It is common to use the terms feed and nutrition interchangeably. However, if we want to be precise when expressing ourselves, we should not use these concepts as synonyms or equivalents, as they do not really mean the same thing.
But what is the difference between feed and nutrition?
Nutrition is a set of processes that allow us to obtain essential matter and energy for vital functions. In other words, through nutrition we obtain the nutrients necessary to satisfy the requirements of an organism.
These nutrients are extracted from the food we eat, because they are contained in it.
Adequate nutrition is essential for the correct development and functioning of the different systems of our body, which allow us to carry out our daily activities.
However, nutritional needs are not static and far from the same for everyone.
Nutritional requirements depend on age, sex and activity level. Moreover, they vary greatly in different circumstances and stages of life.
Therefore, to ensure that our nutrition is adequate, we must be aware of the specific needs of our body and always take into account those factors that can modify or influence them (state of health or illness, natural physiological changes, degree of exercise and activity, etc.).
Only in this way will we be able to ensure that our nutrition meets the objectives of:
- To provide us with the energy we need for our vital functions.
- To properly carry out the metabolic processes required by our organism.
- To cover the requirements to form, maintain and regenerate or repair the structures of our body.
- To guarantee an optimal state of health and prevent the occurrence of pathologies.
All nutrients are important for the body, which is why it is essential that our nutrition is complete.
However, not all nutrients are required in the same quantity and frequency. That is why, in addition to being complete, our nutrition must also be balanced, to provide us with the right amounts of each nutrient according to our particular needs.
Moreover, not all nutrients have the same relevance and perform the same functions, hence there are essential and non-essential nutrients.
Generally speaking, our bodies need carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals (as well as water, of course).
However, within these groups of nutrients there are indispensable and dispensable compounds, or compounds that our body requires more or less frequently and in greater or lesser quantities.
We can also talk about essential and non-essential nutrients depending on our body’s ability to synthesise them.
In other words, essential substances are those that our body cannot synthesise or cannot produce in sufficient quantities to meet its requirements, and which must therefore be ingested through our diet.
Taking proteins as an example, proteins are composed of amino acids that may or may not be essential. Essential amino acids that make up proteins include lysine, tryptophan, phenylalanine, valine, threonine, methionine, leucine, isoleucine and histidine.
In contrast, there are six amino acids that are considered non-essential because the body can synthesise them in the required amounts. These amino acids are alanine, aspartic acid, glutamic acid, serine, selenocysteine and asparagine.
In relation to minerals, the following are considered essential: sodium, potassium, calcium, iron, zinc, chloride, phosphorus, magnesium, sulphur, molybdenum, iodine, selenium, copper, fluoride, chromium and manganese.
Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, B12, as well as vitamins A, C, D, E and K are essential.
Such variety and complexity in relation to nutrients can complicate the task of meeting all the nutritional needs for our particular case with food alone.
One way to make this task easier and provide our body with what it needs at all times is to use supplements.
Including supplements in your dietary routine can help you improve your body’s nutrition and help you enjoy optimal wellness.
However, we have already highlighted the influence of each person’s particular situation and characteristics, so it is important to take into account when choosing the right supplement:
- Your lifestyle and activity level. It is advisable to detect whether your body has a high demand for certain nutrients, for example due to a demanding sporting activity, in order to choose a supplement that specifically contains those nutrients.
- Particularities in the way you eat, such as foods or food groups that you do not eat and therefore do not get those nutrients (e.g. vegan diets, intolerances, allergies, etc.). You may want to choose a supplement to replace those intakes that you do not eat, either by choice or obligation.
- Maximise your overall wellness. If you want to ensure that your body has all the essential nutrients it needs to achieve optimal nutrition, you can choose a supplement that provides general wellness benefits and helps to complement your nutritional status.
- You can also choose a supplement based on what it is formulated for (athletes, immune system support, cholesterol management, etc.). This is especially useful when you are looking to give your body a boost of energy or extra nutritional support based on your lifestyle or needs.
- Because of the variety of benefits they provide, a great option is to supplement our diet with organic silica supplements. These can be entirely formulated with this health-promoting trace element, as is the case with Silicium G7, or in combination with other nutrients, as is the case with the G7 Activ+ supplement, which provides magnesium and vitamin C, as well as organic silica.
What is feeding?
Feeding is a biological aspect that is indispensable for the subsistence of an individual and consists of the act of supplying food to the organism. In other words, when we talk about nourishment, we are referring to the intake of food.
Eating food is a conscious, voluntary act, and its main purpose is to nourish us, but it is not the only one.
In addition to responding to a physiological need, food also responds to cultural factors. In other words, there is a wide range of ways of eating due to the cultural diversity of human beings.
Likewise, food also has social repercussions, being of great importance in the relationship between individuals, status, fashions, etc. In turn, these aspects influence the way we eat.
In other words, all this socio-cultural influence modulates or modifies eating habits and therefore also influences people’s health and well-being.
In any case, the process of eating is not just the act of eating food; it also requires us to select food and prepare or cook it beforehand.
Although we have seen in detail what these two concepts are and what they refer to, in a more concrete way we can summarise the difference between food and nutrition as follows:
- Eating is a voluntary act and refers to the actual intake of food.
- In contrast, nutrition is an involuntary act, requiring digestion, absorption, transport and metabolism of nutrients obtained from food ingested through eating.
- All human beings are nourished in the same way, by breaking down food to extract the energy and nutrients our bodies need.
- However, not all people eat the same way, as diet is highly influenced by personal, cultural and social factors.
- These factors can change the way we eat and the food we consume.
In short, food and nutrition are two closely related concepts, but they refer to very different issues. However, both are very important aspects of achieving optimal health and general well-being.