In order to live healthy, it is important to understand the nutrients which the human body needs. There are number of nutrients which are required by the human body, classified into macronutrients and micronutrients.
Macronutrients perform essential functions in the human body. There are three macronutrients namely fats, protein and carbohydrates. Fats play a number of roles including protection, promotion of growth and development and maintenance of cell membranes. They also facilitate the digestion of vitamins. A proper diet should consist of 20% fat (Anderson, Root & Garner, 2015). Proteins play an important role of body building, maintaining and repairing body tissues. It is also worth noting that all hormones and enzymes are proteins. Proteins should make up 10-35% of one’s daily diet (Anderson, Root & Garner, 2015). Lastly, carbohydrates are the primary sources of energy in the human body. Carbohydrates are small, simple chains of sugars that are broken down and absorbed by the body as glucose; which is the preferred energy source in the human body. As a result, one’s daily diet should be composed of 45-65 % carbohydrates (Anderson, Root & Garner, 2015).
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As opposed to macronutrients, micronutrients are needed in small quantities. Failure to supply the human body with these tiny amounts; however, results in substantial harm. Micronutrients include vitamins and minerals. There are 13 vital vitamins namely: A, B, C, D, E, K, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, B6, biotin, B12 and folate (Yoshida, 2008). Vitamins allow the human body to develop and grow (Yoshida, 2008). They also play vital roles in bodily functions like immunity, digestion and metabolism. To meet the vitamin requirements, it is important for one to take a balanced diet; comprised of various foods.
Minerals, on the other hand, are vitals for the production of enzymes which in turn facilitates every chemical reaction in the human cells. They are also critical to the production and growth of bones, hair, teeth, blood, skin and nerves. Essential minerals include copper, calcium, magnesium, manganese, iron, potassium, selenium, zinc and sodium amongst others (Zeng, 2010).
In conclusion, healthy living requires one to understand the essential nutrients that are required by the human body. Macronutrients; fats, proteins and carbohydrates, and micronutrients; vitamins and minerals, play important roles in ensuring proper functioning of the human body.
Anderson, J. J. B., Root, M. M., & Garner, S. C. (2015). Human nutrition: Healthy options for life . Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Yoshida, T. (2008). Micronutrients and health research . New York: Nova Biomedical Books.
Zeng, W. (2010). Nutrition optimization for health and longevity . New York: iUniverse, INC.