Food and water are necessary in our daily lives, it provide energy to our bodies and maintain our life. Also, food and water play an important role in the body health and disease prevention.
Good food contains essential nutrients like carbohydrate, proteins, minerals, fats and vitamins. Nutrients are the substance in food and water which required by the body to perform its basic functions. It acting as building blocks for growth and repair as well as providing us energy. Every nutrients play different role to build up our bodies and keep it healthy.
Essential nutrients can be divided into two categories which is Macronutrients and Micronutrients.
Macronutrients are nutrients that people need in relatively large amount. They included carbohydrate, proteins and fats.
The main role of a carbohydrate is to provide energy. There are three main types of carbohydrates which are sugar, starches and fiber.
Sugars are the carbohydrates which can be used as an energy source to move the body and are stored in the liver and muscles as glycogen.
Starches are long chains of the sugar glucose joined together. It occur naturally in a large range of foods including nutrient-rich foods and refined products like root vegetables, brown rice, oats, white bread, breakfast cereals, biscuits, cakes and etc.
Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that the body can’t digest or absorb. It plays a key role in our gut health and digestive systems. Eating food with fiber can help to prevent or relieve constipation and increases feelings of fullness which may help with weight control. Fiber is found in many foods that come from plants such as vegetables, fruits and whole grains.
Proteins are often called the body’s building blocks. It provides structure to muscle and bone as well as build and repairs tissues. The food sources of protein come from animals such as meats, seafood, dairy products, and a variety of different plant-based foods like soy, beans, and nuts.
Fats are essential for several bodily functions. Fats are not just a source of energy, it also helps our body to absorb some nutrients and protects our vital organs. However, not all fats are equally beneficial. Good fats (Unsaturated Fats) keep our body healthy, while bad fats (Saturated and Trans Fats) might increase the risk of disease. Some sources of saturated fats and trans fats include fried food, snack food and dairy foods like cheese, full fat milk, butter and cream. The source of unsaturated fats include olives oil, soybean, avocados, nuts and oily fish.
Micronutrients are essential nutrient that our bodies need in small amounts. They included minerals and vitamins.
Minerals play a variety of roles in our bodies such as building strong bones and teeth, maintaining healthy nerve function, controlling body fluids inside and outside cells, as well as keeping muscles, heart and brain work properly. Some of the minerals that our body need include Iron, Potassium, Sodium, Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc, and so on. Minerals can be found in fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, cereals, whole grains, nuts, milk and dairy products.
Vitamins are organic compounds required by our bodies in small amounts from the diet. Vitamins helps our bodies to carry out essential functions such as converting food into energy, maintaining and building bones, muscle, teeth, blood, skin and hair, as well as keeping our brain, eyes, nervous and immune systems in good working order. Each of the vitamins has different roles. For example, vitamin C helps to absorb iron from plant foods, vitamin D helps to absorb calcium, vitamins A, C and E all have an antioxidant effect. Most vitamins are come from food and are divided into two groups which are fat-soluble and water-soluble.
Fat-soluble vitamins are store in the body's fatty tissue. They are vitamins A, D, E and K.
Water-soluble vitamins are not stored in body and it dissolve in water. Any leftover amount will leave the body through the urine. They are B vitamins and vitamin C.
You can easily meet your daily vitamin needs by eating a varied diet based on fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, eggs, cereals, bread and dairy products like milk, cheese, yogurt.
Disclaimer: This article is provided for general information purposes only. It does not replace consultations with qualified healthcare professionals to meet your individual medical needs.