways depending on their species. The mineral cycles of the Earth are responsible for recycling essential nutrients such as carbon, sulfur, nitrogen, phosphorus, oxygen, and more. Human nutrition is a complex topic that requires further study to understand fully.
Domestic animals such as pets, livestock, and working animals are usually fed by humans in order to meet their nutritional needs. Grain cultivation and bread production have been a major part of human nutrition since the dawn of agriculture. Nutrient deficiencies or malnutrition can occur when an organism does not get enough of the necessary nutrients. Despite this variability between species, there are some general patterns that can be observed in the nutritional process throughout the living world.
The first vitamin to be identified was thiamine in 1926. Since then, scientists have been studying the role of vitamins in nutrition. In the 18th and 19th centuries, chemists experimented with different elements and food sources to develop theories about nutrition. Specialty pet foods have been available since 1860 and research has been conducted to better understand the nutritional needs of pets.