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What is Nutrition?

What is Nutrition?

by: Dr. Neha Pathania
Senior Dietitian

What is Nutrition?

Nutrition can be defined as food at work in the body. It can also be defined as the process by which the organism ingests, digests, absorbs, transports and utilises nutrients and disposes off their end-products. It is an integral part of our life and we need to eat a balanced diet to ensure our health and wellness.

Why is nutrition important?

There is a famous saying that says – You Are What You Eat. A healthy diet consists of well-balanced diet composed of all important nutrients in right proportion. It prevents malnutrition and onset of diseases like obesity, diabetes, heart diseases, cancer & stroke to name a few.

Food that we eat acts as a fuel to body & provide essential nutrients which further act as:

  • Energy-giving foods – Carbohydrates, Fats- Energy required constantly for the voluntary & involuntary activities of the body.
  • Body-building foods – Proteins, Minerals- Muscles, bones & organs are built up and maintained by the protein supplied by the food. Minerals like iron, phosphorous affect the formation of the blood – skeleton tissue (bones).
  • Protective foods – Vitamins, Minerals – essential for safeguarding the body against diseases.
  • Regulatory foods – Water, Roughage- Water is required to regulate body processes such as digestion, excretion, maintenance of the body temperature and the electrolyte balance. Roughage helps normal body movements.

Important Nutrients required by the body:

  • Carbohydrates
  • Proteins
  • Fats
  • Vitamins and Minerals
  • Water
  • Roughage

Recommended Food Items For A Balanced Nutrition:

Carbohydrates rich foods – Cereals like wheat, brown rice, maize, whole wheat bread, jowar, ragi (Complex) rice, noodles, white flour, biscuits, pasta etc are simple carbohydrate.

  • Starch, arrowroot, vegetables like potato, sweet potato and yam
  • Fats and oils: Butter, vanaspati, ghee, cooking oils
  • Sugar, jaggery, honey

Protein rich foodsMilk and milk products like milk, curd, cheese, buttermilk

  • Pulses and legumes-soyabeans, grams, groundnuts and other nuts & seeds
  • Meats-fish, chicken, mutton, eggs

Vitamins & minerals rich foods


  • Whole milk and milk products.
  • All green leafy vegetables.
  • Coloured fruits & vegetables like mangoes, papaya, carrots, etc.
  • Pulses
  • Sprouted pulses
  • Almonds


  • Milk and milk products
  • Bengal gram whole
  • Til
  • Rice flakes
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