NUTRITION is the scientific study of source of food and drink materials to nourish the body especially in humans. It is the organic process and functions of nourishing the body or being nourished OR the processes by which an organism assimilates food and uses it for growth and maintenance. When we walk, work, play we are using energy. Even when we do any apparent activity, energy is needed to arouse life maintain a state of order in our body. We takes nutrients from outside in order to maintain, develop, grow by synthesizing- protein, vitamins, enzymes and other substances needed for the body. This source of energy and materials is the food we eat. The requirement of energy is fulfilled either direct or indirect ways in different organisms. Some organisms like plants and some bacteria (Autotrophs) take simple food material from inorganic sources like carbon dioxide and water. Other organisms including human (Heterotrophs) takes complex substances which have to be broken down into simpler ones before it can be used for growth and energy. Heterotrophs depend directly or indirectly on autotrophs. Since the food and the way it is obtained differ, the digestive system is also different in various single and multi cellular organisms.
Human Digestive System: Human Digestive System is an elaborate and complex mechanism which carries out following functions: 1) Intake of Food 2) Digestion of Food 3) Assimilation of Food and 4) Expulsion of waste products. Every morsel of the food we eat has to be broken down in to nutrients that can be absorbed by the body, which takes hours to finish the process. Digestion is a process accomplished by a series of digestive juices and their enzymes alternate between alkalis and acids. Digestive enzymes remain active in suitable media of well defined acid-alkaline range and are destroyed in unsuitable media. Hence the food we eat once, takes 16 to 19 hours to digest, assimilate and expel the residue. Food ingested stays 5 to 6 hours in stomach, 6 to 7 hours in small intestine and 5 to 6 hours in large intestine. Blood absorbs the nutrients when the food stays in the small intestine. Remainder waste is pushed to the large intestine where the water contents are absorbed. The residue (stool) comes out of the body after that many hours. This is just an average workout and it varies depending on the type of food and person to person.
Epitome a brief abstract is that in a day when one have food indiscriminately thrice or more times a day an average quantity of breakfast, full stomach lunch and similar amount of dinner the breakfast residue will reach in large intestine, lunch stuff in small intestine and dinner remains in stomach during night hours making uncomfortable turbulence in the digestive tract, as a result the body cannot rest well hence feel lethargic and heavy to wake and get up in the morning with soreness and pain in the body. Also causes indigestion, acidity, gas trouble which in turn as peptic ulcer or cancer in long runs. By judicious blending of food stuffs eating distinguished foods fruit meal, starch meal and protein meal with right combination at different meals categorically makes efficient effective digestion, provides after meal comfort and helps to reduce the digestive hours. When one reduces the food intake to two times a day gets rest to one part of the intestine. When one reduce food intake to one time a day two part of the intestine can rest and helps in healing diseases if any quite easily. If one can avoid breakfast and dinner or substitute them with fruit juice or vegetable, gives enough rest to the body bowls and cures 99% of the gastro intestinal disorders without medicines. It is highly essential to ensure at least 8 hours rest to the stomach every day for good nutrition a highly performed intestine.
The human body builds up and maintains healthy cells, tissues, glands and organs only with the help of various nutrients. The body cannot perform any of its functions, be they physical, mental, metabolic, hormonal or chemical, without specific nutrients. Nutrition, which depends on food, is of utmost importance in the maintaining health. The food which provides these nutrients is thus one of the most essential factors in building the body and restoring health. Nature’s way of perfect health was fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, cereal greens a vast array of variety and taste, regular health, energy and vitality, a golden door to a vigorous life.
Adoption of a faulty nutritional pattern has become the major cause of disease, a weakened society of lowered resistance who could have developed the ability to act or perform a strong and active life. There is an inbuilt healing energy mechanism within the body itself but can perform its function only if copiously supplied with all the essential nutritional factors. The right kind of food is the most important factor in the promotion of health and the wrong kind of food is the most important single factor in the promotion of disease. We are not aware that those foods which are tasty but no nutritional value are injurious to our digestive system and body has to work heavily and spend our precious energy to expel such useless stuff from the system. Just as wrong food can harm our digestive system, right food can cure any ailment. The natural nutritional system aims at the readjustment of the life processes and functions from abnormal to normal conditions, and adopts methods of restoring health in compliance with the constructive principles of nature. Such methods remove from the system all the wastes and poisons without in any way harming the vital organs of the body. They also stimulate the organs of elimination to better functioning and purify life.
Before we conclude on what nutrition is, “Sopanam” reminds you the real purpose of our taking food is. The natural nutritional system is based upon the principle that what we eat or drink ultimately influences our emotional state and mental health. The purpose of taking food is not merely to satisfy our hunger or for taste. Our purpose should be to improve our mental and spiritual health besides nourishing our physical body. We are completely healthy when our body mind and soul, all the three are healthy and in harmony. According to this principle there are three types of food that we take are: 1, Primary/Satvic food that is good for the health of body mind and soul. Satvik foods encourage balance and harmony in body and mind; we can enjoy a peaceful mind in a fit body and a harmonious flow of energy between body and mind. Fruits, Vegetables, Leafs, nuts, sprouts which can be eaten raw naturally without cooking are coming under this category. 2, Secondary/Rajasic food stand at the medium place strengthens the body but is not good for the spiritual growth. Rajasic food tends to be hot, bitter or sour ordry or salty. If you have a usual mood; excessive emotionalism or irritability and excitability, eating these foods can make you feel more restless or stressed. On the other hand, if you are feeling not active or brisk and lethargic they can give you increased energy. Grains, beans, lentils, tubers, and chilies are coming under this category which usually cannot be eaten without cooking. Cooking not only destroys vitamins and enzymes in the food but also results in degradation of nutritional value. 3, Negative/Tamasic food is good for health and the physical body but has a bad effect on the mind and spirit. Thamasic foods tend to be acidic, dry or old. These foods are those which affect our health negatively. Meats, eggs, fish, refined foods, mushrooms, stimulants etc are coming under this category. There are also vegetable foods like onion or garlic which are good for health of the physical body but have a bad effect on the mind and spirithence they come under negative category.
Nutrition is the life real process of getting these natural substances from outside and breaking, digesting, assimilating metabolizing them down to release energy and expels the metabolic wastes and being nurtured. Right nutrition proves the principles that “Food is medicine” and “You are what you eat”.