Importance of Food in the Body | Its Contribution to Health and Life

Food is the third most essential thing for life after air and water.

A person cannot survive without food for more than a few weeks. This shows the importance of food for life.

Food, in general, consists of carbohydrates, proteins, fats as major components and minerals, vitamins as minor components.

All of these components are useful for a healthy body. This food can be grains, pulses, fruits, vegetables, oils, meat, etc.

Importance of food in Points

1. For Life

  • Life is dependent on the energy generated inside the body. Food is the only source of this 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.
Importance of food for growth
  • 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, growth and maintenance

  • During childhood, food is essential for the growth of the body.
  • The body structures like the bones and tissues need sufficient protein, calcium and other nutrients for growth.
  • These are provided by food.
  • Even the bodyweight is directly proportional to food intake. To maintain a healthy weight having regular food is essential.
  • 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 other strenuous exercise for bodybuilding need protein.
  • The growth of muscle tissue induced by workouts requires sufficient food.
  • So gym instructors advise those practicing to consume high protein-containing foods.
  • For this, pulses, milk, egg, and meat are recommended.

4. For Health

  • Some medicines are supplements of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, etc.
  • If nutrient-rich food is taken, the need for that medicine will not arise.
  • So food acts as a medicine if taken in proper form and right amounts.
  • 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. 

Food helps overcome diseases or disorders as it 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.

5. For drugs to act

  • Drugs act well when complemented with sufficient food.
  • Food gives strength to the body and builds immunity.
  • This also helps to safely accommodate a drug and metabolizes it after its action.
  • These enzymes are made of proteins that are provided by food.
  • 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.
  • Food 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.
  • It also helps develop antibodies and white blood cells to develop resistance to disease-causing microbes.

6. To overcome stress

  • Many people under stress neglect food. But interestingly, the same food can relieve stress.
  • During stress, there is excess irritation and acid secretion in the stomach.
  • So, there is intense hunger, and having food help relieve stress in the gut.
  • 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. 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.

8. For students

  • Students and kids are in a state of growth both physically and mentally.
  • For this, they require a good environment, facilities and proper food.
  • But students and kids tend to skip meals and also avoid good foods like fruits and vegetables.
  • This tends to build obesity and insomnia.
  • Besides students need to understand the subjects and also memorize them for better academic performances.

So proper food such as snacks, fruits, and meals should be given for better growth and performance.

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 travel

  • Food is an essential part of travel and journeys.
  • It helps to satisfy the hunger during travel and also acts as a pass time.

Hence, you can notice all the airplanes, trains, Cruise ships have sufficient options for diet.

11. For maintenance of cultural identity

  • Food is 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 the consumption of particular foods.
  • For example, 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.

12. For animals

  • Food regulates animals’ population in forests.
  • 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) It also helps in the breeding of insects and birds. It also helps in the propagation of plants.

  • Every fruit or nut 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.

The starting 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 simultaneously, 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.

References:

  1. How Long Can a Person Survive Without Food?
  2. Can Stress Cause Acid Reflux?
  3. Brain fuel: 5 food groups for successful students.

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