Every living thing consumes food for maintaining its life or for conducting physiological functions like body growth, movement and reproduction. An organism collects the necessary food from its surroundings. This food is used directly or is used by the body in the form of simple products. Digestion is the process by which the body turns complex food into simple food. This digested food is absorbed by the body and converted into components of the protoplasm by the assimilation process. All of the above methods together are called nutrition.
Minerals, vitamins and water are very essential elements in different types of life. All these essential substances together are called nutrients. Nutrition is the process by which food is absorbed, digested and absorbed foods are assimilated. In other words, nutrition is a process by which complex foods are broken down into simple foods and later it forms protoplasmic substances.
Definition of Nutrition
Nutrition is an integrated system through which an organism receives, uses, and replicates its components necessary for the smooth functioning of its body’s growth, movement, reproduction, etc. (D.F. Turner 1959). The characteristics of a good nutrition are mentioned below:
- Nutrition protects the body from various infectious diseases.
- It protects the body from various diseases.
- It helps in building the body.
- Nutrition prevents excess body weight gain.
- It helps the organism to be adventurous.
- It helps to increase the brightness of the body.
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Food and Nutrients
Organic and inorganic matter which takes organisms from nature and performs all the basic functions of the body are called nutrients. The organism receives all the nutrients from its environment, not all of which are considered as food and not all of which need to be digested. Essential substances such as minerals, vitamins and water are collectively called nutrients. Foods that contribute to the growth, nutrition, energy production and production of new tissues in the body are considered as food. All foods are synthesized as nutrients in the body and need to be digested.
Importance of Nutrition
- Nutrition regulates body growth, tissue maintenance, energy production, various metabolic functions, etc.
- The stored energy of food is converted into energy through nutrition. Living organisms use all these energies to control various physiological functions of the body such as growth, movement, excretion, reproduction etc.
- The body develops immunity through nutrition.
- The organism stores future food in their body through nutrition. In times of food scarcity, organisms (such as plant food starch and glycogen as fat in animals) produce energy from stored food.
- Nutrition plays a special role in meeting the caloric needs of animals by producing heat.
The importance of good nutrition in the physical growth of an organism is immense. In the case of fish farming, nutrition represents 40-50% of the production cost. In the present context, rapid progress has been made in fish nutrition through the production of new and balanced commercial food with the aim of maximizing fish growth and maintaining health.