Nutrition: A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding the Basics

Nutrition is the biochemical and physiological process by which an organism uses food to maintain its life. It provides organisms with nutrients, which can be metabolized to create energy and chemical structures. Failure to obtain sufficient nutrients causes malnutrition. Nutrition science is the study of nutrition, although it usually emphasizes human nutrition.

The process by which living organisms obtain food is known as nutrition. Nutrition is the assimilation by living organisms of food materials that allow them to grow, maintain and reproduce. Nutrients are molecules present in food that all organisms need to produce energy, grow, develop and reproduce. Nutrients are digested and then broken down into basic parts for use by the body. There are two main types of nutrients, macronutrients and micronutrients. The three main categories of macronutrients include carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.

Carbohydrates are used for quick energy and are found in cereals, bread, cereals, pasta, potatoes, fruits and sugary foods. Proteins are used as structural support in cells and are made up of monomers called amino acids. Proteins can be found in meat, beans, and eggs. Fats are important for cushioning our organs and for communication between our cells.

Foods rich in fat are oil and butter. The two types of micronutrients are vitamins and minerals, and these are additional molecules that cells need to produce energy. Vitamins are made up of several different types of atoms, such as vitamins A, B, C, D, E, and K. Minerals are made of individual elements and help cells function, such as calcium, improving bone health. All nutrients, including fats and carbohydrates, are essential for the proper functioning of the body. 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. Mineral cycles include the carbon cycle, the sulfur cycle, the nitrogen cycle, the water cycle, the phosphorus cycle and the oxygen cycle, among others, which are continuously recycled together with other mineral nutrients in productive ecological nutrition.

Nutritious foods are foods that are especially dense in one or more necessary nutrients, such as eggs, fish, liver, avocado, green vegetables, beans and legumes. Good nutrition is extremely important for biological life to maintain its ability to repair, grow and function. For humans, the value of good nutrition is extremely important for cellular function, tissue repair, metabolism, immune competence, cognitive function, physical activity, maintenance of internal homeostasis, and overall health. Prokaryotes, including bacteria and archaea, vary greatly in how they obtain nutrients according to nutritional groups. The parasitic mode of nutrition occurs when an organism obtains its nutrition from other living organisms. In domestic animals such as pets, livestock and working animals as well as other animals in captivity humans manage nutrition through animal feed. Nutrition describes how living organisms nourish themselves to obtain the necessary nutrients they need from food.

Chemists in the 18th and 19th centuries experimented with different elements and food sources to develop theories about nutrition. However general patterns in the nutritional process can be discerned throughout the living world and in the types of nutrients required to sustain life. When an organism can prepare its own food such as plants they are known as autotrophs and this type of nutrition is known as autotrophic nutrition. Heterotrophic nutrition is divided into saprophytic nutrition parasitic nutrition and holozoic nutrition. The cultivation of cereals and the production of bread have been a key component of human nutrition since the beginning of agriculture.