Nutrients in Food
We need food to survive and live healthy lives.
Food is made up of essential macronutrients which we need to provide us with energy and play specific roles in bodily functions.
- Protein: found in animal products, soy and legumes. Protein is needed for tissue development and maintenance.
- Carbohydrates: provided by starchy vegetables, legumes, fruit and wholegrains. It is the body’s preferred fuel source and gives us the energy for everyday activities.
- Fat: found in animal products, oils, nuts, seeds and avocados. Even though fat is often vilified, it is in essential nutrient for life and plays important roles in cell membranes, nutrient absorption and organ protection.
We also get a variety of essential micronutrients from food. These vitamins and minerals are required for all sorts of specific functions including bone maintenance, neurological functioning, immunity and energy production.
The best sources of vitamins and minerals are fruit, vegetables, wholegrains, dairy and lean proteins.
Food and Health
Just as eating a diet rich in a variety of healthy foods can be the source of good health, eating a diet rich in unhealthy foods can be the source of disease.
Although ‘unhealthy foods’ such as baked goods, processed meats and sugary drinks are completely fine to eat as part of a well balanced diet – these should not be eaten all the time.
Diets that include mostly these cause ‘lifestyle diseases’ such as obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease – of which we have high rates of in the western world.
In order to obtain the right quantities of all the macronutrients and micronutrients mentioned above which are essential for good heath and avoid disease – just eat a well balanced diet which contains lots of whole foods (fruits, veges, grains), lean protein and limits calorie dense and less nutritious foods.
More on food and nutrients
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