You’ve probably heard many times that your body needs as many good nutrients from food as it can get. But do you know exactly why nutrients are so important?
Nutrients provide your body with energy
Carbohydrates, proteins, and fats are among the most important nutrients that the body converts into useful energy. The energy these nutrients produce is not only used for muscle movement, but also as fuel for the biochemical reactions that occur in the body.
These reactions include metabolizing the food you eat, passing nutrients through the blood to other parts of the body, and more. Without nutrients, your body would practically shut down and stop functioning.
Nutrients are the building blocks of the body
The human body uses nutrients such as proteins, minerals and fats as raw materials to build new body cells and tissues. Carbohydrates are not on this list, but technically the human body turns excess carbohydrates into fat, which can then be used to build body cells.
This means that nutrients are important not only for growth, but also for recovery from injury and disease. For example, if you break a bone and have a nutrient deficiency, it will take much longer for your bone to grow back together.
Nutrients help regulate body functions
All of the bodily functions that keep your body in the best possible shape are regulated by the amount of nutrients you eat. Your blood pressure, body temperature, sweating, and many other normal functions need nutrients to function properly.
When you get all the nutrients you need in the recommended amounts in your diet, your body is in balance. This means that the various functions are working optimally, just like a well-oiled machine.
Macronutrients and micronutrients
There are 6 types of nutrients, namely fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, proteins, minerals and water. In order to remember them better, they are divided into macronutrients and micronutrients.
Carbohydrates, fats and proteins are placed in the macronutrient category. The reason for this is that they are made up of larger molecules compared to the other three. In addition, they are the nutrients that serve as fuel for the body. This means that they make most of the body’s functions possible in the first place.
Vitamins, minerals and water, on the other hand, are placed in the micronutrient category because they are smaller. This means they have smaller molecules and are much less dense compared to macronutrients.
However, this does not mean that they are not just as important as macronutrients. Micronutrients are still very important for body functions, but you only need a fraction of them compared to macronutrients.
You can get all the nutrients your body needs from the foods you eat. That means you need to eat right and eat healthy, which means with all the macro and micronutrients you need for your body to function. If you are not getting enough nutrients from your diet, you should take supplements.
Links on topic
National Geographic – Nutrients – https://education.nationalgeographic.org/resource/nutrient
MDPI Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute – Nutrients – https://www.mdpi.com/journal/nutrients