The Importance of Nutrition (Common but Surprising)

Can you live without food?

Obviously not.

Imagine what happens if your food is not digested or absorbed.

Your health suffers, right?

Every time you eat food, it goes through a process called nutrition.

But why this process? What is the importance of nutrition?

In this article, I will tell you why nutrition is essential for us to live.

So let’s get started.

Table of Contents

The Importance of Nutrition

According to Wikipedia, “Nutrition is the biochemical and physiological process by which an organism uses food to support its life.” (1)

Why we need this “biochemical and physiological process” to survive?

For the following three reasons:

1. To Fulfil our Energy Needs

We need energy in the form of ATP to perform day-to-day activities like walking, reading or even sleeping.

If you think deeply, you can feel that while walking, our leg muscles work, and our leg muscles build with millions of cells.

Without energy, these cells can’t work, and ultimately you can’t walk.

I think you got my point.

So, the question is, from where does this energy comes?

Yes, you guess it right, from food.

But you may not know that we eat and use food by a process called nutrition.

After eating our digestive system breaks down the food and convert it into nutrients by nutrition process.

After that, nutrients like carbohydrates and fat breakdown further to produce energy in the form of ATP (Adenosine triphosphate).

Without nutrition, our body can’t produce ATP and our muscles or cells will not get energy to perform and will die.

That’s why the nutrition process is important to live.

2. To Form and Maintain our Body Structure

The cell is the unit of life (2).

The average adult has 30 – 40 trillion cells and produces an estimated 330 billion new cells every day (3) (4).

Let me tell you an interesting fact.

When a group of cells perform a similar function, they form a tissue. When a group of tissues perform a similar function, they form an organ, like the stomach.

When a group of organ perform a similar function, they perform organ system, for example, the digestive system. The stomach is a part of our digestive system.

When multiple organ systems work harmoniously together, they form an independent organism like a human.

It’s like: Cells > Tissues > Organs > Organ System > Organism

So, you may think, how the smallest unit, the cell, produce?

Our body produces cells with the help of food and nutrition. Yes, by nutrition, our digestive system digest food and absorb the nutrients and send them to different parts of our body.

Our cells use these nutrients to grow, repair and produce new cells.

Not only cells, but our bones use nutrients to produce and repair. And here, too nutrition process comes into play.

3. To Prevent Diseases

Active lifestyle and proper nutrition can prevent many diseases like cold, stomach upset or allergy (5).

But how?

An active lifestyle with proper nutrition strengthens our immune system. And a strong immune system protects us from diseases.

As I already discussed, when we eat food, our digestive system absorbs nutrients from the foods.

Then our cells use those nutrients to perform their functions.

To boost our immune system, we need some nutrients in more amount, like vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin A and zinc.

Suppose we don’t eat enough food or the nutrition process didn’t work properly. In that case, we can’t get nutrients and become vulnerable to diseases.

Summary

Nutrition is a process of using food to fulfil the dietary need. Without it, our body can’t produce energy, repair or produce cells, and prevent infections. In a word, without nutrition, we can’t survive.

References

This article is written by certified nutritionist and verified by scientific evidence. We relies on reputed and specialized media sites, academic research institutions, peer-reviewed studies, government agencies, and medical associations to source information. We avoid using tertiary references. Know more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

  1. WEITHOFF G, WACKER A. The mode of nutrition of mixotrophic flagellates determines the food quality for their consumers. Functional Ecology. 2007;21(6):1092-1098. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2435.2007.01333.x
  2. CELL: STRUCTURE AND FUNCTIONS. https://ncert.nic.in/ncerts/l/kebo108.pdf. January 2015.
  3. Sender R, Fuchs S, Milo R. Revised Estimates for the Number of Human and Bacteria Cells in the Body. PLOS Biology. 2016;14(8). doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1002533
  4. Fischetti M, Christiansen J. Our Bodies Replace Billions of Cells Every Day. Scientific American. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/our-bodies-replace-billions-of-cells-every-day/. Published April 1, 2021. Accessed April 21, 2021.
  5. Disease Prevention. Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/disease-prevention/. Published May 22, 2019. Accessed April 21, 2021.

A. R. Choudhury is a certified nutritionist, author, and blogger with a passion for evidence-based nutrition. He completed "Stanford Introduction to Food and Health" certificate course by Stanford University from Coursera Inc. He received his master's degree in biochemistry from The University of Burdwan. Abdur Rahman Choudhury aka A. R. Choudhury is also a fitness enthusiast and a coffee lover.

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