Most people know they should eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. However, a few key nutrients are often overlooked and essential for maintaining a healthy body.
Here are 8 key nutrients to include in your diet:
Proteins are the key nutrients our bodies need to function properly. They are the building blocks of our muscles, bones, and organs and help repair and maintain our cells. Our bodies need proteins for many different purposes, including
- To build and repair muscles
- To produce hormones and enzymes
- To boost our immune system
- To aid in digestion
There are many different types of proteins, and they can be found in various foods, including meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, beans, and nuts. It’s important to consume a variety of protein-rich foods to get all the essential amino acids that our bodies need.
Water is essential for life and plays a vital role in many biochemical processes in the body. It is the largest single constituent of the human body, accounting for approximately 60% of an adult’s weight. Despite its importance, many people do not consume enough water daily and become dehydrated. Dehydration can lead to many health problems, including headaches, fatigue, and constipation.
Many different nutrients in the water are essential for human health. These include minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium, as well as vitamins and other compounds.
There are many key nutrients that our bodies need in order to function properly, and vitamin D is one of them. It is essential for our bodies to absorb calcium and phosphorus, two minerals important for our bones and teeth. Without enough vitamin D, our bones can become weak, and our teeth can become brittle.
Vitamin C is one of the key nutrients your body needs to function properly. It’s a water-soluble vitamin that plays a role in many important functions, including
- Boosting immunity: Vitamin C is involved in producing white blood cells, which help fight off infection.
- Forming collagen: This vitamin helps create collagen, a protein essential for wound healing.
- Protecting against cell damage: Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps protect cells from damage caused by free radicals.
Getting enough vitamin C is important for maintaining good health. The recommended daily intake for adults is 75-90 mg per day. However, you may need more if you’re under stress or have a chronic illness.
Iron is a mineral that is important for many functions in the body, including the production of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen in the blood. Iron can be heme or non-heme. In heme iron, about 40% of the iron is well absorbed, such in poultry, meat, as well as fish. Non-heme iron, 60 percent of the iron in animal tissue, and all the iron in plants (fruits, grains, vegetables, nuts) is less well absorbed.
B vitamins are essential to human health. They can be found in a variety of foods but are also available in supplement form. They are important for energy metabolism, cognitive function, and red blood cell production. A deficiency in any of the B vitamins can lead to health problems.
There are many different types of fat, but not all fat is created equal. The different types of fat have different effects on our health. Some fats are essential for our health, while others can increase our risk for disease.
The three main types of fat are saturated, unsaturated, and trans-fat. Saturated fat is found in animal products, such as meat and dairy, while unsaturated fat is found in plant-based foods, such as nuts and seeds. Trans fat is found in processed foods, such as margarine and some baked goods.
Carbohydrates are one of the three macronutrients (fat and protein) essential for a healthy diet. They are the body’s main source of energy and are found in a variety of foods, including bread, rice, pasta, potatoes, and fruits.
While carbohydrates are an important part of a healthy diet, choosing the right type of carbs is important. Complex carbs, such as those found in whole grains, are better than simple carbs, such as those found in sugary foods. They are slowly digested and provide a sustained source of energy, while simple carbs are quickly digested and can cause a spike in blood sugar levels.