What we eat is what we are!
We all know about nutrition and its importance for our body. But have we thought of how nutrition helps us in staying healthy? Nutrition is the science which explains how different nutrients can help us in achieving a healthy body.
What are these different nutrients?
For a body to function properly, a balanced diet is the most appropriate diet. The six essential nutrients comprise of carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins, minerals, and last but not the least, water. Each nutrient has its own important part to play as part of our diet.
On a broader level, nutrients can be divided into macronutrients and micronutrients. Macronutrients include protein, fats, carbs and water. Whereas micronutrients include vitamins and minerals. The quantity of macronutrients can be monitored by reading the label of the food that we consume. Each of these macronutrients and micronutrients play a vital role in keeping us fit.
[Did you know – the Food Label is an invaluable source of information, but is the most ignored aspect of our shopping. Watch this rib-tickling video that is also a couched warning against being blind to what we eat: “Khayal Rakhna”]
Here’s a bird’s eye view of the major nutrients in our food –
- Carbohydrates act as the main energy source for our body. They serve as the fuel required for brain functioning and physical activity. There are two types of carbohydrates – simple and complex. Simple carbs are obtained from fruits, vegetables, and milk. Complex carbs are obtained from whole grains and cereals.
- Protein serves as the structural component of cells which helps in building and repairing body tissues. Sources of protein are dairy products, eggs and meat.
- Fat consumption helps in increased absorption of fat soluble vitamins like vitamin A, D, E and K. Foods like vegetable oils, walnuts, nuts, avocado, seeds and fish can be consumed to balance this part.
- Vitamins are equally important for our body. For example, Vitamin C helps in providing structure to the blood vessels, bones and ligaments. This can be obtained from citrus fruits. Vitamin D helps in maintaining calcium content of the body.
- Further, minerals help in the proper functioning of cells. Sodium helps in achieving this. Potassium helps in maintaining the blood pressure. Calcium helps in building strong bones and teeth. These can be found in bananas, potatoes, tomatoes, milk, low-fat cheese and yogurt.
- Water helps in the transfer of these nutrients to body cells. It also helps in removal of waste products from the body. It is generally suggested that we consume 4-5 litres of water on daily basis.
So, next time when you have a meal, make sure to include all the above nutrients in your meal. This will help us in maintaining a balanced diet and enhance the proper functioning of our body. Thus, the simplest mantra to staying healthy is to always keep an eye on your plate!
Article Credits – Pragati Jain