In order to live and survive, humans requiresubstances from the food they eat to nourishbodily functions. These substances assisthuman growth from the cellular level.Nutrients are these key essential substancesthat keep the body functioning well andprolong life. These elements are required sothat bodily processes can progress. Nutrientsare acquired from all food products in varyingamounts.
Nutrients are divided into two categories,Macronutrients and Micronutrients.Macronutrients are the essential substances requiredby the body in generous amounts, thus the “Macro”prefix. These Nutrients include carbohydrates, fatsand proteins. Everything edible contains variableamounts of each substance, except for calorie-freefood. Macronutrients are considered “fuel” foodbecause they are generally used by the body as energysources. Carbohydrates consist of fiber, starch andsugar. Starches and sugars provide the energy requiredby the body to function. Extra amounts ofcarbohydrates are converted to fats. Fiber is the body’s“natural broom”.
”. It gets rid of unhealthy cholesterol in thebody. Fats act as protection of cells. Itmakes up the cell membrane. Fats are alsoessential for the brain and nerves tofunction normally. Extra fat can be used asenergy. Proteins are the building blocks oftissues, which in turn build up muscles,organs and systems. Extra amounts ofprotein, like carbohydrates, are alsoconverted to fat.
Micronutrients, on the other hand, are the essentialsubstances required by the body in small amounts,thus the “Micro” prefix. These Nutrients includethe 12 vitamins and 13 minerals needed by thebody. Vitamins are divided into fat-soluble andwater-soluble groups. As the names imply, fat-soluble vitamins need fat to dissolve. Water-soluble vitamins need water to dissolve. Mineralsare divided into macrominerals or the majorminerals and microminerals or the trace minerals.Macrominerals are required by the body in slightlyhigher amounts than microminerals, which areneeded by the body in “trace” quantities.
The water-soluble vitamins includeVitamin C and Vitamin B-Complex. VitaminC is required by the body to help in theformation and repair of tissues. Vitamin B-Complex functions at the cellular level; foramino acid metabolism and cell division.Deficiencies of these Nutrients can bedetrimental to human health. Likewise,higher than normal dosage of thesevitamins are also harmful.
Fat-soluble vitamins include Vitamins A, D,E and K. Vitamin A and E come only fromfood. Vitamin D and K are made by thebody and may also be acquired assupplements. Vitamin A is necessary foreye health. Vitamin E protects body tissuesfrom damages. Vitamin D helps absorbcalcium into the body. Vitamin K allows theblood clotting to take place.
Macrominerals or the major mineralsinclude calcium, magnesium, phosphorus,potassium and sodium. These minerals arerequired for body fluid balance andhealthy bones, muscles and teeth. Themicrominerals or trace minerals arechromium, copper, fluoride, iodine, iron,selenium and zinc.
Among these trace minerals, iodine, iron and zinc aregenerally important. Iodine is required to createthyroid hormones to keep the nervous systemfunctioning properly. Iron is used to createhaemoglobin, which carries oxygen throughout thebody. Zinc is involved in skin integration and woundhealing. Deficiencies and large dosage of theseNutrients, whether major or trace are hazardous tohealth.Eating a balanced and healthy diet can ensure thatdaily requirements of these Nutrients are acquired.http://www.macronutrients.net/nutrients-in-motion/