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What are the 6 groups of nutrients

What are the 6 groups of nutrients. Water, Vitamins, Minerals, Fats, Carbohydrates, Proteins.

Understanding precisely what and how much nutrients the body needs daily is both a simple and complex matter. In our earlier years, we are always reminded of the importance of our five a day. 

We are consistently taught that consuming plenty of fruits and vegetables every day will allow us to grow big and strong but we are never told why...

In this case, the why is very important. Knowing why we need to consume a wide array of nutrients daily and knowing what may occur if we don't can massively increase the chances of us doing so. 

With that being said, fruits and vegetables are not the only essential nutrients we must receive, there are 6 essential nutrients we must consume daily for an optimised bodily state. 

These 6 essential nutrients are deemed essential as the body simply cannot produce them itself, therefore, they must be taken in through food. So, without further ado, allow me to present and discuss the importance of the 6 essential nutrients. 

 

Water -

For those of us who are fortunate enough to have access to clean drinking water, there is no excuse as to why so many of us go the day dehydrated. Let's take a look at what this colorless, odorless fluid does for our health. 

  • Water keeps us alive. The most obvious and yet most crucial factor that's for sure. Unlike being able to survive weeks without food, a lack of or complete elimination of this fluid would result in death after just a couple of days.
  • Water maintains all bodily functions. The brain, organs, skin, blood, bones, muscles and just about every other bodily function and role require the consistent consumption of water to function and maintain. 
  • Water maintains a healthy BP. For those of you suffering from unstable blood pressure, have you considered drinking more water? The consistent consumption of this beverage maintains the thickness of the blood, this, in turn, ensures your heart doesn't have to work harder than it does. 

Water is essential for our body to function properly

 

How much should you consume?

A commonly asked yet not concluded question. This question has resulted in the studies and findings suggesting numerous different answers

Some experts suggest 8 pints a day, others might state another questionable number. The fact of the matter comes down to this, you should opt to drink when thirsty

If you aren't thirsty, the consumption of water is essentially useless as your body will just expel it through your urine. 

 

Vitamins -

At this point, you should know and understand just how important vitamins are to our health. They assist with very unique tasks around the body that no other nutrients can compete with but what precisely do they do? Let's find out.

  • Vitamins may protect you from cancer. Cancer in simple terms is a fault that may occur when a cell fails to copy itself correctly from another. This results in the growth of a wrongly constructed cell. Vitamins help the cells copy correctly.
  • Vitamins help prevent illness and infections. Illnesses and colds occur when the body fails to prevent germs, viruses and other microbes from attacking the body. Vitamins boost the body's ability to fight invaders like these.
  • Vitamins ensure proper skin and hair production. The skin and hair on our bodies require nutrients for production and maintenance. Without vitamins, the body will struggle to effectively produce and maintain all the hair and skin we have.

Agrums such as oranges, grapefruits, lemons and limes hold many vitamins

How much should you consume?

Vitamins are an incredibly potent array of nutrients, so much so that the body only requires small amounts. This is precisely why vitamins are in the family of micronutrients. 

How much vitamins you need daily is very hard to calculate, this is because there are so many different vitamins needed. There are 13 vitamins essential to the body.

With that being said, consistency is key. Opting for a bowel filled with numerous different fruits and vegetables is a great way to start. 

Minerals -

Minerals, perhaps the most under-consumed nutrient on this list, why? This can be attributed to the fact that not many people understand what food sources contain them! Allow me to explain why minerals are so essential for our health!

  • Minerals assist with hormone regulation. Hormones play a huge role in how we feel, look and live life. A hormonal imbalance can cause a wide array of issues, the consumption of minerals will help regulate and normalise your hormones.
  • Minerals are crucial for a healthy metabolism. The metabolism is the rate at which your body utilises calories taken in through food. The higher your metabolism is, the faster you burn fat. Minerals help keep this high.
  • Minerals are needed for the production of blood. Iron, one of the more essential minerals is one of the components responsible for the production of the red blood cells.

 

How much should you consume?

Like vitamins, minerals are also micronutrients. They are only needed in small amounts. Unlike vitamins, minerals are a little bit harder to obtain as they are found in fewer food sources. 

To effectively consume enough minerals daily, you should opt for foods such as leafy greens, nuts, garlic, kale, green tea and seaweed.

There are other food sources containing minerals, these, however, are packed with minerals and offer a better choice. By aiming for a small serving of these per day, you provide the body with an adequate level of minerals

 

Fats -

Fats are perhaps one of the most negatively viewed macronutrients. Most people would rather view this nutrient as an extremely detrimental component as opposed to what it is, essential! Let's dive in and take a closer look at what fat has to offer!

  • Fats ensure proper hormone production. As stated earlier, hormones play a huge role as to how we look, feel and live our life. This is most certainly true and consuming the right amount of fats ensures an optimal hormonal production.
  • Fats help regulate body temperature. It's no secret that fat carries the potential for weight gain but in some cases, this side effect can be required! Putting on fat helps to keep the organs warm even in the coldest temperatures!
  • Fats may reduce your chances of a heart attack! The healthy fat, HDL plays numerous roles in the body, one of them is the clearing out and elimination of bad cholesterol filling the arteries. This, in turn, reduces your chances of a heart attack!

 

How much should you consume?

You may be surprised to hear that fats should take up around 20-35% of your overall daily calories. 

As it turns out, fat is not only beneficial to the body but essential! The benefits fat can provide for us far outweigh the list put together above meaning you must ensure you are getting enough. 

Fats can be found in foods such as nuts, olive oil, dark chocolate, chia seeds and avocados!

 

Carbohydrates -

Like fats, carbohydrates are often viewed as extremely useless and good for nothing. Regardless of common health myths surrounding this macronutrient, carbs are very important for the brain and body! Let's see just how important!

  • Carbohydrates provide a reliable energy source. The body relies on ATP, glucose and fat for fuel. Since carbohydrates are typically the easiest form to utilise, this makes this nutrient the most efficient fuel source. 
  • Carbohydrates enhance training performance! During an intense training session, glucose is utilised for fuel. When there is a lack of this fuel source, your overall performance will suffer. 
  • Carbohydrates keep the brain running smoothly. Not only do your muscles and nervous system run on glucose but your brain does too! Ensuring a diet rich in carbohydrates means your brain will be able to function at its best throughout the day!

How much should you consume? 

Deciding how much you should consume per day heavily depends on the type of carbs you tend to go for. There are two types, simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates. 

Simple carbohydrates are foods containing massive amounts of artificial sugars. These sugars are utilised straight away meaning they digest quickly. Complex carbs are converted to glucose in the body, this process takes much longer, hence their slower digestion rate.

All in all, carbohydrates should take up around 45 to 65% of your daily caloric intake

 

Protein -

Perhaps one of the most glorified nutrients and for good reason. Protein is a label given to a wide array of amino acids. These amino acids assist with numerous important roles around the body, let's take a look at some!

  • Protein is required for hair, skin and nail growth! The amino acids in protein are not only utilised for many different roles but they are the building blocks of skin, hair and nails meaning they are essential for growth!
  • Protein preserves and grows muscle mass. This is because the muscle tissue itself is made up of amino acids. The body, therefore, needs amino acids to formulate new muscle tissue. 
  • Protein maintains all bodily functions. Not only is the skin, hair, nails and muscles made from protein but almost every bodily function and cell are comprised of protein. All in all, protein must be consumed every day to maintain good health.

How much should you consume?

The subject of how much protein you need a day has been massively discussed in recent years. It would seem that the answer is much lower than you might think. 

The more is better mentality has more than flooded the minds of those desperate to build muscle, however, the body does not work this way

0.6 to 0.7 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight seems to be a good basis to utilise and can be deemed a relatively effective dosage. 

 

The bottom line -

When striving for the healthiest diet plan possible, it's important that you know and understand that more is not always better, especially when it comes to the body. 

Moderation is key and this rule should be applied to all aspects when referring to the body. 

Consuming too many nutrients can cause issues and not consuming enough nutrients can cause issues. This factor is the key and should be applied when formulating your diet plan. 

All in all, as long as you consume an adequate amount of essential foods daily, your body should be able to effectively and efficiently carry out its tasks perfectly. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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