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What is nutrition? Why is nutrition important?

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Nutrition, nourishment, or aliment, is the supply of materials – food – required by organisms and cells to stay alive. In science and human medicine, nutrition is the science or practice of consuming and utilizing foods.

In hospitals, nutrition may refer to the food requirements of patients, including nutritional solutions delivered via an IV (intravenous) or IG (intragastric) tube.

Nutritional science studies how the body breaks food down (catabolism) and repairs and creates cells and tissue (anabolism) – catabolism and anabolism = metabolism. Nutritional science also examines how the body responds to food.

Brigham Young University states1 that “nutritional Science investigates the metabolic and physiological responses of the body to food and diet, including the role of nutrients in the cause, treatment, and prevention of disease.”

This Medical News Today information articles provides details on what nutrition is, a brief history of nutrition, the difference between a dietician and a nutritionist, how everyone in medicine is involved in nutrition, the seven major types of nutrients, foods that protect against cancer, how salty foods may increase sugar intake, and nutrition in medical education.

What is nutrition?
As molecular biology, biochemistry and genetics advance, nutrition has become more focused on the steps of biochemical sequences through which substances inside us and other living organisms are transformed from one form to another – metabolism and metabolic pathways.

Nutrition also focuses on how diseases, conditions and problems can be prevented or lessened with a healthy diet.

In addition, nutrition involves identifying how certain diseases, conditions or problems may be caused by dietary factors, such as poor diet (malnutrition), food allergies, metabolic diseases, etc.

Recent nutrition developments from MNT news
Five fruit and veggies a day helps you live longer – researchers from the Karolinska Institute, Sweden found that people who ate their “five-a-day” portions of fruit-and-veggies tended to live longer than those who did not. Their findings were published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (July 2013 issue).2
The researchers said that for those who went a step further and had more than five portions per day, there appeared to be no additional benefits in terms of longer lifespans.
A large breakfast promotes weight loss – scientists from Tel Aviv University, Israel, wrote in the journal Obesity3 that a large breakfast – containing 700 calories – promotes weight loss and lowers the person’s risk of developing heart disease, highcholesterol and diabetes.
Prof. Daniela Jakubowicz and colleagues emphasized that when we eat our food has a considerable impact on how our bodies process food.

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