Nutrition and health
We cannot be talking about the issue of Nutrition and health, if we don’t reckon with the mechanism that links the two in our body and we are talking about the mechanism of metabolism. Metabolism is simply the chemical processes in living things that turns food and its allied components into energy and materials for growth, which provide for new cells for the body.
To explain it further from the professional perspective. “This word describes the numerous complex reactions which underlie energy production, growth and all the internal activities of the body, from the conduction of nerve impulses and the contraction of muscles to the transporting of oxygen through the blood and the secretion of hormones.
These reactions are made possible by various vitamins and minerals which although are required in comparatively small amounts are nevertheless indispensable to life”.
This explanation of metabolism has helped us in introducing into this discussion two other areas of importance that we need to reckon with in our understanding of the meaning of a healthy process of nutrition and these are the areas of vitamins and minerals. Man requires minerals to regulate metabolic activities.
This is just to say that if metabolic activities are not well regulated, it can lead to a condition of ill-health. Some of those minerals are components of enzymes. An enzyme is an organic catalyst that usually helps to speed up the rate of chemical changes in the body without having to be used up in itself.
Mineral salts may not only help the healthy growth of a man, it can also help in bone formation and the clotting of the blood. Some of the examples of these mineral salts are iron, calcium, sodium magnesium, potassium and iodine.
Food rich in mineral salts include, green vegetables, onions, liver and eggs. Vitamins are a group of organic food substances which are needed in little quality for the health of the organism.
One thing about vitamins is that they cannot be manufactured in the body. They can only be obtained in the diet. An example is vitamin k which is synthesized by bacteria in the intestine.
As a result a vitamin k deficiency could crop up not from inadequate dietary in take but due to interference with the normal bacterial population of the intestine.
There are reports of such deficiencies following the use of anti-biotics. Anti-biotics are substances that can destroy or prevent the growth of bacteria and cure infections what we have just said indicates that as useful as antibiotics maybe, it must not be abused or it must be appropriately used. Among other things vitamins are important for animal vision and bone growth such as vitamin A will give you and blood clotting such as vitamin K will give you.