Consuming food rich in micronutrients is an excellent way to ensure your body gets the essential vitamins and minerals it requires for optimal health. Unfortunately, many people may not get enough of these essential micronutrients from their food intake.
Four groups of essential nutrients exist carbohydrates, protein, fats, and vitamins ‘ minerals. Together they provide the body with energy and promote overall good health. Let’s look at each group to better understand what your body needs for optimal health.
Carbohydrates are sugar molecules your body uses to power many essential processes, like energy production and muscle contraction. Furthermore, carbs help keep blood glucose stable – essential for brain health and cognitive performance.
Carbs can be found in a variety of foods, from table sugar and honey to beans, grains, and fruits.
Carbohydrates come in two primary forms: starches and sugars. Starches consist of many individual sugars connected together, which your body breaks down into glucose (blood sugar).
Other types of carbohydrates contain fiber. Vegetables, whole grains, and beans with high amounts of this dietary component help you feel full longer, keep cholesterol under control and lower the likelihood of digestive issues such as constipation.
Protein is an intricate substance found in all living organisms. It plays a significant role in maintaining healthy cells and body tissues, supporting hormone balance, neurotransmitter function, and cell regeneration.
Meet your daily recommended amount of protein by eating a variety of protein-rich foods, such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, beans, legumes, and dairy products. You can also use a whey protein supplement to help you get the necessary protein each day.
Your daily protein intake should range between 10 to 35 percent of your total caloric intake, or around 25 grams of protein in each meal.
Based on your goals and age, you may require more or less protein than this. A dietitian can help determine individual requirements and create a diet tailored to meet both nutritional requirements and lifestyle objectives.
Protein plays an essential role in muscle maintenance and growth. It also boosts your immunity while keeping blood sugar levels stable. Amino acids have also been known to promote weight loss and enhance bone health.
3. Unsaturated Fats
Fats are essential nutrients that provide calories, energy and support your body’s functions. They have anti-inflammatory effects, strengthen cells in the body, and lower cholesterol levels.
Nutrition experts divide fats into two categories: saturated and unsaturated. Saturated fats have hydrogen atoms bonded to each carbon atom of each hydrocarbon molecule, while unsaturated fats possess one or more double bonds between carbon atoms.
Saturated fats are commonly found in animal-based foods like butter, lard, and full-fat dairy products. Additionally, they can be found in processed foods like fried food and baked goods.
Unsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature (not solid like saturated fats) and are found naturally in plants and fish. They are divided into monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, the latter being healthier than the former.
4. Vitamins and Minerals
Our bodies require a range of vitamins and minerals to stay healthy. Vitamins help fight infections, promote wound healing, keep bones and teeth strong, as well as regulate hormones.
Vitamins and minerals not only boost your immunity, but they can help prevent diseases such as cancer. A diet consisting mainly of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and quality protein packages should provide all of the essential nutrients for optimal well-being.
Many vitamins are water-soluble, meaning they’re absorbed directly into the bloodstream when food or supplements dissolve in your stomach. Your kidneys keep track of these levels by excreting excesses through urine excretion.
With the right nutrients in your body, you can achieve optimal health. This often requires supplements to fill in the gaps in your diet.