Your diet supplies your body with essential nutrients needed for growth, repair and maintenance of itself.
Nutrition is the study of how to obtain essential nutrients in sufficient quantities and use them correctly to lead a healthy life. Nutrition also serves to prevent illness while keeping us feeling good!
Proteins are among the largest and most complex molecules found in our bodies, playing an essential role in health and nutrition by helping build muscles, repair cells and maintain body function.
Protein is vital in keeping our immune systems strong, transporting nutrients from one place to the next and supporting proper body functioning. A high-protein diet is necessary in meeting this demand while decreasing risk factors associated with obesity, osteoporosis, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Proteins are composed of chains of amino acids linked together into long chains called polypeptides. Their sequence determines their unique 3-dimensional structures and functions.
Carbs are one of three primary energy-yielding nutrients needed for human survival, providing us with energy through food sources like grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy products, beans, nuts and seeds as well as meat products.
Your body breaks down carbohydrates to produce glucose, the primary energy source for cells and brain. Any extra glucose not immediately used by your cells and brain is stored as glycogen for later use.
When you eat carbohydrates, they enter your bloodstream and prompt the pancreas to secrete insulin, instructing your body how to absorb or store glucose according to its needs. Insulin also provides signal for glucose storage based on how quickly or slowly your metabolism responds.
Fats provide energy, help your body absorb certain vitamins, and play an integral part of certain body functions. While some fats may contribute to health issues like high cholesterol or obesity, for optimal wellbeing it is wise to include a variety of healthy fats into your diet for overall wellness.
There are two primary categories of fats: saturated and unsaturated. Saturated fats tend to remain solid at room temperature (think butter or coconut oil), while unsaturated oils like olive and canola oils have liquid consistency at this temperature.
Dieticians typically advise getting between 25-35% of calories from dietary fat, or 56-78 grams on a 2,000-calorie diet, from unsaturated sources; it is also best to limit foods containing trans fats.
Vitamins are organic molecules our bodies need in small quantities in order to function optimally, including our immune systems, nerves and other body tissues. They play an integral part in protecting us against illness.
Vitamins play many functions within our bodies, from helping the body utilize energy-yielding nutrients like carbohydrates, fats and proteins as fuel to producing proteins for blood clotting. You’ll most commonly find vitamins in food we eat; eating a varied diet should provide all of them.
Most vitamins are water-soluble – meaning they dissolve in water and travel through your bloodstream, leaving through urine excretion if not utilized by the body. Therefore, to keep up your vitamin levels or avoid deficiencies you need to consume regular doses.
Minerals are vital ingredients we require for good health and proper functioning of our bodies, found both organically and inorganically in food sources, as well as added into processed products as supplements.
Minerals all possess specific chemical composition and an orderly atomic structure. When formed through inorganic processes, many minerals take on the shape of crystals.
Each mineral exhibits different physical properties, including color, streak, hardness, luster, diaphaneity, specific gravity, cleavage fracture and magnetism. These physical characteristics help identify minerals as well as to determine their industrial applications.