Nutrition: Everything you need to know

Nutrition
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The food you eat has a profound impact on the functioning of your body, mind and soul. Food gives you the energy to do everything. It helps you function to the best of your ability.

Diet is what you eat, and nutrition is how your body processes what you eat. Nutrition is the science of how your body reacts to the food you eat. 

Sometimes, even if you are eating right. The body fails to absorb necessary nutrients. Failure to absorb nutrients is what causes nutritional deficiencies. 

Why does this happen? The study of nutrition explains this and provides solutions.

 

Nutrition and Health

Sometimes our body fails to absorb the necessary nutrients from the food we eat. This causes nutritional deficiencies and health problems. Here are a few things you can do to reverse that:

  • Detox your body 

The body cannot absorb nutrients from the food because it is filled with toxins. The toxins are accumulated in the small and large intestines. This prevents the body from absorbing nutrients. 

When you detox and clean your body from inside, it again begins to absorb nutrients from food. Ever wonder why you don’t feel energetic even after eating the right foods?

This is because of the toxicity and obstruction in your body. A deep detox will solve the problem of malabsorption. And will help you live a healthy and vibrant life. 

After detox, you may notice, you don’t need to eat as much as you were eating before. Small portions of food make you feel full. This is because your body has again started to absorb necessary nutrients and is now functioning correctly. Let’s begin with understanding the different types of nutrients.

 

Types of nutrients

Nutritionists divide nutrients into two major categories:

  • Macronutrients 
  • Micronutrients 

 

Macronutrients

Fats, proteins, carbohydrates and water are macronutrients. They are called macronutrients because we need them in large amounts. 

Fats

Fats are essential micronutrients. Here are some of the benefits of fats:

  • They help in lubricating joints. 
  • Fats also help organs produce hormones. 
  • Healthy fats help the body absorb specific vitamins. 
  • Eating healthy fats also reduce inflammation
  • They also improve brain health 

However, consuming too many fats can be harmful. Trans fats and saturated fats are very heavy on the body. They can cause heart diseases, heart attacks. This is because they increase LDL (bad cholesterol) and blood pressure. 

It is better to eat unsaturated fats. There are two types of unsaturated fats:

  • Monounsaturated fats
  • Polyunsaturated fats

Monounsaturated fats are present in olives, peanuts, nuts, seeds and avocados. Polyunsaturated fats are present in walnuts, flaxseeds, fish and sunflower oil. 

Proteins

Proteins are made up of essential chemicals known as amino acids. Protein is an integral part of each cell in the body. The body uses proteins for various purposes like:

  • Growing and maintaining the body. The main component of hair and nails is protein. 
  • The body builds and repairs tissues with protein.
  • Protein provides the necessary material to produce enzymes and hormones.
  • Your bones, cartilage, teeth, skin, blood and muscles. They are all made up of proteins.

Proteins are made up of 20 amino acid. These amino acids are essential. Our body produces some of them and some, we get from our food. 

However, consuming too much protein can be harmful. Too much of it can cause kidney problems, heart diseases and high cholesterol. So, enjoy your proteins in a healthy amount.

You can get healthy proteins from fish, beans, nuts and whole grains. 

Carbohydrates

We all love carbs. The delicious potato chips, pies and muffins are rich in carbohydrates. But they are not healthy carbohydrates. 

Sugar, fiber and starch are three types of carbohydrates. Some of them are healthy, and some are not. 

Fiber is a complex carbohydrate. And sugar is a simple carbohydrate. It is easy for the body to break down sugar. That is why sugar provides instant energy. 

However, too much processed sugar can cause diabetes. It can also increase blood pressure and cause cancer. Natural sugars, on the other hand, are supremely healthy. 

Fruits and dry fruits are excellent sources of natural sugars. 

There are two types of fiber:

  • Soluble fiber 
  • Non-soluble fiber 

 

Soluble fiber takes some time to break down and digest. Whereas, non-soluble fiber doesn’t break down. It remains intact. Both types of fibers are essential for optimum health. 

Non-soluble fiber helps clean the digestive tract. It makes the elimination process smooth and easy. Soluble fiber turns into a gel and slows down the digestion process. So, the body can absorb the required nutrients from the food.

You can get healthy carbohydrates from quinoa, oats, bananas, blueberries, oranges and kidney beans.

Water

Water is one of the most essential macronutrients. Our body is 70 per cent water. It is a macronutrient because we need it in large amounts. Without water, there would be no life. 

Doctors and nutritionists recommend drinking at least 2 litres of water every day. However, beware of drinking too much water. Research suggests that drinking too much water can also be harmful. 

 

Micronutrients

Micronutrients are also essential nutrients. They are called micronutrients because we need them in small amounts. 

Vitamins and minerals are two types of micronutrients. Our body needs them to function at its best capacity.

Vitamins

Our body has 13 kinds of vitamins. They are as follows:

  • Vitamin A, C, D, K, and E
  • Biotin
  • B-12
  • B-6
  • Niacin
  • Folate
  • Thiamine
  • Pantothenic acid
  • Riboflavin

 

These 13 vitamins are essential to the body. You can get them from sunlight, healthy foods and supplements. 

Vitamins are also classified into water-soluble and fat-soluble. Vitamin A, E, D and K are fat-soluble vitamins while the rest are water-soluble. 

Minerals

Minerals make up 4 per cent of the body’s mass. There are 103 minerals in the human body. However, a few of them are classified to be essential minerals. They are as follows:

  • Iron
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Copper
  • Sodium
  • Calcium
  • Zinc
  • Selenium 
  • Manganese 

 

All of these are essential minerals. They are naturally produced by the body. Different types of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and lentils are healthy sources of minerals. 

 

 

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