The foods we eat daily have various examples of nutrients . They are compounds that participate in metabolism , a very important function for our body.
These nutrients are consumed, digested in the stomach, and then absorbed in the intestine. From there they pass into the blood to be distributed in the different tissues of the body.
Finally, the process of chemical transformations of nutrients in tissues is known as metabolism.
It is useful to know that although there are many examples of nutrients, not all of them fulfill the function of providing energy. This is the case of proteins, which make up new cells and enzymes.
Therefore, a healthy and varied diet model allows meeting the requirements of the greatest possible amount of nutrients, in each of the people who follow it.
7 examples of essential nutrients for your body
As their name indicates, these are responsible for providing the energy that the body needs for its operation. Macronutrients are considered the main energy supply.
Consequently, among our examples of energy nutrients are fats, where the healthiest are those of plant origin such as olives, avocado and nuts.
The only way to acquire essential nutrients is food , since our body cannot synthesize them by itself.
An essential nutrient is water , since we could not live without such a precious liquid, in addition to allowing all the physiological processes of the body to occur.
Not only does it hydrate, it is also capable of regulating body temperature and blood pressure, as well as contributing to the arrival of nutrients to the cells.
For their part, carbohydrates are known as sugars or carbohydrates, and their main function is energy, because they provide energy to our cells.
There are 2 examples of carbohydrate nutrients :
- Complex: they are huge molecules made up of many simple carbohydrates, but they are not sweet. Among them are potato starch, cereals and legumes.
- Simple: these are sweet and their absorption is fast, they are abundant in fruits and some vegetables. For example fructose, glucose, among others.
Although this group of nutrients is made up of different chemical elements, its main component is not carbon.
In this group are mineral salts (in solution or precipitated), very necessary for the body. They are in all foods, but are more abundant in fruits and vegetables.
These salts have a regulatory function, because they intervene in the chemical reactions of the organism. They also fulfill structural or plastic tasks, such as fluoride in the teeth.
After carbohydrates, lipids provide an energy reserve, as they also play a major energetic function.
Among the most abundant lipids are fats, located in adipose tissue cells, causing accumulations of fat under the skin and between organs.
1 gram of fat contains 9 Kcal (exceeds glucose). However, cells only consume glucose, so fats must be converted to glucose in order to be used.
On the other hand, some lipids exert a plastic function, among which are cholesterol and phospholipids. They are part of the plasma membrane of cells .
Other lipids have regulatory characteristics, because they act like hormones and vitamins.
Proteins are large molecules made up of amino acids, which are smaller units, joining through peptide bonds.
They are seen as “building blocks” of our body, since they are the main components of the cell’s structure, allowing the growth or replacement of damaged or worn tissues.
Some proteins coordinate the speed of our body’s chemical reactions (enzymes), regulate specific activities (hormones), take care of us against diseases (antibodies), and carry substances (hemoglobin conducts oxygen).
As examples of protein nutrients are those of animal origin such as meat, eggs, fish and vegetable, as legumes.
Regarding vitamins, they are organic-based substances with a regulatory function, since they participate in cellular chemical reactions.
An important point that we must mention is that vitamins are essential for the growth and proper functioning of the body.
We may need a small amount of vitamins, but their absence or deficiency in the diet, deficiencies may appear.
They may not provide energy, but vitamins are essential for digestion and use of other nutrients.
They are altered by factors such as heat and light, and the most common examples of nutrient vitamins are fresh fruits and vegetables.
The minerals and vitamins are used in a smaller amount, but perform varied and important tasks, such as helping achieve immunity and the formation of red blood cells.