The Basics of Nutrition

Nutrition is the scientific study of how food and drink influences our bodies and their health. Eating nutritious food is important to maintain proper energy levels, cognitive function, and physical health – in addition to preventing lifestyle-related illnesses such as obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.

There are 6 main classes of nutrients your body requires to function properly:

  • Carbohydrates: These provide the body with energy and help regulate blood sugar levels. Foods such as grains, fruits, and vegetables are prime sources of carbohydrates.
  • Proteins: Proteins help maintain a healthy body by providing the building blocks for cells, tissues, and organs. They can also be used to produce energy. Excellent sources of protein include eggs, beans, fish, and dairy products.
  • Fats: Fats help the body absorb certain vitamins and minerals, as well as supply essential fatty acids that cannot be obtained from other foods. Healthy fats are found in nuts, seeds, olives, avocados, and fatty fish.
  • Vitamins: Various vitamins are required for different bodily functions. Vitamins can be found in a wide range of plant-based and animal foods.
  • Minerals: Minerals help create bones and perform other various functions within the body. Foods such as fish, beans, leafy greens, and dairy products are excellent sources of minerals.
  • Water: Water is essential for many bodily functions. It is recommended that adults consume 6-8 glasses of water per day. Other beverages such as tea, coffee, and juice can also count towards fluid intake.

Following a balanced diet is key for maintaining your health. Eating a wide variety of foods is an important step, as no single food provides all the nutrients your body needs. Additionally, monitoring your activity levels and striving to stay active is another key component of a healthy lifestyle.