Meaning of Nutrition

What is Nutrition:

The nutrition It is the biological process in which animal and plant organisms absorb the nutrients necessary for life from food.

Nutrition is important because it is essential for the functioning and maintenance of the vital functions of living beings, it helps to maintain the homeostatic balance of the organism, both in macrosystemic processes, such as digestion or metabolism.

Likewise, it allows molecular processes (amino acids, enzymes, vitamins, minerals) to be carried out, which are physiological and biochemical processes, in which energy (calories) is consumed and spent.

Also, human nutrition is the science that investigates the relationship between food consumed by man and health (diseases), to seek the well-being and preservation of human health.

Good nutrition prevents many chronic diseases, and is related to a healthy lifestyle.

Many health problems can be prevented through a healthy diet or diet that follows the proper proportions of each food.

The six classes of nutrients that the body needs daily are water, vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.

The nutrition professional is the nutritionist or dietitian, who is the one who specializes in human nutrition and has specialized studies on the subject. It is his responsibility to plan meals, develop menus, and manage people’s food and nutrition programs.

See also:

  • Malnutrition.
  • Nutrient.

types of nutrition

autotrophic nutrition

Autotrophic nutrition is known as that used by autotrophic organisms, which are organisms that produce their own food, synthesizing the essential substances they need for their metabolism from inorganic substances, such as carbon dioxide.

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There are different types of autotrophs, for example, the so-called chemolithotrophs, which are the bacteria that use the oxidation of inorganic compounds to produce energy, such as sulfur dioxide or ferrous compounds. Also, there are photolithoautotrophs, which are organisms that use photosynthesis, such as plants.

See also Autotrophic nutrition.

heterotrophic nutrition

As heterotrophic nutrition is designated that of heterotrophic organisms, which are beings that need others to live, that is, they feed on organic substances that are synthesized by other organisms.

We see examples of heterotrophic nutrition in fungi, animals and a multitude of bacteria and protozoa or protozoa, which manufacture complex organic molecules taking advantage of the energy of autotrophic beings that have been eaten.

There are different types of heterotrophic beings, which according to their nutrition, can be divided into four classes: holotrophic (food chain, carnivorous, herbivorous or phytophagous, and omnivorous), saprophagous (they feed on the dead), symbiotic, and parasitic.

See also:

  • heterotrophic nutrition
  • Living beings

nutritional pyramid

The nutritional pyramid or food pyramid is a way of graphically representing how a balanced diet should be constituted.

The nutritional pyramid is divided into four parts, the base of the pyramid being cereals and tubers, at the next level are fruits and vegetables; then, foods of animal origin and legumes, and finally, at the apex of the pyramid, are sugars and fats.

See also Food Pyramid.

Enteral and parenteral nutrition

There are different ways of ingesting food, in addition to the natural way, which is what is done orally, especially when it comes to patients with special dietary or nutritional needs: enteral and parental.

  • Enteral nutrition: Food is placed directly into the digestive tract.
  • Parenteral nutrition: food is administered directly into the vein.
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See also Digestive system.