Nutrients in Motion by faraj1978


									In order to live and survive, humans require
substances from the food they eat to nourish
bodily functions. These substances assist
human growth from the cellular level.
Nutrients are these key essential substances
that keep the body functioning well and
prolong life. These elements are required so
that bodily processes can progress. Nutrients
are acquired from all food products in varying
Nutrients are divided into two categories,
Macronutrients and Micronutrients.
Macronutrients are the essential substances required
by the body in generous amounts, thus the “Macro”
prefix. These Nutrients include carbohydrates, fats
and proteins. Everything edible contains variable
amounts of each substance, except for calorie-free
food. Macronutrients are considered “fuel” food
because they are generally used by the body as
energy sources. Carbohydrates consist of fiber, starch
and sugar. Starches and sugars provide the energy
required by the body to function. Extra amounts of
carbohydrates are converted to fats. Fiber is the body’s
“natural broom”.
”. It gets rid of unhealthy cholesterol in the
body. Fats act as protection of cells. It
makes up the cell membrane. Fats are also
essential for the brain and nerves to
function normally. Extra fat can be used as
energy. Proteins are the building blocks of
tissues, which in turn build up muscles,
organs and systems. Extra amounts of
protein, like carbohydrates, are also
converted to fat.
Micronutrients, on the other hand, are the essential
substances required by the body in small amounts,
thus the “Micro” prefix. These Nutrients include
the 12 vitamins and 13 minerals needed by the
body. Vitamins are divided into fat-soluble and
water-soluble groups. As the names imply, fat-
soluble vitamins need fat to dissolve. Water-
soluble vitamins need water to dissolve. Minerals
are divided into macrominerals or the major
minerals and microminerals or the trace minerals.
Macrominerals are required by the body in slightly
higher amounts than microminerals, which are
needed by the body in “trace” quantities.
The water-soluble vitamins include
Vitamin C and Vitamin B-Complex. Vitamin
C is required by the body to help in the
formation and repair of tissues. Vitamin B-
Complex functions at the cellular level; for
amino acid metabolism and cell division.
Deficiencies of these Nutrients can be
detrimental to human health. Likewise,
higher than normal dosage of these
vitamins are also harmful.
Fat-soluble vitamins include Vitamins A, D,
E and K. Vitamin A and E come only from
food. Vitamin D and K are made by the
body and may also be acquired as
supplements. Vitamin A is necessary for
eye health. Vitamin E protects body tissues
from damages. Vitamin D helps absorb
calcium into the body. Vitamin K allows the
blood clotting to take place.
Macrominerals or the major minerals
include calcium, magnesium, phosphorus,
potassium and sodium. These minerals are
required for body fluid balance and
healthy bones, muscles and teeth. The
microminerals or trace minerals are
chromium, copper, fluoride, iodine, iron,
selenium and zinc.
Among these trace minerals, iodine, iron and zinc are
generally important. Iodine is required to create
thyroid hormones to keep the nervous system
functioning properly. Iron is used to create
haemoglobin, which carries oxygen throughout the
body. Zinc is involved in skin integration and wound
healing. Deficiencies and large dosage of these
Nutrients, whether major or trace are hazardous to
Eating a balanced and healthy diet can ensure that
daily requirements of these Nutrients are acquired.

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