We are going to talk about the basics of nutrition and also about the different types of nutrients and their function in our bodies. This will be the first in a series of posts about each nutrient our bodies need to function. Next, let’s examine the types of nutrients that are found in the foods we eat.
There are six main nutrients, namely water, carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals. They all play a unique and essential role in how our bodies function.
This is the first item on the list because it is the most essential thing we need in our day-to-day life. As we said before water makes up 70% of our bodies and is essential for overall health. Water is used in a variety of body functions and helps regulate our temperature. Body fluids are mostly water, especially blood, which transports nutrients around the body system and in and out of cells. The amount of water needed to be consumed each day can vary depending on age, activity level, and so on. But the general rule of thumb is to drink up to 8-10 cups of water every day.
Carbohydrates are the second listed food because they are also very essential for every human on earth. As a result, they are regarded as the main source of energy in our bodies. Blood sugar is the fuel that powers cells in our body system.
Two types of carbohydrates are simple carbs, which can be readily absorbed in the form of sugar. On the other hand, complex is challenging to digest in the form of fiber or starches. We literally cannot digest fiber, but it plays an instrumental role in gastrointestinal tract health and cholesterol metabolism. It is recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans that up to 65% of the calories in our diet originate from carbohydrates. They are found in vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, honey, seeds, sugar, and dairy foods.
Protein is also one of the most essential. It is made of amino acids, which serve as the building blocks of the tissue system. Protein in our diet plays a very substantial role in maintaining, repairing, and growing our body tissues. Conversion of protein into blood glucose is a smart idea because it can be used as energy when we are not getting too much energy from carbohydrates or fat. There are different sources of protein and pretentious foods in various amounts; dairy products, meat, beans, seafood, poultry, peas, seeds, nuts, and dairy foods..
Also read; The essence of nutrition and hydration
This is our most concentrated source of energy, giving twice the amount of calories per gram. Fat is simply the process by which our bodies store extra calories for later use. Even with this less useful function. Fats may be essential to one’s health in various ways. During metabolic processes, fat plays a very substantial role as part of hormones, encasing the body system, and absorbing potentially lethal conditions to shield various parts of the body (as seen in the soles of our feet or palms, as well as inside our organs). The cell membranes consist of fat and our brains are made up of 60% fat. Most fats are healthy, such as Omega-3s, and we need to get them from our diets. Fats can be found in various foods and beverages, including dairy foods, animal products, and oils from various plants, like coconuts, olives, avocados, or canola seeds.
Vitamins are needed for the body to function properly. Although it is needed in much smaller amounts than other nutrients. Vitamins have different functions in your body, which assist in metabolism, growth, development, and immunity (as well as many other functions). Hence vitamins are termed as water-soluble which are vitamins C and B complex vitamins respectively or fat-soluble which are vitamins A, D, E, & K. Possibly every food has some type of vitamin in them and we will get into more detailed explanations as we talk about each vitamin in our future posts.
Minerals are another key nutrient. Our bodies depend on elements (referred to as the periodic table in chemistry) to function efficiently. Most minerals are being used for metabolic processes while others are used as part of the body structures. Like calcium in our bones and teeth. Like vitamin nutrients, various foods contain different minerals.