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Nutrients: This Incredible Part Of Health On Our Plate

It’s crazy, the meticulous work to which the human body engages once you have stated the choice of a starter-main course dessert, more soberly of a hard-boiled egg salad or even various sushi. He doesn’t care about the taste of the sauce. What matters to him is the provision of the right nutrients to maintain his life, nothing less.

Nutrients: Definition

These are the molecules derived from food that ensure the development and maintenance of the human organism. Assimilated during digestion, they are broken down from food in the stomach and then absorbed by the blood in the intestines. These molecules ensure the basic physiological needs of cell renewal, maintenance of the body’s chemical balances and energy supply.

Nutrients And Cell Renewal

Our cells wear out. Our organization constantly renews them. Thus, the red blood cells that carry oxygen from the blood have a lifespan of four months. The body replaces them at the rate of 100 billion per day. As for the intestinal wall cells, they are renewed at the rate of 50 billion per day.

Nutrients, The Regulation Of Vital Functions

The nervous system, immune system, hormonal functions, and nutrients are essential to the chemical balance of the body’s major functions. For example, cholesterol has a bad reputation and enters the cell membrane’s composition, ensuring its tightness and elasticity. It is also used for synthesizing vitamin D, mineralizing the skeleton and stimulating hormone functioning.

Nutrients: What Energy Supply?

The human body needs the energy to do sports or DIY. He needs it above all to stay alive.

In total, 85% of the body’s energy expenditure provides the vital functions of respiration, organ activity, body temperature maintenance, digestion and waste elimination. As for the brain, it is a big consumer of energy. Even if we do nothing, at rest and even if we do not think, it consumes 60% of the glucose of a balanced diet or about 420 calories per day.

Also Read: Vitamins, Nutrients: The Best Spring Vegetables To Eat This Season

List: What Are The Major Families Of Nutrients?

A distinction is made between macronutrients and micronutrients.


In quantity, macronutrients represent the main nutrient contribution of the diet. They include proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.

The Proteins

Proteins comprise 20 amino acids linked together by chains, which allow the manufacture of different proteins according to the organism’s needs. Proteins are mainly used in the manufacture of all the tissues of it, each cell comprising thousands of proteins. The essential amino acids (tryptophan, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, valine, leucine, isoleucine and histidine) are among these amino acids not synthesized by the organism. The food must imperatively bring them.


Lipids have two major functions in the body. They have a role in storing energy ( they are then in the form of triglycerides) in adipose tissue. And a structural role by serving the fluidity of the composition of the cells (they are then in the form of phospholipids). Furthermore, lipids also have metabolic functions, such as platelet aggregation or inflammation.


These are molecules that contain carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atoms. Once broken down into glucose through digestion, carbohydrates enter the bloodstream. The body’s cells absorb this blood glucose to produce a fuel molecule, adenosine triphosphate. This fuel is stored in the muscles. If most cells in the body can produce ATP from several sources, in the event of a deficiency, the risk is a loss of muscle mass; the body then draws from it, primarily to feed the brain. Note that most cells in the body can produce ATP from several sources, including dietary carbohydrates and fats.


Micronutrients do not provide energy to the body. Suppose the body only needs them in small quantities. In that case, they are essential for health because they enter into many physiological processes, from cardiac function to respiration, including the regulation of metabolism (c This is the case of vitamins of group B), the functioning of cells ( potassium ), antioxidants (vitamins A and E).

Liposoluble (fat-soluble) vitamins are vitamins A, D, E and K, and water-soluble (water soluble) vitamins are vitamin C and the 8 B group vitamins. As for the minerals, a distinction is made between the major minerals, whose daily intake must be greater than 100g ( calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium) and the trace elements, which are found in trace amounts in the body but which are no less important ( chromium, copper, iron, iodine, selenium, zinc, manganese ).


Macronutrients refer to “health” nutrients in that they play a preventive role. This is the case of omega 3 (from salmon), curcumin (from turmeric), gingerols (from ginger), anthocyanins from blueberries, etc.

In short, these are no more, no less, nutrients with recognized virtues, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, etc.

What Are The Necessary Daily Intakes Of Nutrients?

The recommended daily intake of macronutrients depends on the following:

  • Of age,
  • Sex,
  • Physical size
  • Of the way of life.

A growing child and a pregnant woman need additional intake (iron, calcium, vitamins D and B9). Athletes and people exercising professional physical activity also need contributions accordingly. But on average, the necessary daily contributions are in proportion to 45 to 50% of carbohydrates, 15% of proteins and 30 to 35% of lipids for an adult.

Which Foods Contain Nutrients In Quantity?

The main protein sources are of animal origin (eggs, meat, fish, dairy products), but nuts and seeds are also providers. Healthy lipids are provided by oily fish (mackerel, sardine salmon, herring), avocado, olive oil, almonds and walnuts. Carbohydrates are very present in the diet, giving preference to cereal products, leafy legumes and dairy products.

Also Read: Chicken Meat: Nutrients, Calories, Properties, Tricks For Cooking It

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