How Do We Get Nutrition From Food?
The food that we eat is helping our body to have the energy, nutrients, and other chemicals that is requires for the maintenance of regular body processes. However, how does the body take what it needs from our food and turn it into energy?
What exactly is nutrition?
Before you determine how the body gets nutrition from food, you need to understand what nutrition consists of. The body needs nutrients in order to survive. The main nutrients that it requires include carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.
There is some debate over whether water, vitamins and minerals should also be placed into this category, but they generally are not because they do not contain calories.
Carbohydrates, proteins, and fats all contain calories that the body needs in order to function. These calories are units of energy that they body can then use in processes like cellular respiration, repair, and growth.
While you might not be able to see these processes taking place, there are ways to tell if you’re not getting enough nutrients. For example, when you start to notice that your skin is shedding, this is an indication that your body is growing new skin cells to replace the old.
How does the body obtain nutrients from food?
The body obtains nutrition from food in a several step process. One, when you eat food, it is digested by the body in the mouth, esophagus, and stomach. This is where the bigger pieces of food are broken down into smaller, more manageable pieces.
As the food is broken down, the body is able to extract the proteins, fats, and carbohydrates that it needs. If it can not do this at this stage, the food then moves to the intestines where most of the food will be broken up into these larger pieces.
Each of these nutrients is then broken down further to get nutrition from food. When the fats are broken down into smaller pieces, they can be used for a number of chemical processes and then hook up with other chemicals to cause other reactions.
Carbohydrates are broken down into glucose to help in the manufacturing of ATP which is the energy block for the body. Proteins are broken down into amino acids which are then used for energy in the body and to supply levels amino acids that are not created by the body.
Each of these processes is the result of complicated chemical processes that obtain the nutrition from food and then use that nutrition in the cells to be more easily used by the body.
When the cells move throughout the body, different parts of the body get this nutrition and can function properly. Whatever nutrients aren’t used by the body will be excreted through digestion or through other functions.
But the trick is that in order to get nutrition from food, you need to choose nutritious foods that provide a good balance of these nutrients. Avoiding one or the other can lead to problems with your health.