What Are Nutrients?
When people talk about nutrition, the first thing that comes to mind are all of the complicated elements like vitamins and minerals and the importance of whole grains and protein. However, food is a lot more than just those things. Food is any material consumed to provide basic nutritional support to an organism. Food is generally of animal, plant or fungi origin, and carries necessary nutrients, including vitamins, fats, carbohydrates, proteins or minerals. There is a large amount of scientific information on the role that nutrition plays in the body, but for the purposes of this article we will be discussing only some of the most important aspects of nutrition. This information will help to determine the nutritional value of foods and how much of them a person should include in their daily diet.
One of the first factors of nutritional analysis that all experts agree on is the idea that a person needs a healthy diet to survive. Foods that are nutrient dense are more likely to promote health and help to maintain a healthy weight. Nutrient dense foods include fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains. Lean meats and poultry, eggs, fish, dairy products, nuts, mushrooms, seeds, root crops, and unrefined oils are also beneficial to a healthy diet.
The second factor of nutritional analysis is to determine what nutrients are needed and in which quantities. All foods contain some nutrients; there are just more nutrients available in larger quantities in some foods than in other foods. Some of the most nutritious foods are those that contain high levels of antioxidants, especially vitamin E and beta carotene. These antioxidants are important in building and repairing the body’s cells, including the skin and the immune system. Fruits, vegetables, whole grain breads and cereals are all rich in antioxidants. Oily, fatty, and processed vegetable oils are poor dietary fibre sources and are therefore not good for providing the body with many of the nutrients that are found in foods that are high in fibre.
Activity level and time spent in activities determines another factor of nutrition. Activity level refers to how active you are or how much time you spend in activity. Having sufficient energy and stamina helps to maintain an optimum level of nutrition. Not having enough food is equivalent to not having enough activity. Not getting enough sleep also contributes to malnutrition. In order to stay healthy and fit it is necessary to follow a regular feeding schedule and take daily supplements.
The final aspect of nutrition to consider is food variety. A diet should contain a variety of foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. Low calorie, low fat, high quality protein sources such as soy products, tofu, brown rice, peas, and beans are also important nutrients that should be included in diets.
To get the recommended daily allowance of nutrients it is important to eat a wide variety of foods from different food groups. By incorporating more foods with various nutrient values and variety we can improve our health. By including foods with different nutrient values we can improve our health by getting all the essential nutrients we need.