The Role of Food in Our Health and Well-Being

Food is any material consumed in order to provide nutrition to an organism, which usually includes all the elements that are required to grow, reproduce and thrive. Basically, food is made up of all the elements that animals, plants or fungi eat to obtain nutrients. Food is generally of animal, plant or fungal origin, and includes all the nutrients, including proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, or minerals required by the organisms to survive. The word ‘food’ literally means a food resource. With this in mind, food is used to describe a number of substances that have been categorized into five groups based on their chemical components: food, proteinaceous components, non-proteinaceous components, vegetable matter and other organic compounds. Fungi that consume food are called yeast, moulds and fungi, whereas animals that consume food are known as enzymes, bacteria and other organisms.


Every living thing, whether plant or animal, requires certain foods to live and grow. Although there are many other substances that are important to life, these foods make up the majority of what an organism needs to survive. Foods that are part of our everyday diets can be divided further into the following categories: dietary nutrition, food substance, central nervous system, reproductive system, immune system, biochemical constituents and other components. Food eaten by humans contains the building blocks of the body, which are the basic building blocks of life, called amino acids. These amino acids are responsible for the synthesis of proteins and the development of all the organs and tissues of the body.

Protein is the building block of all proteins, including most enzymes and is also one of the chief nutrients needed by the body. Therefore, our diet should include a balance of protein and other nutrients to ensure the growth and maintenance of our tissue and cells. The other major nutrient that plays a major role in our metabolism is fatty acids. The fatty acids are necessary for producing new cells and maintaining the status of our cells. The best source of natural fatty acids is fish oil, as it contains essential fatty acids that are required for our health. Another nutrient that our bodies need is phospholipids, which are important to cell division and distribution.