Nutrients | Nutrient Dense Foods | The 6 Essential Nutrients You Need to Power Your Performance!: Nutrients are components in food that the body needs to grow and maintain healthy function; the body needs nutrients to survive.
There are six classifications of nutrients:-
- Carbohydrates, which are mainly energy for cellular function
- Proteins, whose primary function is to grow and maintain tissue and build other vital chemicals in the body,
- Fats, which provide energy and protection,
- Vitamins, which contribute to essential functions in the body,
- Minerals, which also contribute to bodily functions, and
- Water makes up about 60% of body weight.
It’s important to recognize that all six nutrients are essential for healthy function, with nutrient balance being the key. An excellent strategy for finding nutrient balance is to eat various foods and avoid eating the same foods daily.
Nutrient Dense Foods
Consuming fruits, veggies, and other nutrient-dense foods can help accomplish this. Nutrient-dense foods are often defined as foods that provide a lot of nutrients while not containing a high-calorie count.
So, let’s look at an example, say If you are craving something sweet,
#Option 1 is a glazed doughnut containing 190 calories and provides 8 per cent of the RDI for vitamin C and a small amount of calcium and iron.
#Option 2 is a cup of raspberries, which provides 64 calories; it is high in vitamin C, manganese, vitamin K and, copper, raspberries. Also, contain smaller amounts of many other vitamins and minerals and are loaded with antioxidants, phytonutrients, and eight grams of fibre, which helps with digestion.
As you can see, far fewer calories and many more nutrients equals a much healthier option. And that is the essential nutrients.
Did you know your body needs six essential nutrients to perform optimally?
And because these nutrients are essential, we must get them from our diets.
So what are these nutrients?
- First, we need macronutrients which are carbohydrates, fats and proteins.
- We also need micronutrients which are vitamins and minerals.
- Finally, the last essential nutrient we need is water.
Let’s talk about each of these nutrients and how we can get them into our diets.
Carbs are your body’s preferred energy source. It’s easy to overeat carbohydrates, so keep your portions in check and limit refined grains and foods with added sugars.
Sources: The most nutrient-rich sources of carbohydrates are fruits, starchy vegetables like beans and potatoes and whole grains like oats and brown rice.
Most people think of protein as the nutrient needed to build muscle, and while that’s true, protein is also needed to speed up chemical reactions in the body and support the immune system.
Sources: The best protein sources include animal foods like poultry, fish, dairy and eggs, as well as plant foods like beans, legumes, nuts and soy.
The last macronutrient you need is fat. And fat is essential because it helps insulate the body, helps absorb specific vitamins, and plays a structural role in the different cells and hormones in the body.
Sources: The best fat sources include unsaturated fats from foods like nuts and seeds, cooking oils like olive oil, fatty fish and avocados.
Try to limit foods high in saturated and trans fat.
Vitamins and Minerals
Both are important for the growth and repair of immunity and supporting your overall metabolism. There are several essential vitamins and minerals. So how do you ensure you eat enough?
The key is to ensure you’re eating various nutrient-dense foods from all the food groups.
For example, fruits and veggies contain micronutrients like vitamin C, magnesium and potassium. Whereas foods like fish and poultry are high in iron, zinc, and vitamin b6.
And finally, water is the last and arguably most crucial nutrient our bodies need. The majority of our body is water. So it’s essential to make sure we drink enough fluids each day. And when it comes to your fluid choices, water is undoubtedly your best bet. But milk, 100 juice and even coffee and tea can count. You can also opt for liquid foods like melon or grapes.
And if you’re curious about how hydrated you are, use this urine colour chart as a guide.
You want your pee to be pale yellow. Definitely not amber brown, but not completely clear either.
Now, if you’re a bit overwhelmed and wondering how to make sure you’re getting all these essential nutrients, don’t be. The key is to make sure you’re eating a variety of foods from each of the food groups. And as you’ve probably learned, there are a lot of foods that contain several essential nutrients.
Healthy Body, Beautiful Mind