Nutrition is often a complicated subject to understand and explain for us common folk. Unless, of course, you have studied nutrition and hold a degree of some sort related to this very topic.
Nutrition in layman’s terms is simply the process of taking in, absorbing and putting to use certain components of the foods we consume.
Our bodies need certain nutrients to generate energy, maintain healthy organs and tissues and assist in bodily processes. These nutrients consist of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, water, vitamins and minerals.
There are two types of nutrients:
Macronutrients – our bodies need large amounts of these nutrients To provide energy – measured in calories (carbohydrates, proteins, fats)
Micronutrients– our bodies need trace amounts of these nutrients. Although they do not contain calories and do not provide us with energy; they are still vitally important. These micronutrients help convert calorie- containing foods into energy (vitamins and minerals).
Carbohydrates are organic compounds that contain sugar units. Our bodies use these for quick energy because they break down by the body more easily than the other macronutrients. (protein and fat)
Fats are substances that do not dissolve in water—we need them for maintenance and protection of cellular membranes.
Fats are a high-density energy source that provides energy over long periods of time. They provide cushioning for organs and insulation of the body. They provide taste, consistency, stability and, most importantly, satisfaction.
Dietary fats are essential to give your body energy and to support cell growth. They also help protect your organs and help keep your body warm. Fats help your body absorb some nutrients and produce important hormones, too.
Proteins can reduce hunger and boost metabolism. They are required for the structure of cells and they’re also required for the structure, the function and the regulation of the body’s tissues and organs.
Fiber is another key nutrient that we need to maintain a healthy cardiovascular system. Although it can’t be digested and it doesn’t provide calories but it does help food move through your digestive tract. It is important in reducing blood pressure and inflammation, controlling blood sugar levels, and maintaining healthy weight.