For maintaining a healthy lifestyle, nutritious food is necessary. But nowadays, everybody is becoming a workaholic and neglecting food to take in time. Therefore nutritious food is good for physical and mental health so try to include these 6 Essential Nutrients in the diet.
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What are the 6 Essential Nutrients?
Essential nutrients are the chemical substances required by the body and must be obtained through the food since the body cannot produce them in sufficient quantities. They are divided into two subcategories:
Macronutrients( as the name indicates; macro means larger) are the nutrients needed in plenty amounts in the diet such as Carbohydrates, Proteins and Fats.
Micronutrients( micro means small) are the nutrients needed in smaller amounts in the diet such as Vitamins and Minerals.
Most people opt for low-carb diets, but actually carbohydrates are essential for the human body. They are the main sources of energy for the body to perform various functions.
For example, our brain constitutes 2% of the body weight but needs 20% glucose( from carbohydrates) to perform its activity.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that carbohydrates should make up 45% to 65% of total calories.
Carbohydrates can be simple sugars, easy to digest and release instant short-lived energy, found in fruits, vegetables and dairy products and also in candies, chocolates and cakes, but choose wisely before consuming.
Complex carbohydrates digest slowly and release long term energy, found in whole grains, fiber-rich vegetables(promotes gut health), legumes and nuts. Rather than eating white bread and pasta, opt for whole wheat bread and pasta.
Proteins are another macronutrient needed for each cell and tissue in the body. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. A total of 20 different amino acids are link together in different combinations to form new protein molecules such as keratin(hair), myosin(muscle) and other compound such as enzymes and hormones. Out of these, 9 Essential Amino acids are consumed through food since the body cannot produce them. But our body can produce remaining 11 Non-Essential Amino acids.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that 0.8 gm of protein per kilogram of body weight.
Proteins are involved in growth and repair mechanisms and also maintains immunity.
Proteins are found in varied sources few of them are; lean meat, dairy products, poultry, seafood, nuts, seeds, beans and legumes.
Fats are also called lipids or fatty acids. They store energy, insulate us from cold and heat, and protect our vital organs. Fats are of two types: saturated fats and unsaturated fats. Saturated fats are not Good for health, because they become solid at room temperature. Eating foods: processed foods, deep-fried foods, baked foods, full-fat meat and full-fat dairy products can raise the level of LDL- low-density lipoprotein(bad) cholesterol level, which affects the heart badly. Unsaturated Fats are good for health, because they are liquid at room temperature.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that individuals should limit their saturated fat intake to less than 10 percent of daily calories.
Eating foods such as fatty fish, olive oil, avocados, nuts and seeds can increase the level of HDL-high- density cholesterol(good) levels, lower the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Vitamins are micronutrients needed in smaller amounts. Generally we do not suffer from vitamin deficiency if we maintain a healthy diet. The source of vitamins to our body is in two ways. One is through diet; the other is by the intestinal bacteria that supply vitamins to the body. They perform various bodily functions such as fighting infection, and wound healing, make teeth and bones stronger.
Vitamins are of two types: Fat Soluble Vitamins(Vitamin A, D, E and K) and Water Soluble Vitamins(Vitamin B complex) Thiamine(B1), Riboflavin(B2), Niacin(B3), Pyridoxine(B6), Cyanocobalamin(B12), Folic acid, Pantothenic acid, Biotin and Vitamin C(Ascorbic acid).
Water Soluble Vitamins are mainly found in milk and dairy products, fruits and vegetables and Fat Soluble Vitamins are mainly found in vegetable oils, animal fats, oily fish and dairy products.
Minerals are the elements that are present on the earth and also in foods. They are Calcium, phosphorous, Sodium, Potassium, Magnesium, Chloride, Iron, Zinc, Iodine, Copper, Fluoride, Molybdenum, Manganese and selenium. They help the body to develop normally. Minerals are found in milk and dairy products, nuts, fruits and vegetables.
Last but not least, Water is a vital component of our body. Our body contains 60% of water and it is essential for overall health. Experts recommend that 8-10 glasses of water is necessary to drink. If you do not rely on water try to include at least water-bearing fruits such as water melon, cantaloupe, oranges, peaches, plums, raspberries, blueberries, pineapple and apricots. Drinking water carry nutrients to each cell, protects joints and organs, flushes harmful toxins from the body, and also maintains body temperature. We will discuss the role of water in further articles.
These are the 6 Essential Nutrients to include in our diet. Each nutrient plays a unique role in healthy functioning of the body. Natural food is good to stay fit and keeps us from illness, chronic diseases and vitamin deficiencies. Thus eating foods like varied fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, milk and dairy products make person healthier.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why are the 6 nutrients essential?
The 6 Essential Nutrients are Carbohydrates, Proteins, Fats, Vitamins, Minerals, and Water. These nutrients must be obtained through diet for the body to function normally. Essential nutrients play an important role in disease prevention, growth, and good health.
What were the 6 essential nutrients?
There are 6 essential nutrients: carbs, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water. All of these are considered as essential. Your body requires certain nutrients to function properly. These nutrients must be received through the foods you eat; your body cannot produce them.