Essential nutrients! Why your body needs them

What are Essential nutrients! Essential nutrients are nutrients compounds that are required for normal body functioning. These are the nutrients Our body cannot produce in sufficient quantities. 

According to the World Health Organization, these nutrients must come from food and are important for the prevention, and development of good health.

While there are many essential nutrients, they can be divided into two major categories: macronutrients and micronutrients. 

Macronutrients are required and consumed in large amounts and include the main components of your diet. Protein, carbohydrates, water, and fat, which provide your body with energy are macronutrients. 

Vitamins and minerals are micronutrients and small doses are very helpful and necessary. 

There are six main groups of essential micronutrients and macronutrients. 

1. Protein! 

Protein is an essential nutrients that every cell in the body needs to function properly and it’s very important for good health. 

IT has gained a lot of popularity nowadays, not only in the fitness community but also in weight loss and other healthcare industries. 

And it has all the good reasons for that. Protein provides the fundamentals for the building blocks of the body, not just the muscles. Every cell requires protein, from bone to skin. 

About 16 percent of your body weight comes from protein. Protein is used primarily for the development of health and maintenance of the body. 

All hormones, antibodies, and other important substances are made up of proteins.

It is not used to fuel the body unless it is needed. Proteins are made up of several amino acids. While the body can make some amino acids on its own, there are many essential amino acids that can only come from food. 

Your body needs different types of amino acids for your body to function properly. The good news is that you don’t need to eat all of your amino acids at once. 

Your body can make complete proteins from the food you eat throughout the day. You can get enough proteins through meat, fish, and eggs as they are good sources of essential amino acids.

Plant sources such as beans, soybeans, nuts, and some grains are also good sources of Plant based protein

The exact amount of protein you need per day depends on a variety of factors, including your activity level and your age. 

According to the Mayo Clinic, despite the growing popularity of high-protein diets, not enough studies have been done to show that they are healthy or can affect weight loss. 

2. Carbohydrates!

Don’t be fooled by the carbohydrate craze. Carbohydrates are Essential Nutrients for a healthy body. According to the Mayo Clinic, it nourishes your body, especially your central nervous system, and brain, and prevents disease. 

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, carbohydrates should account for 45 to 65 percent of your total daily calories. 

Healthy source of carbohydrates. Some carbohydrates are healthier than others. Opt for whole grains, beans, and fiber-rich vegetables and fruits over products with refined sugar and sugar. 

3. Fat!

Fat gets a bad rap when it comes to health, but recent research has shown that healthy fat is an important part of a healthy diet. We often associate high-fat foods with bad health. However, our body needs certain fats to help maintain good health.

According to recent studies at Harvard Medical School, fat provides the body with energy. And it helps carry out a range of functions, such as the absorption of vitamins and minerals, cell formation, blood clotting, and muscle movement. 

Even if fats are high in calories, but those calories are an important source of energy for your body. 

As per The Dietary Guidelines for Americans it’s recommended that 20 to 35 percent of your daily calories come from fat.

Whereas the World Health Organization recommends keeping it below 30 percent of your calories. 

Including healthy fats from nuts, fish such as salmon and tuna, vegetable oils, coconut oil, and flaxseed in your diet can help you balance several aspects. 

Blood sugar, lowered risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, and improving your brain’s functionality are some of it . 

They possess powerful anti-inflammatories properties and can reduce the risk of arthritis, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease. 

Healthy source! The best known unsaturated fats are omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are important to your body because they provide essential fatty acid to the body.

Avoid taking trans fats and limit your intake of saturated animal fats such as red meat, ice cream, butter and cheese.

4. Vitamins!

Vitamins are important micronutrients for preventing illness and staying healthy. The body needs these Essential Nutrients to support its regular functioning. 

There are a total of 13 essential vitamins that our body needs to function properly, including vitamins A, C, B6, and D. These essential vitamins are further divided into fat-soluble and water-soluble subgroups.

Examples of fat soluble vitamins.

1: Vitamin A

2: Vitamin D

3: Vitamin E

4: Vitamin K

Examples of water soluble vitamins.

1: Vitamin C

2: Vitamin B-6

3: Vitamin B-1 (thiamine)

4: Vitamin B-12 (cyanocobalamin)

5: Vitamin B-2 (riboflavin)

6: Vitamin B-5 (pantothenic acid)

7: Vitamin B-3 (niacin)

8: Vitamin B-9 (folate, folic acid)

9: Vitamin B-7 (biotin)

Each of these vitamins play a vital role in the body, and not consuming enough of them can lead to health problems and illness. 

Many Americans don’t get enough essential vitamins. Vitamins are Essential Nutrients for healthy skin, eyes, and bones. 

Vitamins can reduce the risk of lung and prostate cancer and are powerful antioxidants. Essential nutrients like Vitamin C boost the immune system and help in healing your body. 

Vitamins also help to metabolize proteins and carbs.

Healthy source! If you are eating a well-balanced diet rich in vegetables and fruits, and digestion is normal and healthy, you do not need to take vitamin supplements. 

However if you eat less fruit and vegetables, and have digestive conditions, then you may need to take a vitamin supplement to reduce or avoid a deficiency.

5. Minerals! 

Minerals are micronutrients and are categorized into two groups. Major minerals and Trace minerals. The body needs a balance of minerals from both groups for good overall health.

Major minerals includes.

Magnesium

Calcium

Phosphorus

Sulfur

Sodium

Potassium

Chloride

Improving bone density and health, maintaining healthy skin, hair, and nails and balancing bodies water levels are some functions of Major minerals.

Trace minerals includes.

Iron

Selenium

Zinc

Manganese

Chromium

Copper

Iodine

Fluoride

Molybdenum

Aiding in blood clotting, Strengthening bones, proper oxygen circulation, Supporting the immune system and maintaining healthy blood pressure are some functions of Trace  minerals.

Both vitamins and minerals help to maintain the body. They are essential for many bodily functions, whether it’s building strong bones and teeth, proper hydration, and regulating metabolism these minerals support all.

Some of the most common minerals are calcium, iron, and zinc. In addition to strengthening bones, calcium aids in the transmission of nerve signals, maintains healthy blood pressure, and the contraction and relaxation of muscles. 

Iron supports the production of red blood cells and hormones, while zinc increases the immune system and wound healing. 

You can ensure that you are consuming enough minerals by including seafood, red meats (limit their use and choose lean cuts), iodized table salt (less than 2,300 milligrams a day). 

Milk and other dairy products, nuts and seeds, vegetables, leafy greens, fruits, poultry, fortified bread and cereals, egg yolks, whole grains, beans and legumes to your healthy diet plan.

6. Water!

Water is probably the most important essential nutrients that you need. One can go for weeks without food, but can’t last more than a few days without water. That’s because it’s one of the major components your body is made off. Almost 62 percent of your body weight is water and every cell requires water to function. 

And even a minor dehydration can cause headaches and can weaken physical and mental functioning.

Water improves your brain’s performance, mood, acts as a shock absorber and lubricant in the body. It also helps eliminate toxins, transport nutrients to cells, hydrate the body, and even prevent constipation by maintaining proper bowel movement. 

Dehydration can make you feel tired and affect your concentration and physical performance. Apart from drinking water, Fruits and vegetables can also be an excellent source of water so eat plenty of them. Chew on some spinach or watermelon to stay hydrated. 

The easy way to know if you are well hydrated is the color and volume of your urine. If your urine is yellow or pale yellow in color, you need more water.

Best nutrient-dense food 

There is only a limited amount of food we can eat in a single day. This involves spending your calorie budget wisely to maximize the amount of nutrients you take in. The best way to do this is to eat the foods that contain the highest amount and variety of nutrients. 

What Does Nutrient Dense Food Means?    

Research shows that the Standard American Diet (SAD) is high in energy and low in nutrients. By energy we mean calories here. And what we know from “empty calories” – it refers to foods that provide too many calories without too much nutritional value.

On the other hand, foods rich in nutrients or Nutrient Dense Food are high in vitamins, minerals and other nutrients important for health, without saturated fat, sugar, and sodium. 

We are talking about fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fish, lean meats, skinless chickens, peas and legumes, nuts and seeds. All the good things.

As per basic concept of nutrient density, nutrient density is the amount of nutrients you get for the calories you consume.

Are nutrient dense foods high in calories?

Lets understand this by an example this way:

You are checking at labels trying to decide between two packages of bread. There are about 80 calories per slice on both packs, but one has some vitamins and minerals. 

Now the other whole grain version has nearly the same calories, but more protein, three times magnesium, and more fiber, potassium, vitamin B6, and zinc 3. The whole grain option is a more nutrient dense alternative.

Nutrient-dense foods are rich in nutrients value relative to their calorie content. So benefits of nutrient dense food is you get more nutrient value in relative amounts of calorie.

Here are the Some most nutrient dense foods on the planet. 

Few nutrient dense food examples are..

Sardines 

Sardines are oily, small fish that can be eaten whole. These fish are not that popular in America. Not surprisingly, whole sardines are highly nutritious, containing small amounts of almost all the nutrients your body normally needs for a nutritionally perfect fatty fish, they are heart-healthy, and have  omega-3 fatty acids. 

Salmon 

Not all fish are the same. Salmon and other types of fatty fish contain the highest amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s are extremely important for the optimal function of your body. 

They have been associated with wellness with a lower risk of many serious diseases, although salmon is prized primarily for its beneficial fatty acid composition, it contains large amounts of other nutrients as well.

In 100 grams of wild salmon. The piece contains 2.8 grams of omega-3 with high quality animal protein and adequate vitamins and minerals, as well as large amounts of magnesium potassium selenium and vitamins B. 

It is a good idea to get all the omega-3s. Eat fatty fish at least once or twice a week. 

Studies suggest that people who eat fatty fish regularly have a lower risk of heart disease, dementia, depression, and many other common illnesses. 

Seaweed

There is more than fishes in the sea. It also contains a large amount of vegetation like algae and Seaweed. It is a common ingredient in Asian cuisine, and is rapidly gaining popularity among health conscious Westerners. 

Eating seaweed is a super healthy and nutritious way to add extra vitamins and minerals to your diet. Seaweed is popular in dishes such as sushi. 

Eating seaweed regularly can improve your health and protect you from certain diseases. In most cases, seaweed is more nutritious than vegetables. It is particularly rich in minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, and manganese.

In General, 3.5 ounce (100 grams) of seaweed provides 

Calories: 45

Protein: 2 grams

Carbs: 10 grams

Fat: 1 gram

Magnesium: 27–180% of the RDI

Fiber: 14–35% of the RDI

Manganese: 10–70% of the RDI

Vitamin K: 7–80% of the RDI

Sodium: 10–70% of the RDI

Iodine: 1–65% of the RDI

Folate: 45–50% of the RDI

Calcium: 15–60% of the RDI

Iron: 3–20% of the RDI

Copper: 6–15% of the RDI

Potassium: 1–45% of the RDI

Little amounts of other nutrients: Omega-6 fatty acids,Omega-3 and  vitamins A, C, E, phosphorus, B vitamins and choline.

Kale

Kale is the King of All Healthy Leafy Green. This is loaded with mineral, fiber, vitamins, antioxidants and various bioactive compounds.

100 grams of kale contain Vitamin A 300 percent of RDI, Vitamin C 200 percent of RDI and Vitamin K 1 100 percent of RDI. 

It also contains large amounts of Potassium, vitamin B6,  Calcium, Magnesium, copper and manganese. 

The exact same amount also contains protein 3 grams and fiber 3 grams with only 50 calories. It’s even healthier than spinach.

Garlic 

Garlic (Allium sativum) is a fabulous ingredient. It not only can make all kinds of dishes delicious, but it’s also very nutritious as well, it is rich in vitamins C, B1, and B6, calcium, potassium, copper, manganese, and selenium.

Garlic has been used all over the world for thousands of years. Records indicate that garlic was in use in ancient Giza pyramids; they are also beneficial. 

Garlic is a rich source of sulfur  compounds, as Allison.  Garlic can lower blood pressure, and bad LDL cholesterol, and also increase good HDL cholesterol, possibly reducing the risk of heart disease.

Studies of its various cancer-fighting properties suggest that people who eat too much garlic have a lower risk of many common cancers, especially important in stomach cancer. Raw garlic, when eaten empty stomach, kills  bacteria and it has antifungals qualities.

Shellfish 

Many of sea animals are rich in nutrients, but shellfish can be one of the most nutritious of all of them. 

Including the type of shellfish it contains, oyster scallops, and muscle clams.

Clamps, which are among the best sources of vitamin B12. They are also rich in vitamin B, selenium, vitamin c, potassium, and iron. 

Oysters are also highly nutritious. However, for other nutrients. Seafood is among the most nutritious foods in the world, and most people rarely consume it.

Potato 

A large potato is high in magnesium, iron, potassium, copper, and manganese in potatoes, it also contains Vitamin C, and most of the B vitamins. 

It contains small amounts of almost all nutrients, and they are filling also. One of the most filling foods, when researchers compared the satiety value of different foods,  boiled potatoes scored higher than any other food. 

Blueberries 

Blueberries are used in their own league when it comes to the nutritional value of fruits, although vitamins and minerals are not that high in them but they are packed with antioxidants.

Antioxidants substances, including anthocyanins and other plant compounds. Many studies have investigated the ominous effects of blueberries in humans, according to one study blueberries improved memory in older adults. 

Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate with cocoa is one of the most nutritious foods that one can eat. 

It’s filled with iron, fiber, magnesium, copper, and manganese, but its biggest advantage is that there are actually a variety of antioxidants. 

It’s surprising that cocoa and dark chocolate had scored more on antioxidants than any other food test that includes blueberries and acai berry according to study.

Many human studies show that dark chocolate has powerful health benefits, including better blood flow. Lower blood pressure and improve oxidized LDL and improve brain function. 

One study found that people who consumed chocolate more than five times a week had a 57 percent lower risk of heart disease than one who didn’t. 

The most common reason for this discovery can have implications for millions. 

Make sure you are getting dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa content, the best of which is 85% cocoa or a small amount of high-quality dark chocolate. . every day is the best way to supplement your diet with additional antioxidants. 

Egg yolks

The egg yolk has been incorrectly demolished due to its cholesterol content, although studies show that dietary cholesterol is not something you need to worry about. 

Eating moderate amounts of cholesterol does not increase bad LDL cholesterol. Which is why the eggs are one of the most nutritious foods on the entire planet and are so nutritious that they are sometimes referred to as multivitamin eggs. 

Eggs yolks are rich in vitamins Packed with several powerful nutrients, containing high lutein and zeaxanthin antioxidants that protect your eyes.

There are quality proteins and healthy fats in egg yolks. Many studies show that they can help you lose weight. They are cheap, tasty, and easy to cook too. 

Conclusion

So, you want lots of Essential nutrients without many calories, the most easy strategy is to take dietary supplements.

However, no supplements can hardly replace a healthy balanced diet. Your best way to get all the essential nutrients you need is to fill your meals with nutrient-dense foods.

Nutrient-dense foods are rich in essential nutrients in relative to their calorie content. 

Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds, and lean protein when prepared with little or no saturated fats, no added sugars, and no sodium are nutrient-dense foods.

By simply just consciously choosing more nutrient-dense foods, you’ll get the beneficial nutrients for your body needs without consuming a lots of calories.

Focus on your eating pattern, rather than single nutrients or specific foods or food groups.

Whether you want to lose weight or stop gaining weight, you need to choose more nutrient-dense foods and fewer foods and drinks with “empty calories.