An essential nutrient is best defined as a nutrient that cannot be synthesized by the body and therefore should be provided by the diet. The 6 essential nutrients are carbohydrates, vitamins, proteins, fat, minerals, and water. All these nutrients are essential for healthy body function.
Carbohydrates are the primary energy source for the body. The brain also depends on carbohydrates to concentrate on our daily activities. Some of the most preferred sources of carbohydrates today are whole grains, legumes, fruits and even low-fat dairy. Specialists on health matters recommend that we should make sure half of the grains we consume should be whole grains. Whole grains have fiber, and it helps regulate glucose levels in the blood.
Proteins form the primary structures of cells, and they are also responsible for the building and repair of tissues in the body. Proteins in the body are broken into amino acids which are also the building blocks of protein. There are twenty essential amino acids known in the human body. Nine out of these cannot be synthesized in the body and must, therefore, be provided for normal body function. An average of ten to thirty-five percent of the protein we consume should be from lean protein sources like dairy, low-fat meat, eggs or even beans.
Fat is an energy source for our bodies. Fat consumption has been known to help in the increased absorption of fat-soluble vitamins that are vital for the human life. Examples of the fat-soluble vitamins are vitamin A, D, E and K. one of the healthiest fat options is taking foods high in omega 3. Omega 3 helps a lot in growth and development of our daily lives. We should also minimize on an intake of saturated fats like full-fat dairy and high-fat meats. Other good options for fat include seeds, nuts and also fruits like avocado.
Vitamins are one of the essential nutrients that the human body should not stay without. Some of the important vitamins are like vitamin c that is often found in citrus fruits, peppers, and strawberries. Vitamin c helps in the synthesis of collagen which is the primal structure of blood vessels, bones and also ligaments. Another essential vitamin is Folate that helps in preventing birth defects. Vitamin D is also vital in maintaining calcium homeostasis.
Minerals are also quite essential for the human body. Minerals like sodium are known to help our body cells function normally. Although intake that exceeds 2400 milligrams per day is fatal. Potassium is another important mineral that helps in preventing the excessive rise of blood pressure. Potassium is found in bananas, and this shows the necessity of fruits and vegetables in our diet. Fluids like milk can provide calcium that is essential in maintaining and building strong bones.
Water is life, and we cannot live without water. Water in the human body helps in maintaining homeostasis and also transportation of various nutrients. Water helps in the maintenance of body temperature and other processes like digestion. Water also helps in excretion, and it is important to consume 2 to 3 liters of water per day for healthy body function.