Report On Nutrients Required By The Body

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This report will highlight and scrutinize the nutrients required by the body. This piece will look into the effects and impact that macronutrients and micronutrients have on the body. There are several nutrients that will be discussed and dissected throughout.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are vital. In the most simplified of terms, carbohydrates are either sugar or starches and the key source of energy within the diet, it acts as fuel for muscles which is useful for high intensity athletes. One function of carbohydrates as well as supplying energy is to regulate glucose in the blood. Carbohydrates supply dietary fiber to the body as well as help the prevention of ketosis. Carbohydrates are structured with carbon, hydrogen & oxygen Simple sugars are monosaccharides; this is a single sugar molecule that is only made up of around 3-7 carbon atoms and are foundations for bigger molecules (glucose, fructose and galactose). Disaccharides are two sugar molecules whilst polysaccharides are comprised of several sugar molecules. There are two carbohydrates, simple and complex. Simple carbohydrates are sugars that are added to food, this includes sweets, biscuits, soft drinks. These refined sources of simple carbohydrates should be avoided as they are unhealthy. This type of carbohydrate isn’t effective as it is broken down quickly so doesn’t last long, too much of this can result in swings in blood sugar levels heart issues. Complex carbohydrates are higher in macronutrients, have a substantial fiber content and are digested slowly. Starch and fiber are complex carbohydrates and should make up the diet. Nuts, beans and grains are fiber whilst potatoes, cereal and corn are starchy foods. There are two kinds of fiber; soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber can be partially digested and slows digestion of foods like lentils, barley and seeds. Foods with beta-glucan can potentially reduce levels of cholesterol. Insoluble fiber –nuts, oats and veg – cannot be digested but bulk stool, help shift waste and lessens chances of constipation.

Fat

Fats are components known as lipids. There are multiple fats; triacylglycerol cholesterol, phosphoglycerides and sphingolipids. They’re formed using fatty acids made up of carboxyl and methyl groups which are divided into saturated or unsaturated. Saturated fats (trans fats found in dairy items, meat, oils) are more difficult to break down the body only needs a small supply and they are deposited easily as adipose fat. Overconsumption can lead to CVD, this is why unhealthy foods like crisps, chips and animal fat aren’t ideal.

Unsaturated fats like poly and mono, are healthier, provides energy is easy to breakdown, aid in bodily functions and limits cholesterol. Polyunsaturated fats have been proven to be effective in cardiovascular wellbeing. Unsaturated fat foods include fish, nuts and seeds.

Fat has many functions; one of these includes the transportation of fat soluble vitamins. Also, fat is a reserve source of energy and provides insulation within the body in for the conservation of heat. Fats are often found in medicine due to its nutritional value. Fat is sourced from diets, adipose tissue and liver.

Protein

Protein is a substance that the body has the ability to produce on its own however it is vital that protein is consumed through our dietary intake of protein should be 15% – 20% daily. Protein helps the building, repairing of cells/muscle fibers, the breakdown of enzymes and digestion support.

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Proteins are made up by amino acids which are connected with peptide bonds to form the protein. There are four types of protein structures: primary (chain of amino acids); secondary (complex arrangement of amino acids); tertiary (secondary with hydrogen bonds) and quaternary (various).Amino acids are either non-essential and essential which are needed in our system. Non-essential acids are created by the body but essential acids are only in diet.

Complete proteins are sourced from animal sources as they contain all of the essential amino acids, they come from meat and dairy. Incomplete proteins come from plant (veg) and have one or more essential amino acids absent.

Vitamins

Vitamins are substances required by the cells for certain chemical reactions relating to reproduction, metabolism and growth.

  • Vitamin A Needed for vision (animal sources)
  • Vitamin D Needed for proper absorption of calcium (egg yolks, liver)
  • Vitamin E Antioxidant, vision function (egg yolks; nuts and seeds)
  • Vitamin K Needed for proper blood clotting (kale, collard greens).

Minerals

Minerals are inorganic compounds found on the earth which work together with organic compounds to ensure correct body function. They have many of functions to fulfill within the body. Macro minerals (calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, potassium, chloride and sulphur), are needed in large amounts whilst trace minerals (iron, magnesium, copper, iodine, zinc, cobalt, fluoride and selenium) are needed in tiny amounts. Calcium is found in milk and is needed to strengthen bones and teeth, sodium is found in most foods and maintains regular blood pressure. Copper is found in nuts and helps iron metabolism whilst iodine is found in eggs and help normal thyroid function.

Water

It can be argued that water is the most important substance the human body requires, this is backed up by the statistic that the brain and heart are composed of 73% water, the lungs are about 83% water. The skin contains 64% water, muscles and kidneys are 79%, and even the bones are watery: 31%. Water offers protection to the as it provides lubrication. Water acts as a temperature regulator within the body; this is done by taking heat from tissues and transferring it to the skin. Water works as a controller of pH balance, it helps to transport medium for the soluble passage of waste.

There are multiple foods that are rich in fluids; celery is 95% water and broccoli 92% water. Fluid can come in different forms, this could be as simple as water, or a waste fluid such as urine. Mercury and bromine are element fluids.

Conclusion

In conclusion, macronutrients and micronutrients are vital to the general function of our system. Combined, in short both of these have the primary function of enabling many chemical reactions within the body in order for our system to work.

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