What Are Nutrients?
So you've been wondering what are nutrients are? Well, I'm going to make this incredibly simple.
What Nutrients Are
Simply put, nutrients are the essential substances that we get from our food. They are what the body needs to perform its daily functions properly.
All foods contain different nutrients, and you will need to eat a variety of nutrients to be able to get enough of all the nutrients your body needs.
We need food and the nutrients that food gives us for energy, and for proper functioning of the body, in addition to other activities we perform like walking to work, sitting, sleeping and so on.
How Our Bodies Function
When we were all born, our bodies' skin, flesh, organs and bones had been made from essential nutrients from food our mothers while in the womb.
And constantly till now and continuously, our bodies (which are made up of cells) renew their skin and replace their cells with new ones throughout our lives.
All of these nutrients the body needs come from food. If something is wrong, look at your diet. If everything is great and dandy health-wise and diseases are being prevented, it's still the diet.
Illness and Wellness
When someone is diagnosed with an illness or any disease, the person also gets told to eat more of some types of foods, or less of some other (even if the person is also prescribed medication). Back to food and diet.
Medication is only there to treat symptoms, after the event or illness has started; and not the root cause of the disease or illness.
Mind you, not "feeling sick", does not necessarily mean "wellness". Most diseases take years to manifest and show symptoms, even though it may have been there and building up inside all along. Some take years or decades.
This means that if we would just change or improve our eating habits and eat healthier, we would get the real benefit of what nutrients are, and be way better off.
Nutrients Breakdown into Components
Another way to understand what nutrients are is to break them down into their different classes. The classes are proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.
When you eat, the body works to digest the foods and break them down into what nutrients are made of – carbohydrates, fats and proteins, vitamins and minerals.
We get carbohydrates from sugars and starchy foods like breads.
Proteins are the building blocks of the body. They are provided by meats, fish, beans and some types of vegetables.
Fats and oils are provided by meats, fish, eggs and dairy products and so on.
Fruits and vegetables provide vitamins and minerals in abundance.
Carbohydrates, fats and proteins mainly provide energy. Vitamins and minerals are required to channel and promote the performance of the hundreds of chemical reactions that the body must perform to keep us living.
While understanding what nutrients are, water is a very important substance that we must note. Our bodies are made up of 70% water. So eating foods that are mostly alkaline (contain lots of natural water), also help us to assimilate nutrients better, and is important to help the body perform its good work. The recommendation for water is that you drink a minimum of six to eight glasses of water a day.
Fibre too must not be left out. Fibre is very important to help with regular elimination of toxins and wastes.
To summarise what nutrients are, look at how your body functions. Every function your body performs is made possible by nutrients you get from your meals. Nutrients we get must be in balance.
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