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WHAT ARE NUTRIENTS?

Updated: Feb 28

In the previous blog I explained you what exactly #fat loss is and now I want to inform you of various true facts when it comes to nutrition. Nutrition and health are very lucrative markets as everyone wants to follow the #diet that their favorite celebrity has so that they can look like them. However, the reality is that each person requires a customized diet plan as everyone's metabolism, food intake, and many other factors differ.


What are Nutrients?


Nutrients are molecules in food that all organisms need to make energy, grow, develop, and reproduce. Nutrients are digested and then broken down into basic parts to be used by the organism. There are two main types of nutrients: Macronutrients and Micronutrients. The three main categories of macronutrients include #carbohydrates #protein, and fat. The two types of micronutrients are vitamins and minerals, and these are extra molecules that cells need to make energy. Let's take a look at the three groups of macronutrients we mentioned.




Macronutrients: Carbohydrates are a type of macronutrient used for quick #energy in cells. The basic unit of carbohydrates is a monosaccharide. An example of a monosaccharide is glucose or sugar. Glucose can be by itself, or assembled into long chains to make things like starch, which can be found in potatoes.

Potatoes - a type of carbohydrate

Have you heard of the athletic term, carb-loading? Athletes load up on carbohydrates before a big race to give themselves a store of quick energy. Carbohydrates have gotten a bad rap lately, but everyone needs carbs! It is important to eat a balanced diet with all the major nutrient categories. Foods that contain carbohydrates include #grains, cereal, bread, pasta, potatoes, fruits and sweets such as soda and candy. Proteins are a macronutrient that the cells in your body use for structure. Protein is very important for building tissues, such as muscle. Muscle is mainly made up of proteins. Think how bodybuilders are always eating plain chicken and protein bars - they're trying to build their muscles by getting lots of protein in their diet!

Protein powder is used by bodybuilders to build muscle

Proteins are made from smaller monomers called #amino acids. There are twenty amino acids that make up all the kinds of protein your body needs. Imagine that amino acids are like Legos. To build a fancy Lego building, you need all shapes and colors of Legos. But there aren't infinite shapes of Legos; you only have so many to work with. The same thing with protein. Your body can make some of the amino acids you need, but there are nine that you must consume in your diet. These are called essential amino acids. Meat, fish, beans, and eggs are examples of foods rich in protein. Fats are called #lipids and are a macronutrient in your body that stores energy. Fats have long chains of carbon and hydrogen, which store lots of energy in the chemical bonds. Fats are important in our body to cushion organs, protect our cells, and send signals in the form of hormones around our body. Foods that are rich in fats are #peanuts #almonds #walnuts #avocado #fish oil

Micronutrients: Called micronutrients because they are needed only in minuscule amounts, these substances are the “magic wands” that enable the #body to produce enzymes, #hormones and other substances essential for proper growth and development.


Micronutrients in Food:


All foods contain micronutrients. Here's a list of important micronutrients and common foods where they can be found:


Calcium - milk, yogurt, spinach, and sardines


Vitamin B12 - beef, fish, cheese, and eggs


Zinc - beef, cashews, garbanzo beans, and turkey


Potassium - bananas, spinach, potatoes, and apricots


Vitamin C - oranges, peppers, broccoli, and bananas


Foods containing many micronutrients are considered nutrient dense. This ratio compares the amount of #calories the food provides to the amount of nutrients it contains. Low calorie foods with many micronutrients, such as #fruits and #vegetables, have higher nutrient densities.


Research regarding micronutrients in the form of supplements, or a source that is not food, such as a #multivitamin, is inconclusive. While multivitamins are commonly recommended by health professionals and consumed by the general public, their effectiveness is unproven. Consumers should proceed with caution when consuming micronutrients in supplements, as the price, quality, and safety of these products varies considerably.


Types of Micronutrients: Vitamins are available in two forms: water-soluble and fat-soluble. Water-soluble vitamins are easily lost through bodily fluids and must be replaced each day. Water-soluble vitamins include the B-complex vitamins and vitamin C. Vitamins B6 and B12 are two of the most well-known B-complex vitamins. Since they are not lost as easily as their water-soluble counterparts, fat-soluble vitaminstend to accumulate within the body and are not needed on a daily basis. The fat-soluble vitamins are A, D, E and K. #Minerals are also available in two forms: macrominerals and microminerals.

Macrominerals are needed in larger amounts and include the following: Calcium Magnesium Phosphorus Sodium Potassium Microminerals are only needed in trace amounts and include the following: Iron Copper Iodine Zinc Fluoride


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