The six essential nutrients of the body

gold stand By gold stand, 11th Dec 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Health>Diet & Nutrition

All of the different types of food that we eat contain nutrients that would further process into and inside our body. There are 6 essential nutrients that we need to know and each has their own functions and roles to perform.

What we eat directly affects our health through the containment of every nutrient present from the food.

Nutritionists classify these nutrients into water, carbohydrates, fats, proteins, minerals and vitamins. The first four groups are called macronutrients as these nutrients require large amounts to be processed in the body. The last two groups are required only in small quantities by the body so they are often called as micronutrients. Although, they are needed only in small amounts, vitamins and minerals are considered vital to health as any other nutrients does.

1. Water is considered by many health experts as the most critical nutrient. We can survive food without nutrients for several weeks but we can only survive without water for a week. This is an important component of the body so that chemical reactions can take its place. Water also is needed to transport all of the wastes of the body to be excreted as well as an important regulator of temperature to cool the body when exposed to heat.
2. Carbohydrates are the energy releasing nutrients which include starches and sugars. Simple and complex carbohydrates are the kinds. Simple carbohydrates such as sugars divulge simple molecular structure while the latter have larger and more complicated molecular structure.
Most foods contain carbohydrates and sucrose is the main sugar present. Sources of sucrose can be found in ordinary white or brown sugars. Another 100% sweet sugar is fructose that can be found mostly in fruits and to some are vegetables. Lactose is a sugar that comes from milk.
Foods that are rich in starches include beans, breads, cereals, maize, pasta, peas and potatoes.
3. Fats are also energy nutrients but is usually used on high concentration. Their components are glycerol and fatty acids. It has three types: 1. Saturated which has a structure of many hydrogen atoms 2. Monounsaturated which lacks a pair of atoms 3. Polyunsaturated fats that contains at least four or five hydrogen atoms.
Among the three types, polyunsaturated fats are the healthiest and most important nutrient in the diet because they serve as building blocks for every membrane which makes up the outer border of human cell in the body. Sunflowers and fish oils are the rich sources of polyunsaturated fats. Common sources of monounsaturated fats include olives and peanuts.
4. Proteins also provide energy but their main function is to maintain and build main materials of the body such as cartilages, muscles and hair. Proteins also serve as hormones (chemical messengers) and as antibodies (disease-fighting chemicals).
Proteins are made up of 20 smaller units called amino acids. Nine of them are called essential amino acids and the rest are essential amino acids that mean they have sufficient amounts to help the whole protein function its role as a whole.
5. Minerals are those inorganic compounds which resemble the function of maintaining body structures, composition of digestive juices and the fluids that are found in and around the cells. Minerals are not broken down in the body and each has its own specific role or function to perform.
Most required minerals are calcium, chlorine, magnesium and phosphorus. Other minerals that are needed only in tiny amounts include chromium, copper, fluorine, molybdenum, selenium, zinc and iron. Green leafy vegetables, whole-grain breads and cereals, seafood, liver, and kidney are good sources of these minerals. Whole grain cereals, nuts and legumes are the richest source of the most required minerals.
6. Vitamins are essential to good health so it is important that diets should be supplied by these foods. Their main function is to regulate chemical reactions by which the body converts food into energy and living tissues. There are 13 types of vitamins and are classified into two general groups: fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins.
Vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat -soluble vitamins while Vitamins B complex and C are water-soluble vitamins.
Vitamin A- needed for healthy skin and bone development. Sources of this vitamin include liver, green and yellow vegetables, and milk.
Vitamin B1- also termed as Thiamine is important for the conversion of starches and sugars into energy. It is found in meat and cereals.
Vitamin B2 or Riboflavin, Vitamin B6 or Pyridoxine, pantothenic acid and biotin- are also needed for chemical reactions. Riches sources include milk, cheese, fish, liver, and green vegetables.
Vitamin B12 or folic acid is essential for forming red blood cells and for giving a healthy nervous system. This vitamin is present in many animal products such as liver.
Niacin- is necessary for the cells to release energy from carbohydrates. Liver, yeast, lean meat, fish, nuts, and legumes contain niacin.
Vitamin C or ascorbic acid is needed for the maintenance of ligaments, tendons and other supportive tissue. It is found mostly in fruits especially oranges and potatoes.
Vitamin D- is necessary for the body's use of calcium. It is formed when the body is exposed to sunlight. This vitamin is present to fish-liver oil and vitamin-D fortified milk.
Vitamin E or tocopherol helps in the maintenance of cell-membranes. Vegetable oils and whole-grain cereals has the highest source.
Vitamin K is necessary for proper clotting of the blood. Green leafy vegetables contain vitamin K and are manufactured by bacteria in the intestine.

That’s all folks!
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Body, Carbohydrates, Cells, Fats, Minerals, Monounsaturated Fats, Nutrients, Polyunsaturated Fats, Proteins, Saturated Fats, Starches, Sugars, Vitamin A, Vitamin B Complex, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Vitamins, Water

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author avatar gold stand
Hello readers, I am presently 19 years of age and still a starter of this website.I can write any topic under the sun and as long as every subject pops up from my mind

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author avatar Buzz
11th Dec 2011 (#)

You're well-informed about physical health, gold stand. Taking up nursing as well?

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author avatar Uma Shankari
11th Dec 2011 (#)

And we must obtain all the 6 nutrients from natural foods as for as possible. Good post.

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author avatar gold stand
13th Dec 2011 (#)

@ buzz: Thanks for the comment...yes, I am presently taking up nursing and 1 sem more to go...
@uma shankari: yes that is true if we obtain it with the proper amount...thanks too for your comment...

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author avatar Bridgitte Williams
13th Dec 2011 (#)

Excellent article. :-) Very informative. I am now following you! I love wikinut and check out Yahoo Voices...they pay, also!

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author avatar gold stand
14th Dec 2011 (#)

thanks ms.Bridgitte

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author avatar amberdextrous
16th Dec 2011 (#)

Good work, gold stand. You provide an excellent summary of the nutritional requirements for good health in a clear, concise and thorough manner.

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author avatar gold stand
16th Dec 2011 (#)

Thank you very much amberdextrous

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author avatar Well
24th Mar 2013 (#)


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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
4th Dec 2014 (#)

We have to select our food wisely and not just fill the stomach without thought. Thanks for this useful information - siva

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