The dictionary defines nutrition as “the sum of the processes by which an animal or plant takes in and utilizes food substances”. But most of us are confused by what nutrition actually means. Different sources give contradictory information and we continue to remain confused!!
Proper nutrition is eating a balanced diet which consists of foods with a lot of vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates, fiber, and a little fat. Nutrients are ingredients in food that help you grow, repair body tissue and build new muscle tissue. No single food can provide you with all the nutrients you need. But combining foods from all the different food groups, it is possible to meet your body’s requirements.
This means, each day, you need to have at least three servings of vegetables and fruits, three to five servings of grains, one serving of nuts and seeds and eight servings of water. Good nutrition also means watching how much you eat, so that you are not eating more calories than you need each day. While buying food check the serving sizes and nutrition information provided on the package. Eating in moderation, eating wholesome food and having variety in what you eat combined with regular exercise should put you in good stead. One good way of ensuring maximum nutritional benefit from food is to make sure they are natural and not processed or with artificial flavors and colors.
If you feel you have serious health problems owing to your eating habits or lifestyle, you should consult a nutritionist who will then be able to draw out a diet for you to follow. The nutritionist will first require details on your health history, family medical history and your way of your life before tailoring a food guide for you. If you are an athlete or sportsperson your needs may be different and these will be taken into consideration when chalking out your food guide. The same applies to a pregnant woman and also to young children.