At its most basic level, nutrition is the the process by which we take in food, food provides energy, and energy powers the body and keep-s us alive. There are six groups of essential dietary elements, called vital nutrients, required for a body to remain healthy. These nutrients provide energy, help us grow, and allow us to repair damaged tissues. In this article we will explore the 6 vital nutrients for human body which include proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals and water their functions and sources of these 6 vital nutrients for human body.
6 Vital Nutrients for Human Body:
Here are the 6 Vital Nutrients for Human Body:
Proteins are made up of chemicals called amino acids. There are 22 different amino acids: the body can make 13, but the other 9 must come from the food we eat. all amino acids contain carbon, oxygen, nitrogen and hydrogen. The main work of proteins is to grow and repair body tissue such as bones, skin and organs.
Functions of Protein:
Proteins make up much of the body’s muscles and organs, and even some hormones. Proteins also make up hemoglobin, the part of the red blood cells that carries oxygen around the body. Finally, proteins provide a small source of energy.
Sources of Protein:
Humans get the proteins they need from animal or plant foods, including meat, chicken, fish, eggs, nuts, dairy products and legumes. Lean meat like chicken, turkey and fish are rich in protein. They also provide essential amino acids that your body can not produce on its own.
People who prefer vegetables or are vegans, can find protein in plant-based foods like tofu, beans, lentils and quinoa. These type of plant-based protein also provide dietary fiber.
Carbohydrates which is one of the vital nutrients for human body provide energy needed for the brain, central nervous system and muscle cells. carbohydrates are an often misunderstood nutrient, but they are the biggest source of energy for human body. They come in two forms, simple and complex. The simple carbohydrates, including sugars such as glucose and fructose, are quickly digested and used for immediate energy. Complex carbohydrates – starches and glycogen – take longer to digest, and provide a slow but steady supply of energy.
Functions of Carbohydrates:
carbohydrates fuel your body and brain, ensuring you have the energy needed for daily activities and mental strength to focus on work.
Sources of Carbohydrates:
Fruits and vegetables, such as bananas, sweet potatoes and spinach offer a mix of carbohydrates and vitamins. Simple carbohydrates can be found in white potatoes, white rice, and foods made with white , refined flour. Complex carbohydrates are found in whole grain breads, cereals, and pasta, as well as grains such as bulgur and brown rice.
The various types of fats continue to confuse American consumers. Fats come in three varieties – saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats – and like carbohydrates they contain carbon, oxygen and hydrogen. Basically, different fats get their names from their patterns of hydrogen atoms. All fatty acids which make up fats, contain chains of carbon atoms with hydrogen atoms attached to some or all of the carbon atoms. These fatty acids in the amount of hydrogen they contain.
Types of Fats:
In carbon chains in which the carbon atoms are bonded to the maximum number of hydrogen atoms – that is, “saturated” with hydrogens – the carbon atoms are linked to each other only by single bonds. Conversely, in an “unsaturated” carbon chain, with carbon atoms bonded to fewer hydrogens, some carbon atoms are linked to each other by double bonds. The more double bonds, the fewer hydrogen molecules. Fats with one double bond are called monounsaturated: those with two or more double bonds are called polyunsaturated. Both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are considered good fats by nutritionists.
Functions of Fats:
Healthy good fats support cardiovascular health, help in absorption of nutrients and promote a healthy nervous system. However, nutritionists caution that it is important to have some fats in a healthy diet. Healthy, unsaturated fats build cell membranes and store the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Most important, fats are body’s most concentrated sources of energy, and take longer than proteins or carbohydrates to digest.
Sources of Fats:
The monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats found in olive, other vegetable oils, nuts and fish are considered part of a healthy diet. These fats provide the high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol that protects artery walls by carrying away low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or bad cholesterol. Avocado is rich in monounsaturated fats which support healthy heart and brain function.
Saturated fats are found in whole milk, red meats and other animal products, as well as in palm oil and processed foods such as margarine and pastries.
There are 13 vitamins needed by the body for normal growth, digestion and resistance to infection. They also assist the body in utilizing carbohydrates, fats and proteins more efficiently. Vitamins are found naturally in many foods and come in two forms, fat-soluble and water-soluble. The fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K are dissolved and stored in fats, meaning that they remain in the body longer than the water-soluble vitamins. The water-soluble vitamins, C and the eight B-complex vitamins are dissolved and stored in fats.
Functions of Vitamins:
Vitamins play a crucial role in maintaining healthy skin, improving eyesight and supporting the immune system.
Sources of Vitamins:
Vitamin C: Vitamin C is known for immune boosting and bone and dental support. Source of vitamin C found in abundance in citrus fruits like oranges, strawberries and kiwis.
Vitamin D: We can obtain vitamin D from the sunlight exposure, fatty fish like salmon and fortifies diary products like milk, yoghurt.
Vitamin A: Vitamin A is beneficial for eyesight, skin health, cell growth and development and known for antioxidant properties. Vitamin A is available in two primary forms – retinoids and carotenoids. Preformed vitamin (retinoids) can be found in animal products such as liver, fish and diary products. vitamin A carotenoids found in colorful fruits and vegetables like carrots, sweet potatoes and spinach.
Minerals which are vital for various bodily functions like maintaining bone health to operate nerve system smoothly. Some important minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, sodium, phosphorus, iodine, copper and zinc play vital role in maintaining optimal health well-being.
Functions of Minerals:
Minerals are essential for strong bones and healthy teeth. Minerals like iron is helpful in transporting oxygen in our blood. Minerals like magnesium and potassium support in muscle building, maintaining blood sugar levels and keeping healthy heart rhythm. Though excessive sodium intake is not good for health, but certain quantity of sodium helps to keep fluid balance. Iodine is essential for thyroid function
Sources of Minerals:
Here are the essential minerals and their sources:
Calcium: Diary products like milk, cheese and yogurt and leafy greens
Iron: Red meat, beans, and fortified cereals
Magnesium: Nuts, seeds, whole grains and leafy greens.
Potassium: Bananas, oranges, potatoes.
Zinc: Seafood, red meat and nuts.
Iodine: Iodized salt and seafood.
Water is one of the 6 vital nutrients for human body and minerals which is often overlooked. Water makes up about 50% to 70% of our body weight. Our body depends on water to survive. Every cell, tissue and organ in our body needs water to work properly. You have heard the advice to drink eight glasses of water a day. That is easy to remember, and it is a reasonable goal
Functions of Water:
Water get rids of wastes through urination, perspiration and bowel movements. Water keeps our body temperature normal. It helps to to lubricates and cushions joints and protects sensitive tissues.
Sources of Water:
Tap water is the most convenient and safety source of drinking water. Whenever we are travelling outside home, we quench our thirst from the bottled water from the store but make sure that it is purified and belongs to reputed brand. In many places spring, lake, river and rain water are the sources of drinking water after this water goes under purification process.
Incorporating these 6 vital nutrients for human body into your diet plan helps to improve your overall health and well-being. Whether you are looking to improve your skin, build muscle, support immune system or boosting energy levels, these 6 vital nutrients for human body found in balanced diet help significantly. Remember that only a diverse and balanced diet is the best way to ensure getting all these 6 vital nutrients for human body.
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