Nutrition: the science of food & its bioavailability
/noo-trish-uh n/ Latin nutrie: feed, nourish
Diets differ, but we all eat; and a diet chock full of a variety of nutrient-dense foods (e.g., fruits and veggies) ensures ingestion of a range of health-benefiting bioactive compounds.
Additionally, foods like fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains & nuts, having been produced by plants, contain unique collections of phytochemicals [Greek phyto: plant] designed to provide protection for the plant itself that may impart cellular protection in humans when ingested & if absorbed.
Examples of phytochemicals include:
Moreover, on February 3, 2009 Dan Boren introduced the Commonsense Consumption Act of 2009 to the House of Representatives with the support of seven other congressional members. In short, this Act states that Americans should have the commonsense to make healthy eating choices, particularly with regard to supporting an ideal weight. Consequently, food manufacturers, sellers and the like—owing to their place-hold in the American economy—cannot be sued as a result of your lack of common sense. For “fostering a culture of acceptance of personal responsibility is one of the most important ways to promote a healthier society (Boren, 2009).”
As such, this collection of cards will highlight various foods and their nutrients: cellular food distinguished on macro vs. micro & essential vs. nonessential levels.
Macronutrients, or those needing to be ingested in greater amounts (gram [g]), include water as well as the energy-yielding nutrients–carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Whereas micronutrients, which should be eaten in smaller amounts (milligram [mg]; microgram [µg or mcg]), include vitamins and minerals.
These six substances, 1) water, 2) carbohydrates, 3) proteins, 4) lipids, 5) vitamins & 6) minerals constitute the major nutrient classes.
Nutrients are also distinguished via their essentiality; a nutritional concept that denotes which nutrients can (nonessential nutrients) vs. cannot (essential nutrients) be synthesized by the human body. In other words, it is essential that you eat essential nutrients because your cells cannot synthesize them at all and/or in the amounts needed for proper health. You can also obtain nonessential nutrients from your diet, but if you don’t your body is capable of creating them for you.
Below is a sample Nutrition Facts label with an inclusive list of nutrients; however, as the government stipulates only select nutrients (those typically under consumed by Americans) are required to be reported by manufacturers of processed/packaged foods, most food labels aren’t this exhaustive.
What about unpackaged or fresh foods?!
That’s where these nutrition cards come into play; through the compilation of scientific data and colloquial claims, we will examine the nutritional content of various seasonal foods. Healthy eating choices are key as nutrient deficiencies and/or excesses of any type may lead to malnutrition & manifest as disease.
Happy conscious eating!
Bright Lights & Love