What are Nutrients: Healthy meal ideas

Food is a vital source of nutrients for the body. Nutrients help repair daily wear and tear of the body and substitute exhausted ones form the body.

The body, in general, requires 3 basic food ingredients and a few essential vitamins and minerals.

Nutrients are those contents of food that nourish the body and also provide sufficient strength and longevity when consumed at optimum levels.

i.e to say that their consumption in excess or insufficient levels can cause nutritional disorders.

What are the Nutrients in a healthy meal:

The meal which we consume has in general 3 major food ingredients viz. carbohydrates, proteins, fats in almost any type of food or diet we daily eat. Besides these 3 types of Nutrients, there are also minor nutrients which are very essential namely Vitamins and minerals.

The 3 major nutrients different in their chemistry, sources of availability, function and also the role they play inside the body and cell.

Carbohydrates: are a source of energy and also the also have a part in the build-up of tissue or cells. Once consumed, they are available as readily usable sources like glucose in the body or as reserve source as glycogen. They produce energy in the required by the body which is also converted to body heat. So their main role lies to produce body activities requiring muscle action, maintenance of body temperature and also fuel other reactions involving proteins, hormones, enzymes. So they play a key role in the sustenance of life in the body.

They are provided from foods like bread, wheat, rice, maize, etc. They provide energy to the body to work.

Proteins which are structures made of amino-acids and peptides and are building blocks which take part in a physical build-up of body, they also act as substrates for various body reaction taking place in the body ex: enzymes.

These useful nutrients are provided from foods like pulses, eggs, meat, milk, etc. Proteins help in rejuvenation of the body from wounds, provide immunity, etc.

Fats: are nutrients that are required in low quantities than the other two major nutrients. Their main role in the body appears to be either to act as a reserve source of carbohydrates (i.e they convert into carbohydrate bi-products during starvation) to produce energy or form constituents of cell and other organelle structures. They impart elasticity, smoothness to internal and external body surfaces.

These nutrients are as different fatty acids and are present in all types of vegetable oils. They are required in low quantities than the first two nutrients. If they are not taken up in food, they can be synthesized by the body from excess carbohydrates, except for essential fatty acids.

Minor nutrients in a healthy meal:

They include Vitamins and minerals. They as mentioned are required in minor quantities. Their excesses or deficiencies can have drastic alterations in health.

Vitamins are a set of organic nutrients required in small quantities for certain biochemical and metabolic functions. They are to be taken from the external diet as they cannot be synthesized by the body itself.

Minerals are non-organic elements which have diverse roles in the body physiology. Some of them include sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphate, cobalt, copper, iron, etc. the body must be provided in the diet and in excess can be harmful to the body.

These nutrients need not be taken from any specific source other than a daily diet consisting of vegetables, fruits, a normal diet consisting of all major nutrients and also drinking water.

A healthy meal is one that provides all the nutrients at proper proportions. But the caution to be exercised is to have more natural product sources like vegetables, fruits, milk in excess quantities as they have these minor nutrients in plenty. Moreover, they can be easily assimilated by the digestive system and also compatible with the body.

Reliance on comfort after a meal is important than just the taste (like spices) which encourages us to fill our stomach. Have minimal water before and after a meal. One of the better ideas is to have a meal with a small amount at frequent intervals is preferable than one with a large diet at long intervals. A healthy meal is preferably fresh and not those stored in any form. Consumption of external nutrients like vitamins and minerals is encouraged but provides them with food unless desired by your health standards.

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