There are certain nutrients that are essential for your body to function optimally. They are important to prevent diseases, boost growth, and enhance overall health. Make sure you include these nutrients in your daily diet to make the most out of it.
The term fats have an image of being unhealthy. Whereas, in reality, there are some forms of healthy fats that can be beneficial for your body. These include unsaturated fatty acids, especially omega-3. You should limit the number of saturated fats you consume, and try to avoid trans fats altogether. Dietary aid like omega 3 capsules or tablets like TrueBasics Omega 3. You can rely on these if you are unable to meet the daily requirements via a diet that consists of natural foods.
Some natural sources of healthy fats can be:
- Fatty fish including mackerel, salmon, herring, anchovies
- Chia seeds
The Health benefits of good fats are:
- Act as a long-term unit for the storage of energy in the body
- Help insulate the body to maintain the internal climate, and protect vital organs
- Regulate cholesterol by increasing the levels of good cholesterol in the body
- Control inflammation in the tissues, joints, and bones; maintain bone health
Proteins are a type of macronutrient that acts as a fuel for the body and provide energy. They satiate our stomach and keep us full for longer durations of time. This is because our body takes up a comparatively longer time to process this nutrient.
Some people also consume protein in the form of powders as dietary aid. Natural protein-rich food sources include:
- Whole grains
There are multiple functions of protein in our body. Some of them are:
- Strengthens our immune system, and helps fight against antigens including viruses, bacteria and fungi
- Builds and repairs body tissues, and aids muscle growth
- Plays a major role in the form of enzymes to carry out chemical reactions for performing other functions
- Benefits hair, skin, and nails in the form of keratin
- Provides structure to bones, ligaments, tendons, and skin in the form of collagen
- Facilitates elasticity for the uterus, arteries, and lungs in the form of elastin
Carbohydrates, or saccharides, aid the functioning of heart muscles, brain, the nervous system, and the kidneys. These are stored in the liver and muscles for later use. Carbohydrates can be of two types: simple and complex. Adding more complex carbohydrates than simple carbs to your diet is more beneficial for you since complex carbohydrates are healthier than the latter.
Major food sources of healthy carbohydrates include:
- Whole grains
- Starchy vegetables
- Dairy and milk products
- Nuts and seeds
Health benefits of consuming carbohydrates include:
- Aid weight management and control
- Help store and provide energy to the body
- Maintain gut health by providing fibre
- Reduce risk of certain cancers
Vitamins are a type of microminerals required by our body primarily to ward off diseases, and keep the body healthy. A total of 13 essential vitamins are required by our body to function properly. Our body is not able to produce all of these on its own in the required amount.
While most people rely on vitamin and multivitamin tablets, major food sources include:
- Whole grains
Health benefits of including vitamins to your diet include:
- Development and growth of cells
- Processing of food
- Breakdown of blood sugar
- Bone strengthening
- Eye health maintenance
- Aid to skin, hair and nail health
These micronutrients are required by our bodies in small doses. Just like vitamins, minerals provide multiple health benefits and support the day-to-day functioning of the body. These can be of two types: macrominerals and microminerals (or trace minerals).
Major food sources other than dietary aid in the form of tablets or capsules include:
- Leafy green vegetables
- Red meats
- Fortified cereals
- Nuts and seeds
- Egg yolks
The Health benefits of consuming mineral-rich foods include:
- Strengthening and maintenance of bones
- Prevention of tooth decay
- Skin, hair, and nails health
- Immune system boost
- Blood pressure regulation
- Transfer of oxygen between two parts of the body
Water is one of the main constituents of the fluids present in our body. It is also a source of essential micronutrients which can be easily absorbed and used by our body. Water is required by every cell in our body to function properly. If you do not like plain water, you can add some lemon juice or juice obtained from any citrus fruit to enhance the taste.
The major benefits of drinking enough water are:
- Maintenance of body temperature
- Flushing out of toxins
- Transportation of nutrients
- Enhancement of energy
- Digestive health maintenance
Discussed above are the definition, sources, and health benefits of omega or fats, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, minerals, and water. An important point to note here is to ensure the consumption of these nutrients in moderation as part of a balanced diet.
Let us know your thoughts on these essential nutrients in the comments below!