In theory, nutrition is a science. It is a science of how the body utilizes food. In actuality, nutrition is life. Every living thing on this planet needs food and water to survive. But not just any food will do, you need healthy food. Food that has the proper nutrients to live well. It’s simple, if you don’t eat and drink, you will die, period. If you are not eating and drinking nutritious food you are in danger of:
Your bones breaking and bending (calcium deficiency)
The gums in your mouth could bleed (vitamin c deficiency)
Your blood stream might not carry enough oxygen to every cell (iron deficiency)
The list could go on, and on, and on. You need to understand how good nutrition can protect you from these awful consequences. In order to do this you need an understanding with the main concepts of nutrition. It would help to know some basic chemistry. But don’t panic if you do not, basic chemistry is very easy to learn. It would also help to know basic psychology and sociology because you will understand why we choose our favorite foods over healthier options.
Did you know that there are nutrients that are vital to humans but not to other species? There are many organic compounds (vitamins) and elements (minerals) that are necessary for dogs and cats, but not for humans. This is because we cannot synthesize certain types of vitamins and minerals from our food. It can also be because these vitamins and minerals are so abundant and we only require such a small amount. For example, choline is a vital nutrient for many animals, including dogs, rats, cats and guinea pigs. Choline is essential for human beings too, but the human body can produce this nutrient on its own.
In summary, nutrition is about what you eat, why you eat it and how your food will affect your body and your health.