Essential Nutrients

Topics: Nutrition, Unsaturated fat, Saturated fat Pages: 7 (2478 words) Published: August 23, 2012
Essential Nutrients
An essential nutrient is a nutrient required for normal body functioning that either cannot be synthesized by the body at all, or cannot be synthesized in amounts adequate for good health (e.g. niacin, choline), and thus must be obtained from a dietary source. Essential nutrients are also defined by the collective physiological evidence for their importance in the diet, as represented in e.g. US government approved tables for Dietary Reference Intake. These are the six essential nutrients that your body needs on a daily basis. * Water

* Carbohydrates
* Proteins
* Fats
* Vitamins
* Minerals

Water is the most essential nutrient the body needs. Your body is around forty to sixty percent of water. Forty to sixty percent of your body weight is water. Muscle composition is approximately 70% water. It is vital that while you exercise you continually drink water to ensure that your body does not dehydrate. If you feel thirsty it will take around 20 minutes for the liquid to be utilized by the body. Obviously the amount of water you need depends on your body weight, height and any activity you take part in but on average you need around three and a half pints of water a day. This may seem a lot but a lot of water will come from your food such as fruits which contain 75 to 90 percent of water. Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are usually referred to as sugars or starches. Complicated carbohydrates are the carbohydrates that we keep hearing about that we should improve our food intake of. These carbohydrates are found in such foods such as potatoes, bananas, pasta, bread, cereals etc. Carbohydrates are converted into sugars by the body. Carbohydrates come in two forms: Simple Sugars

Simple sugars are sugars like processed sugar and sugar from fruits. This kind of sugar is used almost immediately during exercise. Just eating these sugars would not give you endless amounts of instant energy because as your sugar level in your blood increased, more insulin would be released to grab the sugar and dispose of it because there is too much. All this insulin grabs all the sugar and more as well so eventually you would have even less energy than you started with. This is why when you eat a chocolate bar you feel great for about 15 minutes, your body will then loose energy and become slightly fatigued.

Complex Sugars
This kind of sugar is taken from foods like potatoes, bread, pasta, rice, vegetables and fruits. The difference between these sugars and simple sugars are that the sugars are released at a slower level so you do not get this insulin rush. As the sugar is released a lot slower it also lasts a lot longer because it takes the sugar a lot longer to be broken down. It should be obvious to you that these complex sugars or carbohydrates as they are better known are a 100 times better for you than the simple sugars. We need to be looking at around 55 percent of our daily intake of complex sugars. Protein

Protein is composed of amino acids, which help to build muscle mass. Cells in the body are being replaced all the time every day 365 days a year, so we need to give the body the tools to complete the task of keeping our bodys fit and healthy. Protein is found in such foods such as chicken (white meat), egg white, beans, skimmed milk etc. The bigger and leaner your muscles are the higher your basal matabolic rate is. Your basal metabolic rate is the amount of calories the body uses just to live for the day, so even doing such things as sitting watching television your body will be burning more calories which means burning away more body fat. We need about 70 to 80 grams of protein daily in our diet.If you eat too much protein the excess will also be stored as body fat, you should be looking at 20 percent of your daily calorific intake to be of protein. Fat

Fat is another term for lipid. Too much fat in your diet can lead to obesity, heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes. Fat does...
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