IntroductionWe all love to eat. We start our day with it by drinking coffee or tea and by having some breakfast. We end our day by eating dinner and some times even mid-night snack. Throughout the day, we keep eating one or the other food stuff. Some of them may be in solid form, some of them in liquid and some in semi-liquid form. But the question is why do we eat it? What is the necessity or benefit of eating and why do we give it so much of importance? We all have an obvious answer to these questions and that is we eat because food keeps us alive. We need food to survive and that is why we eat it. But what is that entity that makes us slaves to our hunger and rumbling guts? We have to understand all those functions which body carries out which will consequently slow down or else will not take place if we deny another serving of meal to our body.
Food is fuel to the bodyBody is like a vehicle. No vehicle can move forward if it isn't fueled up. Body too needs its fuel in the form of energy which it burns up to carry out various functions. This energy comes form the food we supply to it. To charge up our continued existence i.e., to survive, we need to supply food to our body on regular basis. Energy supplied by food is used by our body for growth, for movement purposes, to heal and to repair the body. It helps in maintenance of the body.
Fulfills nutritional requirementsOur body requires different nutrients to carry out various functions. Foods we eat provide our body nutrition by supplying sufficient amount of water, carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins and essential minerals. These nutrients help in building up of tissues and organs. They help our cells to run and carry out their functions. Irrespective of whether functions carried out by body is voluntary or involuntary, both requires energy and thus food is the one which makes everything possible.
Physiological functionsFood which we eat and drink all goes through a complex process in our body. First, it gets digested by breakdown of food into fine molecules. Later, absorption of essential nutrients from the food takes place. These nutrients are required by each cell of the body to carry out various functions. Food then goes through assimilation. Undigested food then gets excreted out of the body. Food when gets metabolized in the body, energy is produced. This energy is measured in terms of calories and is required by the body to carry out its various functions. Each and every organ stops functioning if it is devoid of nutrients or energy supply. This is food's physiological function.
Psychological functionFood not only performs physiological function, but also gives a sense of satisfaction by performing psychological function. When we eat, food satisfies our hunger cravings and brain signals satiety. Without the signal of satiety, under-eating or over-eating of food may take place resulting in anorexia or bulimia.
Social functionsFood plays a very important role in bringing people together. It creates a bond between them and binds them. Therefore, it has a great importance in all of the social gatherings. No celebration is complete in its absence. It creates a feeling of sharing and thus food performs a social function.
It is the necessityWe all may have different opinions about food. For some of us, it is just a source of nourishment whereas for others, it is a source of pleasure and their whole life revolves around it. Some of us feel that it is a basic need, others feel that it is a luxury. Some may describe it as a human right. For some food is discomfort, especially for all those suffering form eating disorders. Whatever may be the case, we all are related to it and in fact very closely related. We all need it and cannot live without it. If we have to survive then it is our weapon for survival.
Food and lifeFood can either boost our health or deteriorate it. It is significant to all humanity. It is conviviality. It forms the media to keep people together and enjoy each others company. It can reveal an individuals identity. The culture an individual follows, the social status he enjoys, his origin, all get revealed by the kind of food he eats or chooses to eat. Most important thing that is revealed is his mood. Food is an act of love. We only cook or share food with the people whom we care for or love. This way food and life are closely linked with each other.
It is a way of lifeWhether it is for survival, nutrition, taste fulfillment, we have been eating it and will continue to do so. It helps maintain our physical and mental health. It helps us maintain our appropriate body weight. It increases our immunity and keeps sickness and diseases away from us. It satisfies our taste buds. We first eat it with our eyes, then with our nose and then it boosts taste in our mouth. Once it enters our body, it boosts energy in us. Different types of foods are essential for carrying out different functions. Natural produce like fruits and vegetables are known as glow foods cause they help our skin and hair to glow and glow is from inside out. Proteins are grow foods cause they help in growth and building up of muscles. Carbohydrates are go foods because they cause burst of energy which is responsible for us to go all day.
Food during primitive timesPeople living in primitive ages were mainly hunters and gatherers. They would wander in woods and hunt animals to eat. They searched for vegetation. They would live without food for days together as food was not made available to them, the way it is made available for us today. They worked really hard i.e., their energy expenditure was very high. Energy they gained by eating food however was not very high because whatever they consumed was not dense in calories. Thus, a perfect balance was created between their energy expenditure and energy intake.
Biology underlying eatingWe eat because it pleasures us. This given fact makes us eat at very frequent hours. Though it acts like a fuel, though it helps in growth, nourishment and healing of body, but we mainly eat because food satisfies us from within. Satisfaction can be to satisfy a hunger call or satisfying raised levels of stress and anxiety. Food acts as a calming factor and relaxant when mental satisfaction is needed. To satisfy physical needs i.e., body's signs of hunger, it acts as a fuel. Irrespective of whether it satisfies the body or mind, in both the cases, it becomes essential entity. In its absence, life seems difficult. Our natural inclination towards food itself depicts how significant role it plays in our lives.
ConclusionWe eat food because it acts like a fuel to our body and creates a sense of satisfaction in our mind. It satisfies our body by relieving us from hunger pangs. It satisfies our mind by creating calming and relaxation feelings. It helps us to sustain and survive in this world. Our food choices are influenced by various factors like our budget, stress level, availability, convenience, personal favorites, sleep schedules etc. Whatever may be the choice, but food is a way of life and it is important to all of us. Food and life therefore are very deeply inter-linked.
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The necessity of food and other details regarding food are given in the article. A word of caution I want to add is we should always have a balanced diet so that we will have correct strength to perform our acts. We should avoid excessive eating. Always have sufficient food. Neither excess nor less.