Maximizing Your Intake of Essential Nutrients with the Right Foods for a Healthier You
Your body requires nutrients to function normally and flourish. It goes without saying that nutrients can be divided into two major categories; nonessential nutrients and essential nutrients. The former can be synthesized(made) by your body and also absorbed from food. Fiber, some vitamins like vitamins D and K, as well as non-essential amino acids including Arginine, Alanine, Asparagine, Aspartic acid, and Glutamic Acid are some good examples of non-essential nutrients. On the other hand, the latter can’t be made by your body. Instead, your body can only source it from the foods you eat.
Having said that, essential nutrients include carbohydrates, proteins, fats, minerals, vitamins, dietary fiber, and water. With that said, let’s take a closer look at some foods that contain high amounts of each essential nutrient:
The role of carbohydrates in your body is to provide energy. It should be noted that energy is a very vital necessity in your body’s functioning as it fuels all the internal and external functions of it. Internal functions include cell and tissue growth, repair as well as maintenance. On the other hand, external functions are those that allow your body to interact with the physical world such as moving, holding things, lifting things, etc.
As far as the best sources of carbohydrate go, whole grains carry the day. These grains offer the highest quality of the energy-giving nutrients. Examples of the best whole grains include barley, quinoa, rye, and whole wheat bread.
The good news is that you can order carbohydrate-packed meals conveniently online, thanks to Home Chef and Hello Fresh. Having said that, here’s a comprehensive review about them both, covering meal variety, pricing, shipping, delivery, and packaging among other key aspects. Also, you may try Sun Basket, which can be a great alternative to the two meal delivery services above.
Unlike carbs, which play a single role in your body, proteins play several roles that are all very critical to it. For example, these nutrients help with the structure, function as well as regulation of the tissues and organs in your body. Apart from that, they assist cells to do their job, which is to provide structure for it. Additionally, cells carry out specialized functions like absorbing nutrients from food and turning those nutrients into energy. Other functions of them include facilitating the nervous system and defending your body against viruses and harmful bacteria.
As you can see, proteins are extremely vital for your body. Foods that are high in these nutrients include seafood and fish, white meat, low-fat milk, eggs, beans, and lean pork. To increase your protein levels, make your diet heavy on these foods.
Just like proteins, vitamins play several important roles in your body. For example, these nutrients help heal wounds, strengthen bones, and boost your body’s immune system. Additionally, they help your body convert food into energy. Lastly, they help it recover from cellular damage.
When it comes to the best sources of vitamins (like vitamin c), fruits and vegetables remain the greatest options. Making fruits like avocados, pawpaws, as well as berries an important part of your diet can be a great way to pump high amounts of vitamins into your body. So is adding broccoli, spinach, kales, cabbage, and other summer vegetables to it.
There is no better way to keep your brain, heart, muscles, and bones healthy and working properly than taking lots of minerals. Minerals also play an instrumental role in the processing of enzymes and hormones.
With that said, soy sauce, table salt, milk, bread, vegetables, and unprocessed meats are good sources of several key minerals. These minerals include sodium, potassium, calcium, phosphorous, and sulfur.
5. Dietary Fiber
Dietary fiber helps with digestion, which can be a great way to ensure high absorption of all essential nutrients from foods eaten. Also, this can help keep your weight in check, lowering the risk of becoming overweight or obese.
There is no getting away from the fact that some fruits, grains, and legumes serve as rich sources of this essential nutrient. These fruits include but not limited to; apples, pears, oranges, and other citrus fruits. As far as the best grains for it go, barley and oatmeal are some of the top options worth considering. When it comes to legumes as some of the best sources of DF, beans will not disappoint.
Just like carbohydrates, fats provide energy, which the body requires to drive several critical functions including cell growth. Apart from that, these essential nutrients help keep your body warm, ensuring that your heart, nervous system, and other organs continue to function normally. That way, your body will not shut down.
It is important to note that not all fats are healthy. In other words, some fats such as artificial fats and saturated fats can promote weight gain and clog arteries, leading to heart failure among other health risks.
On the other hand, unsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids are arguably the best fats as they have the opposite effects. You can derive these fats from select varieties of foods including avocados, fatty fish, nuts, olive oil, and seeds.
Water plays a very very important role in your body. Not only does it help regulate your body’s temperature, but it also helps maintain other processes in it. These processes include transportation of oxygen and nutrients to cells, lubricating your joints, and removing toxic substances from your body. Unfortunately, your body will lose this essential nutrient in several ways including sweating, breathing, and digestion.
To stay hydrated and maintain proper levels of water in your body, you should drink at least eight glasses of water and other fluids a day. Apart from that, you should eat more hydrating foods like spinach, cucumber, broccoli, tomatoes, watermelon, and oranges.
Carbohydrates, proteins, fats, minerals, vitamins, dietary fiber, and water are very essential for your body. These essential nutrients enable your body to function normally and achieve health. Each nutrient can be derived from many different kinds of foods out there. For example, carbohydrates can be best obtained from whole grains while proteins can be best sourced from seafood, fish, white meat, and other types of foods. With nothing more to add, I hope this article helps you figure out the right diet to maximize your intake of all the seven essential nutrients.