Eating high-quality, nutritious food - along with physical activity, is essential in nourishing the body and protecting it from inflammation. It's the foundation of good health as our body needs nutrients to promote cell growth development and regulate bodily functions.
The nutrients in the foods you eat day-to-day help maintain your body's everyday functions, support your daily activities, and protect and repair any cellular damage that might occur.
What Are Nutrients?
Nutrients are molecules found in foods and are essential to animals, plants, people, and every other living organism. Nutrients can be divided into two categories: macronutrients and micronutrients.
Macro VS Micro
Below is the difference between macronutrients and micronutrients.
Macronutrients include three primary nutrients; carbohydrates, protein, and fat. The word ''fat'' has a bad name, but the body needs fat for energy and to perform critical functions such as producing hormones and protecting your organs. Most people love carbs, but refined carbs are incredibly unhealthy. Thankfully, not all carbs are created equal. Good Carbohydrates include vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, and carbs are our body's preferred energy source. Protein is used to build and repair muscle and tissue in our body. All three nutrients help our body stay healthy, help digest macronutrients and maintain optimum health.
- Grains, bread, pasta, vegetables, and fruits are carbohydrates.
- Meat, fish, eggs, beans, tofu, and dairy are good protein sources.
- Oils, dairy, meat, fish, nuts, avocados, and olives are good fat sources.
Micronutrients, also referred to as ''essential nutrients,'' are the nutrients your body needs in smaller amounts, and they are commonly referred to as vitamins and minerals. These nutrients are required to support several functions within your body.
- Fatty fish - Vitamin D, Omega-3s,
- Carrots - Vitamin A
- Eggs- Vitamin B, Iron
- Citrus fruits - Vitamin C, Folic acid
- Kiwis - Choline, Vitamin A, C, E, K, and Folate
- Avocados - Vitamins B2, B5, B6
There are four micronutrients, and they can be divided into water-soluble vitamins, fat-soluble vitamins, macro-minerals, and trace minerals. The body needs these nutrients to sustain the production of various enzymes and hormones related to the body's overall functioning.
Nutrient deficiencies can cause several serious health issues when the body doesn't get the necessary nutrients. Fortunately, many micronutrient deficiencies are easy to diagnose and can be treated with various supplements and foods. For example, a magnesium deficiency can cause:
- Bad sleep
- Sugar cravings
- Lack of concentration
Common Micronutrient Deficiencies
Micronutrient deficiencies are common with the abundance of nutrient-poor foods that many people survive on! Below are the most common micronutrient deficiencies:
- Vitamin B12
- Iron deficiency
- Vitamin D
Some deficiencies are easy to diagnose and have minimal risk, but others can cause severe discomfort, and if untreated, may cause long-term damage. For instance, B12 deficiencies can lead to anemia, memory issues, mood swings, irregular work of the heart, and even neurological problems.
Even with a healthy diet, it can be challenging to balance your intake of nutrients, so consider taking supplements. The best nutrition plan is balancing macronutrients, micronutrients, and calories. Including micronutrient-rich foods in your diet will help maintain a balanced digestive system.
Get the most from your daily diet by making healthy choices.
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* FDA Disclaimer
The statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not meant to diagnose, treat or cure any disease or medical condition. Please consult your health care professional before using any product.