The body uses nutrients for maintenance, growth, and repair and needs to take in about forty (40) varieties to function properly. There are six essential nutrients such as minerals, protein, vitamins, fat, and water.
These six nutrients are further classified according to energy and size. Fat, carbohydrate and protein are macronutrients. Macronutrients make up the bulk of your diet.minerals and vitamins are Micronutrientsbecause they are required in smaller amounts.
Primary functions of the six essential nutrients
(1). Water: Carries and dissolves nutrients, regulate body temperature and removes waste.
(2). Protein: Builds new antibodies, hormones, tissues, enzymes, and other compounds
(3) carbohydrate: Provides energy
(4). Fat: Provides protection, long-term energy, and insulation
(5). Vitamins: Facilitate use of other nutrients, involved in manufacturing hormones and regulating growth
(6). Minerals: Help build teeth and bones, aids in nervous system activity and muscle function
Let’s see these six essential nutrients briefly one by one.
(1). Water: Six Essential Nutrients
Do you know that you can’t last more than a few days without water but you can go for weeks without food?. Water is very important for every system in your body and it is also the main thing we are made of. About 60% of our body weight is water.
Water improves your mood and brain function. It acts a lubricant in the body and a shock absorber in the body. It also helps carry nutrients to cells, flush out toxins, prevent constipation and hydrate the body.
Even mild dehydration can impair your concentration and can make you feel tired too.
You do not need to gulp water to stay hydrated. Vegetables and fruits can also be a great source. Munch on some watermelon or spinach to stay hydrated.
The best way to know if you are hydrated is the volume and color of your urine. If your urine is not recurrent and pale yellow then you need to absorb more and more water.
(2). Protein: Six Essential Nutrients
Protein is essential for your health. Every cell skin to bone to hair contains protein. 16% of your body weight is from protein. Protein is used primarily for health, growth and body maintenance.
All of your antibodies, hormones and other substances are composed of protein. Unless necessary, protein is not used to fuel the body.
Proteins are made of up amino acids. Our body can create some amino acids on its own. There are a lot of amino acids that can only come from food. To function properly, you need a different kind of amino acids for your body. You don’t need to eat amino acids at one time, your body can create proteins from the foods you eat.
While eggs, fish, and meat are good sources of amino acids. You can get protein from plant sources also, such as; grains, nuts, and soy. How much proteins you need every day depends on a variety of factors like your age and how active you are.
(3). Carbohydrate: Six Essential Nutrients
Carbohydrates are very important and necessary for a healthy body. Carbs fuel your body, especially your brain and central nervous system, and protect against disease.
Keep in mind that the type of carb you eat matters Before you reach for the pasta or white bread. Some carbs are healthier than others. Opt for beans, whole grains and fiber-rich fruits(Read About 21 High Fiber Foods You Must Eat) and vegetables instead of products with added sugar and refined grains.
(4). Fats: Six Essential Nutrients
Healthy fats are a very important part of a healthy diet. Fat supports many of your body’s functions such as mineral and vitamin absorption, muscle movement, building cells, and blood clotting. Fat is high in calories but that calories are an important source for the body.
Including healthy fats in your diet can help you to decrease your risk of heart disease, balance your blood sugar and type 2 diabetes, and it also improves your brain function. They are also anti-inflammatories, and they lower your risk of Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and arthritis.
The most famous unsaturated fats are omega-6 and omega-3(Read More About Why Omega-3 Fatty Acids Important For Your Health) fatty acids. Our body can’t make these fatty acids itself and you can find these healthy fats in fish, nuts, seeds and vegetable oils(like flaxseed, avocado, and olive).
Avoid trans fats and saturated animal-based fats like ice cream, cheese, red meat, and butter.
(5). Vitamins: Six Essential Nutrients
Vitamins are vital for staying healthy and warding off disease. There are 13 essential vitamins that the body needs to function properly, including vitamins A, B6, C, and D.
Each of them plays an important role in the body and not getting enough of them can cause disease and health problems. Vitamins are essential for healthy vision, bones, and skin.
Vitamins may reduce the risk of prostate and lung cancer. Vitamin c boost the immune system and help your body to heal.
If you eat a well balanced, varied diet full of fruits and vegetables, and have a healthy and normal functioning digestive tract, you don’t need to take vitamin supplements.
(6). Minerals: Six Essential Nutrients
Same like vitamins, minerals also help to support the body. They are essential for many body functions, including building strong teeth and bones, staying properly hydrated and regulating your metabolism. Some of the common minerals are zinc, iron, and calcium.
In addition to strengthening bones, calcium helps with maintaining healthy blood pressure, relaxation, nerve signal transmission, and muscle contraction. Iron supports your hormone creation and red blood cells. Zinc boosts your immune system and helps wound healing.
The Bottom Line
Eating a varied diet full of vegetables, fruits, healthy fats, and proteins, and whole grains is the best way to get enough of these six essential nutrients. These macronutrients and micronutrients are vital for your body to function normally and stay healthy.