We all know that proper food and nutrition is the key to a healthy life. A correct diet is one that has all the nutrients necessary for the body and the appropriate amount. Therefore, eating in large quantities is not synonymous with eating healthy. Also, check solutiontales for more information.
What is the function of food for a healthy life?
Foods are used by our body to metabolize, help maintain and grow tissues, and provide energy. It is worth noting, however, that the functions performed by a given food depend on the nutrients it has.
To take advantage of food, our body relies on the digestive system, which is responsible for breaking it into smaller portions for the body to enjoy. The portion of food that is used by the body is called a nutrient.
What are the existing nutrients?
Foods have different nutrients, which are generally classified into macronutrients and micronutrients. Macronutrients are those that our bodies need in large quantities, while micronutrients are those that the body needs in small quantities.
The macronutrients are:
Carbohydrates: nutrients that stand out for providing energy to the body.
Lipids: nutrients that serve as energy reserves, help absorb some vitamins, and protect against mechanical shocks and cold.
Proteins: Key nutrients for the growth and maintenance of body tissues.
The micronutrients are:
Vitamins: nutrients related to the most diverse functions of the body, such as strengthening the immune system, maintaining tissues and performing metabolic processes.
Mineral salts: nutrients that act in the most varied functions of the body, such as bone and teeth constitution, body fluid regulation and hormone composition.
Importance of food and nutrients for a healthy life
Foods have nutrients that favor the proper functioning of the body. Faced with a lack of some nutrients, the body can suffer serious consequences due to the interruption of some basic activity. This is why healthy eating must contain all the nutrients necessary for our health to be guaranteed.
The malnutrition occurs when a person has a deficiency of some nutrient. It can be triggered by poor diet or other problems such as worms, anorexia, cancer, absorption problems, allergies or food intolerance.
Malnutrition can lead to physiological problems, which in severe cases can trigger the patient’s death. Malnutrition is usually diagnosed due to a lack of energy to perform tasks, anemia, growth problems, changes in the skin, among other signs and symptoms.
To highlight the need for healthy eating, we can mention some problems caused by the lack of vitamins in the body. Lack of vitamin A, for example, triggers vision problems such as night blindness where patients cannot see in dimly lit environments. Lack of vitamin D can lead to bone development.
To have a healthy body, it is important to have a healthy diet, with different food groups and an inadequate amount. To help with the amount of food to be eaten, the information contained in the food pyramid can be used, a resource that helps people understand the daily needs of each nutrient.
How to have a healthy diet?
According to the Ministry of Health, 10 steps must be followed for healthy eating. Are they:
- Eat at least three meals and two healthy snacks a day.
- Include six portions of the cereal and tuber group daily, such as potatoes and roots, in meals. Give preference to whole grains and foods in their most natural form;
- Eat at least three servings of vegetables daily as part of meals and three or more servings of fruits in desserts and snacks.
- Eat beans and rice every day or at least five times a week.
- Consume daily three portions of milk and dairy products and one portion of meat, poultry, fish or eggs.
- Consume a maximum of one serving a day of vegetable oils, olive oil, butter or margarine.
- Avoid soft drinks and juices, cakes, sweet and stuffed cookies, sweet desserts and other goodies.
- Decrease the amount of salt in the food and remove the salt shaker from the table. Avoid consuming processed foods with too much salt (sodium).
- Drink at least two liters (six to eight glasses) of water a day.
- You must do physical activity every day for 30minutes and avoid alcohol and smoking.