Nutrients are an important part of your health. They are compounds found in food, and are essential to human life. There are five major nutrients to that cannot be overlooked: carbohydrates, lipids (or fats), vitamins, water, and minerals. Making sure we are getting plenty of these nutrients will keep our bodies functioning properly, and ensure that we have plenty of energy to fulfill our daily activities. Here is what you need to know about these amazing nutrients, and how they are paramount to our health.
Carbohydrates are considered a macronutrient, because your body needs to consume them in large amounts. Carbohydrates are imperative to maintaining a healthy body. Carbs give you fuel for your body. They are there for your central nervous brain "system," and protect you against disease. In reality, carbs are essential for proper body function; they are broken down to glucose (sugar), which is your body’s main fuel source, and your body relies on these sugars for energy. Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are an example of healthy compound carbohydrates. If you aren’t getting the carbohydrates you need, you may experience headaches, nausea, constipation, and fatigue.
The second nutrient we all need is fat, another macronutrient. Fat is an important nutrient that gives your body a boost of vitamins, and protects your organs. Consuming too many fats, especially trans fats, is bad for your body. Trans fats are found in foods like microwaveable popcorn, butter, vegetable margin, non-coffee daily creamers, pizza, and crackers. These fats are considered to be bad, because they can cause cholesterol to build up in your arteries, which may cause a heart attack or a stroke. Unsaturated fats, on the other hand, are the good fats, because they prevent these heart diseases. Good fats can be found in nuts, salmon, and avocados.
Vitamins are considered to be micronutrients, because your body only needs them in small amounts. They benefit many parts of your body. It seems there is a vitamin for everything. Vitamin A promotes eye health, and is important to maintain healthy, glowing skin. Vitamin C supports a healthy immune system, as well as strong bone and muscle structure. Vitamin D is great for strengthening bone and immune health system. Vitamins also help your body to absorb nutrients from the food you consume. That being said, if you don’t have enough vitamins in your diet, your overall health can quickly decline, because you aren’t getting enough fuel from your food.
Minerals, another micronutrient, are the fourth nutrient that everyone needs. We need to consume them in some way everyday to support healthy growth and development. Some minerals include potassium, calcium, magnesium, zinc, sodium, iron, phosphorus. Although that list may seem overwhelming, many of these minerals are found in superfoods like spirulina, which contains zinc, platinum, magnesium, and other minerals your body needs. Other foods that are rich in minerals are cheese, meat, sweet potatoes, nuts, celery, whole grains, oatmeal, bananas.
Lastly, water is an important nutrient we all need, and many of us don’t get enough of it. If you don't consume enough water, you will experience a variety of negative symptoms from dehydration. You can go weeks without food, but you can only go a few days without water, because water is a vital building block of our body composition. About 62 percent of your body is made up of water, so rehydrating your body improves virtually all areas of your well-being. Water improves the way your brain functions, and has been known to improve your mood as well. Water assists in flushing the toxins out of your body, hydrates the body, prevents constipation, and prevents headaches.