Some of the nutrients essential for a healthy balanced diet are Carbohydrates, proteins, water, vitamins, and minerals. The body cannot produce these on its own so a constant supply of these nutrients is required.
These nutrients play roles in your growth and development, health, and reproduction.
All these nutrients exist naturally in foods you eat and as important as it is to consume them it is also important to combine them correctly to maintain your body’s function and provide the daily energy needed.
These are a group of organic compounds that exist naturally in foods including sugars that provide energy for all the cells and tissues in the body. Types of carbohydrates include simple and complex. Intake of simple carbohydrate foods like bread, regular rice and pasta should be limited. However, the body needs to consume complex carbohydrates such as brown rice, quinoa, oats, whole grain pasta, vegetables, and fruits to support the energy production, nervous system, digestive functions, immune system, and brain functions, etc.
Lack of carbohydrates can cause headaches, constipation or diarrhea, weakness, and fatigue.
These are one of the essential nutrients needed to create and repair your body cells to function properly. Proteins are complex substances assembled from chains of amino acids. Proteins aid the growth of muscles, bones, hairs, and skin cells. It also supports the development of antibodies and the production of hormones and other essential substances needed for the body. Proteins exist richly in foods like fish, eggs, red meats (eaten in caution quantity), poultry (chicken and turkey), beans and legumes, dairy products, soy, some grains including quinoa, etc.
Lack of protein causes weak and sore muscles, dry skin, anxiety, unhealthy weight loss, nausea, etc.
Water might just be the most important nutrient needed in the body. Research shows that a person can only survive a few days without water. Even slight dehydration can affect your mental and physical functioning. Every cell requires water to function as the human body is almost entirely made of water. Water helps in transporting nutrients, preventing constipation, flushing toxins, hydration, digestion, excretion, and so many more functions.
The best sources of water are from fruits or natural, unsweetened bottled water. Avoid getting your water from sugary drinks, processed juices, soda, coffee, and the likes.
Lack of water causes constipation, weight gain, indigestion, fatigue, aging, stress, skin issues, respiratory issues, brain damage, etc.
13 essential vitamins provide a wide range of health benefits. They are grouped into fat-soluble vitamins and water-soluble vitamins.
The fat-soluble vitamins are; vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin D, and vitamin K.
The water-soluble vitamins are;
Thiamine (vitamin B-1); found in beans, liver, eggs, whole grains.
Cyanocobalamins (Vitamin B-12); found in meat, fatty fish, and eggs.
Riboflavin (vitamin B-2); found in milk, cheese, egg whites, and dried fruits.
Pantothenic acid (vitamin B-5), Niacin (vitamin B-3),
Folic acid (vitamin B-9); mostly found in leafy greens, beans, and liver.
Biotin (vitamin B-7),
Vitamin C; found in citric fruits, strawberries, kiwis, vegetables, liver, and kidney.
Vitamins play a major role in the regulation of metabolic enzymes.
Vitamins exist naturally rich in foods such as vegetables and fruits.
The benefits of these vitamins are;
Boosting the immune system
Strengthening the bones and teeth
Maintaining healthy skin
Preventing certain cancer such as prostate cancer
Aiding nutrient absorption
Supporting brain and nervous system functions
Helping the body metabolize proteins and carbohydrates
Lack of vitamins causes harms to the body such as dry skin, eczema, premature aging, wrinkles, poor vision, hair loss, etc.
Minerals are grouped into major and trace minerals. The balance of these minerals in the body results in optimal health.
The functions of major minerals are to maintain healthy skin, nails, and hair, balance water levels, and strengthen the bones. These minerals are; potassium, sodium, chloride, magnesium, calcium, sulfur, and phosphorus.
The functions of trace minerals are; aids blood clotting, strengthening the bones, preventing tooth decay, supporting healthy blood pressure, and boosting the immune system. These minerals are iron, zinc, selenium, chromium, manganese, copper, fluoride, iodine, and molybdenum.
Minerals are found in foods such as milk, cheese, nuts, yoghurts, seafood, red meat, vegetables, fruits, poultry, egg yolks, whole grains, beans, and legumes, etc.
These 5 essential nutrients are only some of the many nutrients you need to consume. The benefits of these are so widely spread. A person who eats a healthy balanced diet that is containing all the classes of foods mentioned will get all the necessary nutrients and will automatically have a healthy life.