This is a great question Akron! Learning about how organisms including ourselves, process nutrients is an important topic, even more so in today’s world where diet and exercise are as popular as they’ve ever been.
As you may already know, photosynthesis is the process where plants and small organisms can use energy from sunlight to create their own nutrients. Plants, algae, plankton, and some other small organisms that process energy
from the sun are called photoautotrophs.
Photoautotrophs is just a big word meaning, “organisms that obtain food using light.”
Have you ever thought about why plants and organisms that process energy from the sun are usually green?Photosynthetic organisms use the light-absorbing molecule called chlorophyll to collect energy from the sun.
Chlorophyll is a pigment molecule that reflects green light, giving plants and algae their signature green color. Sunlight is taken up by chlorophyll. The sunlight is combined with water, as a source of electrons, to produce high
energy molecules and oxygen. The high energy molecules are combined with carbon dioxide gas to create sugar!
Plants and algae do not like oxygen and get rid of it. This is great for us because we need oxygen and breathe it in!We do not like carbon dioxide and get rid of it when we breathe out, but plants and algae need it to make nutrients. This cycle is very important for how photosynthetic organisms and humans need each other to survive!
We also need plants to survive because we cannot create our own nutrients like they can. Humans and other animals need to eat nutrients like green vegetables, fibers, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, and minerals to obtain energy. These nutrients are combined with water to create high energy molecules, called ATP, to fuel our bodies.
However, our body only requires a certain level of nutrients. If we eat too much food, the body cannot break down all the nutrients efficiently and begins to store leftover nutrients as fat. Fat is an incredible source of energy, but it is much harder to break down than sugar. This is why it takes a lot of exercise and hard work to lose weight.
Water is used everywhere in the body and composes up to 60% of our bodies! Water helps regulate our temperature, keep our skin moist, and maintain healthy function in our organs. Our bodies lose water from breathing, sweating, and digesting food. Food and water are both combined for our body to run at optimal levels, just like you said. This is why it is extremely important to stay hydrated and to eat just the right amounts of healthy foods for our bodies to produce high amounts of energy.
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