Why do we need food?

Why do we need food?

Food is the basic need for all living beings .it gives us energy to carry out our day to day activities and keep all the system of on our body functioning well. Food also adds pleasure to life. Food can be defined as any substance which nourishes the body and is fit to eat. Food should be edible, non-toxic, should be digested by our body and should contain at least one nutrients.

Nutrients are the chemical substances present in the food, which the body needs to carry out its function. There are six major group of nutrients,namely carbohydrates, protein, fat , vitamin, mineral and water where as , Nutrition is the science of nourishing the body - it is the study of various Nutrients, their characteristics, function,source and Requirement.


1. Physiological functions

2. Psychological functions

3. Social functions

A. Physiological functions :-

The various physiological functions performed by food are ;

  • Energy yielding function : Important function of food is to provide energy to carry out voluntary and involuntary work. Involuntary work includes all process which are not under the control of our will such as digestion , respiration, circulation e.t.c
  • Body building and growth : The food we eat become part of us . Thus, one of the important function of food is to build body components such as cell, tissue,bones, fluids,Hormones e.t.c that promotes growth
  • Maintenance and Repair : wear and year of cells are continuously maintained by body for which all the essential nutrients are obtained through the food
  • Regulatory function : another important function of food is to perform several activities such as beating of heart , maintenance of temperature, clotting of blood.
  • Protective Function : food also provides resistance and immunity function for several type of disease , infection and helps to recover the body rapidly.

B. Psychological Function :-

Apart, from satisfying the physiological and social functions, food also satisfied certain emotional needs. Food provides sense of security , love and affection. Familiar food makes us feel secure and comfortable. A mother demonstrates her love to her child by preparing their favourite meal. Sharing food is also token of friendship. Many people eat food to relieve anxiety and frustration. In a friendly gathering we try unfamiliar food to enhance food experience. Certain food are associated with sickness and our belief to have remedial effect. Example : jaulo khichadi e.t.c. similarly, sweet foods are known to provide sense of relief and happiness and these fact has been supported by studies that sweet food releases endorphine that triggers happiness.

C. Social Function :-

Food carries a lot of social significance. Warmth and friendship are expressed through one's food or inviting people to dine . Preparing special food is a way of showing respect or affection. Food is a significant part of celebration for ocassion such as birthday, wedding e.t.c. Moreover, Festival such as Diwali, Christmas and Eid have special menus prescribed for the ocassions. Food also have religious significance.

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