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Important nutrients and their functions in the human body

If you are searching about Important nutrients and their functions in the Human body, then you are in right place. This article will provide all the essential information regarding nutrients and their needs in our body. However, there are different types of nutrients that provide not only good health but also growth and development. The need for nutrients depends upon the body. The nutrient requirement for children will be different from young as well as a female requirement will be different from male too.

Important nutrients and their functions in the human body
Important nutrients and their functions in the human body

What is Nutrient?

A nutrient is a substance present in food that provides energy. It helps in growth and development. Hence they are building blocks of many processes occurring in the human body. In addition, they are essential for health and life.

Types of nutrient

There are 6 types of nutrients in our body. Thus here is the detail about Important nutrients and their functions in the Human body. Recently many researches showed their role in many chemical processes in the body.

  • Carbohydrates
  • Proteins
  • Fats
  • Vitamins
  • Minerals
  • Fiber
  • Water

So they are classified as micronutrients and macronutrients. Macronutrients include carbohydrates, proteins and fats whereas micronutrients include vitamins and minerals.

Nutrients and their function in our body

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are the main source of energy. Moreover, it is present in about all food products. Glucose is the major source of energy. There are 2 types of carbohydrates: simple and complex. Therefore, their nutritional value and functions differ from each other. Firstly Simple Carbohydrates include monosaccharides and disaccharides for example glucose and sucrose respectively.  Secondly, Complex carbohydrates include polysaccharides for instance cellulose, etc.
1g of carbohydrates provide 4kcal of energy.

Sources of carbohydrates

Milk and milk products, cereals, grains, fruits and vegetables.

The function of Carbohydrates in the body

Carbohydrates perform useful functions in the human body.

  • It provides energy to the body cells in the form of glucose.
  • The excess glucose is stored in the form of glycogen as energy storage.
  • They are building blocks of macromolecules such as RNA, DNA, etc.
  • When there is not enough glucose in the body, glucose is synthesized from amino acids.
  • Accordingly, glucose is also synthesized from lipid.

Proteins

Amino acids are building blocks of proteins. Proteins are the main part of the body. Furthermore, 20 amino acids combine to form different types of proteins. There are two types of amino acids: Essential and Non Essential amino acids. That’s why some amino acids can be synthesized by our body and some should be taken as meals.
1g of amino acids provide 4kcal energy.

Sources

Proteins from animal sources contain essential amino acids while proteins from plant sources do not contain a considerable amount of protein. That why the combination of both is recommended.
Egg, meat, fish milk and milk products, nuts, seeds and grains, beans, etc.

Functions

  • Proteins are building blocks of the body. Moreover, it makes the muscles, blood and internal organs of the body.
  • Every cell of the human body from skin to hair made up of proteins.
  • Almost 16% of body weight constitutes proteins.
  • Protein is vital for growth maintenance and health.
  • All of the Hormones, Antibodies are made up of proteins. Without them, the body is unable to proceed with its functions.

Fats/Lipids

Lipids provide high energy and contribute to body functions as well. They are the richest source of calories. PUFA and MUFA are essential fatty acids but trans fat is not good for health.
1g of fats provides 9kcal of energy. 10-35% of fat is recommended in a day.

Sources

Avocado, olives, corn, nuts, seeds, vegetable oils, dairy products(butter, milk, cheese, cream), fried foods, etc.

Functions of lipids

  • Firstly, minerals and Vitamins absorption
  • Secondly, blood clotting
  • Thirdly, the building of cells
  • Fourth and most importantly, muscle movement
  • Fifth, healthy fat maintains the sugar level in your body.
  • Sixth, good fat decreases the risk of heart diseases.
  • Seventh, healthy fat lowers the chances of Type 2 Diabetes.
  • Eighth, PUFA (polyunsaturated fatty acids) and MUFA (polyunsaturated fatty acids) improve brain health.
  • Finally, lipids provide insulation and protect the organs from damage.

Above all are the most important functions of lipids. Therefore, deficiency of fats results in serious health problems.

Vitamins are biological entities. Their presence causes many growth and development process to proceed. There are two types of vitamins such as water-soluble vitamins and fat-soluble vitamins. Fat-soluble vitamins include Vitamin A, D, E and K. on the other hand water-soluble vitamins contain Vitamin B and C.

Sources

Fruits, Vegetable, milk and milk products, fish, meat, chicken, nuts, seeds, poultry, beans.

Functions of vitamins

  • They are essential for brain and eye health.
  • Furthermore, they act as anti-oxidants.
  • Blood clotting
  • Equally important in growth and development.
  • Vitamins are also helpful in cognitive development because they develop sharp memory.
  •  It is required during the process of reproduction because Vitamin E is essential for secondary reproductive characteristics.
  • Cell formation
  • Finally, they are proved to be beneficial in blood formation for instance Vitamin B12.
Minerals

Minerals are the trace elements that perform large and important functions in the body. Without them the body is nothing. For example, calcium, iron, zinc, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, sulfur, fluoride, and iodine.

Sources

Milk, meat, fish, fruits and vegetables.

Functions

Minerals are important nutrients and perform functions in the human body.

  • Fluids balance
  • Nerve transmission
  • Muscle contraction and relaxation
  • Maintain blood pressure
  • Make bones and teeth
  • Blood clotting
  • Boost Immune system
  • Convert food into energy
  • Repair and maintenance of cells
Fiber

Fiber is a complex carbohydrate. Fiber delayed the emptying of the stomach or transient time.
25-30g of fiber is recommended per day for adults.

Sources

Whole grains, walnut, figs, fruits, vegetables, beans and brown rice.

Functions
  • Improves or balance the bowel movement by making the stool soft.
  • Next, it reduces blood cholesterol levels.
  • Equally important in maintaining the blood sugar level.
  • Another important function of fiber is to achieve healthy body weight.
  • Similarly, it aids in weight reduction strategy.
  • Moreover, absorb fats and other products too.
Water

Water is important for living organisms to live in this world. In fact, there are no calories in the water. 8-10 glass water is recommended per day. All the chemical processes require a medium to be performed.  However, water provides a medium for all the reactions also.

1 glass = 250ml

Functions
  • Water protects the body tissues and organs from damage.
  • It transports oxygen as well nutrients to the cells.
  • In addition, it moistens the tissues of the eye, nose and mouth.
  • Water perform homeostasis and regulate body temperature.
  • Likewise, it lubricates the joints of bones to prevent collapse.
  • Flushes the waste out of the body and keeps less burden on the kidney and liver.
  • Last but not least water dissolves the nutrients and increases their availability to the body.
Conclusion

In conclusion, we discussed the important nutrients and their functions in the Human body. So, nutrients are the substances present in food for the growth and development of the body. Hence there are 7 types of nutrients discussed. For instance carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water. Furthermore, they provide the body with building blocks. Not only nutrients provide calories but also nutritionally important substances to the body for proper functioning.

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