Classification of Nutrients and Its Sources

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A human body needs a balance of seven major nutrients, namely carbohydrates, proteins, fats, water, fibre, vitamins, and minerals for healthy functioning. Nutrients are classified into macro and micronutrients based on the amount of nutrients a person needs to consume daily. Macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, fats, water, and fibre) need to be consumed in large amounts as they are needed for the supply of energy and growth. Micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), on the other hand, are required only in small quantities.

An imbalance or insufficient amount of even one nutrient can have a negative impact on the body. Given below are a detailed description of all the nutrients along with their sources and lead a healthy living 

Carbohydrates-

Carbohydrates provide energy in the form of calories. Almost 65% of energy comes from carbohydrates. Energy is usually in the form of glucose, which is in the usable form for every cell and tissue in the body. Carbohydrates are further broken down into monosaccharides, disaccharides, and polysaccharides.

Sources:

Bread, potatoes, wheat, maize, cassava, macaroni, rice, pasta, banana, sugar cane, sweets, honey, and sweet fruits. Vegetables, nuts, beans, and seeds also contain carbohydrates, but in lesser amounts.

 

Proteins-

protein sources

Proteins are needed for growth, and about 10-35% of calories should come from them. They help improve immune functions and play an essential role in repairing tissues, making hormones and enzymes, supplying energy, and preserving lean muscle mass.

Sources:

Milk, meat, cheese, chicken, fish, egg, lentils, beans, breastmilk, and ground nuts. All animal and plant foods containing proteins are good for bodybuilding.

Fats-

Fats and oils are concentrated sources of energy. Fats are classified into saturated (unhealthy and solid at low temperature) and unsaturated fats (healthy and liquid at room temperature). Consuming excess of saturated fats can lead to heart and blood vessel problems. Unsaturated fats are healthy fats.

Sources:

Milk products, meat, butter, chicken, cream, cheese, avocado, cooking oils, fish, and ground nuts. Fats from fish, oil from sesame and sunflower oil seeds are good sources of unsaturated fats. Plant sources of fats contain more unsaturated fats than animal fats.

 

Water-

Water

Its significance can be understood by the fact that 60% of a human body is composed of water. It is required for the production of cells, fluids, and urine. It is highly recommended to drink water before having meals by the best dietitian for weight loss. It cools the body and keeps the inner lining of some organs wet.

 

Fibre-

Fibre is not digested and passes through the gut nearly unchanged. But it slows down the absorption of nutrients, thus helping nutrients enter the bloodstream slowly (essential for patients suffering from diabetes). Fibre prevents constipation by making the faeces soft and bulky.

Sources:

Cabbage, cassava, carrots, banana, avocado, peas, beans, wheat flour, and refined maize.

 

Vitamins-

Also known as protective food, vitamins are necessary for the normal functioning of the body. They are classified as fat-soluble (vitamin A, D, E, and K) and water-soluble vitamins (vitamin B, C, and folic acid).

Sources:

Vitamin A- Breastmilk, tomatoes, mangoes, cabbage, lettuce, pumpkin, papaya, carrot, liver, kidney, milk, egg yolk, butter, and cheese cream

Vitamin C- Oranges, banana, mango, grapefruit, lemon, breastmilk, potato, cabbage, carrot, pepper, and tomato

Vitamin D- Sunrays, egg, fortified oil, butter, fish, fat and cereal

Vitamin K- Green leafy vegetables, dairy products, fruits, cereals, and meat

B complex- Milk, egg yolk, liver, whole grain cereals, meat, whole bread, fish, banana, kidney and, heart.

Minerals-

Minerals ensure correct functioning of fluids, skeleton, and soft tissues. Calcium, iron, iodine, fluorine, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, selenium, and sodium are examples of minerals.

Sources:

Calcium- Milk, cheese, dairy products, flour, cabbage, cereals, egg, and fish

Iron- Meat, egg, fruits, bread, green leafy vegetables, and pulses

Iodine- Iodized salt, vegetables, yoghurt, cow’s milk, eggs, fish, and cheese

Fluorine-Maize, fish, beans, breastmilk, meat

Zinc- Water- 

Excess of one nutrient and lack of another do no good to the body. A balanced diet must be followed, ensuring no nutrient is lacking. The top dietitian in India can help with prescribing a nutritious diet as she is an expert in it. A good diet along with exercise can do wonders to the body and its well-being.

 

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