Six Basic Nutrients

The six main nutrients are carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins, minerals and water.,Carbohydrates are essential for energy, the breakdown of protein, and to protect the body from toxins. Glucose feed the body’s chemical processes. Polysaccharides are found in fruit, vegetables and grain. Starch is important. Carbohydrates prevent dehydration.,Proteins are essential as part of the basic nutrients because the body is made of proteins. It consists of amino acids. The body need about 22 amino acids to make all its proteins, but can only manufacture 14 in its cells. The rest of the amino acids are derived from food intake. Proteins form part of hormones, enzymes, help develop antibodies to fight infection, build muscles and repair damaged tissue. Meat, fish, poultry, dairy products and eggs are sources of protein.,Fat is the third part of the basic nutrients. The are five groups of fat: saturated, monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, trans-fatty acids and omega 3 fatty acids. Limitations should be placed on intakes of trans-fatty acids as they lead to higher cholesterol levels. Fat produces more energy than that derived from carbohydrates and proteins. It keeps the body warm, maintains hair and skin, and protects the vital organs.,Vitamins are chemicals that the body requires to process nutrients, regulate the nervous system, and help to build genetic material, proteins, red blood cells and hormones. The body cannot create enough vitamins and thus, necessitates the need to get it from food and supplements. In today’s society it is almost impossible to eat the right foods to obtain the vitamins necessary for optimal health.,Minerals are needed to sustain a healthy body and mind. They are inorganic substances that the body needs for forming teeth, bones and blood cells, regulating body fluids and to aid in the chemical processes of the body. There are two main categories of essential minerals needed. Macro minerals include calcium, magnesium, chloride, phosphorus, sulphur and potassium sodium.The other group is called trace minerals and includes copper, cobalt, iodine, iron, fluoride, manganese, selenium and zinc.,Water is the most important component of the basic nutrients. Water makes up 50 percent to 100 percent of the human body. You need at least eight glasses of water a day to keep the body healthy. It cleanses the body, keeps the skin healthy, keeps the organs and hair healthy and is needed to produce digestive enzymes, helps the body collect the nutrients from food and liquids, helps to control the body temperature and is required for proper cell functions. It has been recommended that women drink more water than men to prevent premature aging. You need additional water if you exercise. Caffeine rich products such as coffee dehydrate the body and necessitates the consumption of additional water.,Roni Fleetwood,