Everything that is consumed with food and has biological value for humans are nutrients. These are necessary and beneficial substances that enter our body with food. Nutrients are divided into macronutrients, which we need in large quantities every day, and micronutrients, which we need in much less extent. However, regardless of the needs, both types of nutrients are important for the proper functioning of our body.
Why is it so important to get a certain amount of nutrients?
Lack of some micronutrients can significantly affect metabolic processes. Some nutrients are not synthesized by the body, so they can only be taken with food. This fact means that a balanced diet takes the body to a completely different level. This is a car that races on the track for a long period of time and tirelessly, because it has fuel with a high quality in the "tank".
It is quite easy to disturb the balance of nutrients in the body. So, let's take a closer look at all the components of this balance and their functions.
Most of us have general understanding of macronutrients. They are divided into 3 major groups: макронутрієнти має більшість із нас. Вони поділяються на 3 великі групи:
- Proteins are the foundation, the basis of our body. All cells of the body are built of them. All proteins of animal and herbal origin are formed from only 20 amino acids, 8 of which are not synthesized by the body itself and therefore they are called essential. We get them only with protein food.
- Fats. This word has long been denied by all who seek to lose weight, but in vain! When we eat fats, we get 20% more energy than when we eat the same amount of protein or carbohydrates. This helps to significantly quench hunger for a long period of time. Instead, the chocolate bar gives a feeling of satiety… for about 20 minutes. Polyunsaturated fatty acids, especially OMEGA-3 and OMEGA-6 fatty acids, are very important for proper nutrition. They are part of cell membranes and support the normal functioning of the body.
- Carbohydrates. They are part of the cells from which our body is built. Complex and simple carbohydrates are converted into glucose, which gives us energy. Herbal foods are rich in fiber or dietary fiber. They act as sorbents, helping to remove excess and cleanse the body of the remnants of digestive processes, having a positive effect on the health of the intestine. Fiber is also a food for bacteria that form the intestinal microflora.
Micronutrients are a much larger group. It includes more than 20 elements, each of them has its important function:
Vitamins. They are responsible for the vital functions of the body. Vitamins A and D are prohormones and are responsible not only for physical health but also for psychological balance. C, E, β-carotene are involved in protein synthesis, they have powerful antioxidant functions. Vitamins B are even responsible for the absorption of proteins. If you do not have enough of them in your body, you can eat ocean fish at least 7 times a week, but the benefits of such food are almost non-existent.
Minerals. More than 20 macro- and microminerals the body uses daily for:
- stabilization of blood coagulation and transmission of nerve impulses (calcium);
- heart rate support (magnesium);
- normalization of kidney and heart function (potassium, sodium, chlorine);
- preservation of youth of skin (sulfur);
- transport of oxygen to all cells of the body (iron);
- normalization of blood sugar (chromium and zinc).
The substances we need every day should enter the body regularly, not from time to time.
These 2 groups are well known, but there are much more micronutrients.
Flavonoids are included in a separate group - herbal nutrients that promote antioxidation of the body.
Herbal indoles in the complex are responsible for the health of every cell in the body.
Resveratrols are a separate group that is responsible for the constant rejuvenation of cells and effectively overcomes inflammatory processes in the body.
All these macro- and micronutrients have been part of our diet since time immemorial. With a balanced diet, we could continue to receive them without hindrance. However, there is one "BUT", which often leads to an imbalance of nutrients in the body and the emergence of various inflammatory processes and diseases.
Is it possible to get all the necessary nutrients from food?
The food we eat is called "industrial" by modern nutritionists. How does it get on our table? Squirrels are no longer the meat of a hunted animal that grazed in mountain meadows and drank water from clean springs. The quality of the meat and amino acids it contains depends largely on what the animal was fed on the farm. Often this argument is not in favor of the quality of meat. The same applies to fish, eggs and milk.
Have you ever wondered why vegetables and fruits now look much tastier and stored for longer period of time? They can be incredibly tasty, but they have much less nutrients.
It is as it should be: the main purpose of industrial food is to sell, not to enrich products with nutrients.
There are many other factors that prevent the active intake of nutrients needed to maintain balance. From ecology, which globally affects the quality of all products, to eating habits.
Cooking at home, following the balanced diet of each family member, selecting and combining the necessary products is a noble but difficult and responsible task. Keeping the whole balance of nutrients in mind is not easy, and it is impossible to trace the quality of all products. Nutritionists and dieticians come to the rescue, developing special diets for the whole family.
Nutrient-rich supplements have long been part of a proper and healthy diet in many countries. Supplements make it easier to get what your body needs. Despite changes in the environment, our physiology and nutrient needs have not changed significantly in the last 2000 years, and nutrient deficiencies can have extremely negative consequences.