You are what you eat, and an unhealthy diet leads to poor overall well-being. In today’s fast-paced world, more people are turning away from eating balanced meals, preferring instead to eat highly processed food that offers their bodies little, if any, nutritional value.
Things have deteriorated so much that school-going children struggle to understand the concept of a healthy diet because what they learn is disparate from their reality.
This is an examination of the six main nutrient groups and why our bodies need them:
More than 60% of the human body is comprised of water, making it essential for continued survival. You could go weeks without food but will die within days of not drinking water. Water carries nutrients around the body and flushes out toxins.
Dehydration affects the body and mind’s ability to perform essential functions, causing it to shut down completely in extreme circumstances. Experts recommend that adults drink at least eight glasses (2 liters) of water each day to maintain optimal hydration levels.
Vitamins and minerals are usually grouped together, although they have different functions. Minerals play an integral role in food metabolism, muscle performance, and wound healing, among others. Fresh fruits and vegetables contain minerals, as do some supplements. However, boosting mineral levels may require using supplemental products.
Fulvic acid is one of the lesser-known trace minerals that promotes alkaline balance in the body, reducing the volume of harmful acids and toxins in the bloodstream. Optimally Organic extracts fulvic acid from humic shale ancient plant deposits using a patented water extraction process.
Every human body cell contains protein, making it an essential nutrient for physical health. Stunted growth, persistent ill-health, and poor well-being are consequences of not consuming enough protein. Hormones and antibodies that regulate the body’s functioning and its immune system are comprised of protein.
The body needs 20 amino acids to function at its best. The body produces some, but others must come from external sources, such as the food we eat. Eggs, milk, and meat are better-known sources of protein, although there are plant sources that vegetarians rely on to get their daily intake of this nutrient.
Vitamins are vital for a well-functioning immune system that can resist threats such as bacteria and viruses. There are 13 essential vitamins that the body needs, each with a specific function. Among these functions are maintaining bone, muscle, skin, and organ health, and facilitating healing and warding off potential threats.
The best source of vitamins is fresh fruit and vegetables. Store-bought supplements can augment this.
Despite being pointed to as a cause of obesity, the body needs carbohydrates to function. This essential nutrient is the body’s fuel, providing energy, sound central nervous system functioning, and supplementing the immune system.
Good carbohydrates come from whole grains and fiber-rich vegetables and fruits, including beans. Processed, refined sugars and flour, such as those in the sweet treats that tempt you in the grocery store, are bad carbohydrates. Aside from sugar, they add little value to the diet, specifically because they lack fiber.
Fats and oils
Again, there is a distinction between good and bad fats. The body requires good fats to facilitate vitamin and mineral absorption, muscle health, cell growth, and blood clotting. These fats act as anti-inflammatories, decrease blood sugar levels, and play a vital role in lowering your risk of heart disease, cancer, arthritis, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Healthy fats come from nuts, fish, seeds, and vegetable oils. Trans-fats should be consumed in minimal quantities. Most of them come from animal-based sources, like red meat and dairy products like butter, cheese, and ice-cream.