Food is the third most essential thing for life after air and water. It means one cannot live without food for long.
The importance of food is not just limited to living alone; it helps one gain suitable physical structure, ease of functioning and ability to perform.
Food, in general, consists of carbohydrates, proteins, fats as major components. And minerals, vitamins and trace elements as minor components.
All of these components are useful for a living body to sustain health. This food is taen in the form of grains, pulses, fruits, vegetables, oils, meat, etc.
Though we know that food is essential and consume it daily, its various body roles are quite interesting and worth reading.
Importance of food in life
1. For energy
Food is the only source of vital energy for the body. Our body functions by utilizing the energy from food. Food acts as fuel to generate energy in the mitochondria. Glucose from the food interacts with the oxygen we breathe.
This leads to a process called oxidative phosphorylation, which produces energy in the form of ATP. Carbon dioxide and water molecules are formed as bye products of the above mechanism.
2. For body shape and form
Food gives shape and form to the body. The food contains proteins that provide amino acids for digestion. These amino acids in the body act to build body cells and other tissues to maintain shape and function.
3. For Bodybuilding
Those who go to the gym and another strenuous exercise for bodybuilding need protein. So gym instructors advise those practicing to consume a high diet containing foods. For this, protein-rich food like pulses, milk, egg, and meat is recommended to build enough muscles.
4. As medicine.
Food is also a type of medicine.
- In many cases, food is needed for the cure. For instance, when one is feeling sick, if he eats sufficient food, his immunity boosts up, and he feels relieved from cough, cold-like symptoms to a recognizable extent. Even in most diseases or infections, patients become weak and weak as they have stopped or reluctant to have food.
- Nutrition deficiency diseases. These are sorts of diseases wherein lack of food or excess food causes the disorder.
- In the case of acidity, one of the best techniques to overcome acidity is to have a small quantity of food at frequent short intervals.
5. For drugs to act
Drugs act well when taken with sufficient food. Food gives strength to the body to safely accommodate a drug and metabolizes it after its action.
Without food, drugs fail to overcome some diseases like tuberculosis, sunstroke, gastric ulcers, skin diseases, muscle pains, etc. Many oil-soluble drugs get absorbed well in the presence of fatty food etc.
Lack of sufficient diet along with the administration of drugs leads to many problems like drug accumulation, development of resistance to the drug by microbes, etc. This is because the food is an enzyme inducer, i.e., it helps generate sufficient enzymes in the liver to metabolize the toxic drugs. Thus on metabolism, drugs become more water-soluble and get excreted from urine.
6. To overcome stress
Many people under stress neglect food. But interestingly, the same food can relieve stress. So if you find someone having stress, ask him to consume food sufficiently and you will see that he feels a bit relieved from stress.
7. To overcome disease or disorder.
Food is an important parameter in diseases like wound healing, bone fractures, inflammation, colds. During a wound, bone fracture, or inflammation, consuming a sufficient diet helps overcome the pain and inconvenience during the healing process.
8. For mental confidence
A person who eats healthy food is mentally more confident. Food gives a positive outlook on life. A feeling of well-being and a desire to enjoy life.
Just notice a kid or even you pet animals. Once they have a sufficient diet, their next move would be to play or go for sound sleep. Both of the moves like playing or going to sleep are enjoyments to life. They are stress busters and enhance health.
9. In Society for better relationships
Food is one aspect where people can come together and spend quality time; if you want your friends or colleagues to come together and open up about themselves, food is one of the major factors. If you organize a dinner party, everyone would like to attend it and enjoy it to the fullest. In doing so, good relations build up between the guest and hosts in most cases.
10. For maintenance of culture
Food being a part of human life since the beginning; it has become a part of our culture too.
Every culture or religion has certain food habits which are passed on to future generations.
You can notice some cultures do not permit the consumption of meat as food. At the same time, other cultures restrict from consumption of particular foods.
Examples some religions abstain from the consumption of pork while other meats are allowed. Few religious sects abstain from eating onion and garlic besides consuming a non-vegetarian diet.
These food-related habits have an impact on people’s mind in such a way that it gives a sense of special identity.
11. For sustenance of natural life
This is a scientific basis for the role of food in the environment. Plants produce food in the form of fruits, cereals, nuts, etc. This serves two purposes like
a) It provides food to the whole of the food chain
b) For propagation of plants and other living beings.
Every fruit or nuts formed by plants have seeds in them. If you eat a mango, you will discard the seed at a distant place from the mother tree. When the seed reaches the soil, it grows into a new mango plant away from the mother. Thus food helps in propagating the plants all over the earth.
Similarly, the animals in the food chain also grow systematically, like when plants form flowers; the insects give rise to larva. Because the insects can feed their larva with nectar at the same time, the birds hatch their eggs to give birth to their young ones.
This coincidence, at the same time, helps them feed their young ones with sufficient insect larva. So, the food helps in the propagation of life and also its sustenance.