Submitted by Thiruvelan on Tue, 11/22/2011

What are Nutrients? Macronutrient and Micronutrient provide nourishment or aliment to cells and for the entire body.

What are Nutrients?

Getting nutrients involves absorption and utilization of food; by which growth, maintenance, and daily activities of the body are accomplished.

“Let food be thy (your) medicine, and medicine be thy (your) food” ~ Hippocrates

Nutrients are otherwise call as nourishment or aliment to cells and organisms utilizing the food to support life. Many commonly caused health conditions can prevent with a healthy diet.

On the other hand, a poor unhealthy diet can lead to an injurious impact on health, shortage of particular nutrient cause’s deficiency diseases and too much cause over nutrition diseases like obesity, metabolic syndrome.

Eating varieties of fresh completely unprocessed foods is favorable in our health, instead monotonous processed foods is unfavorable in our health. Fresh whole food is well supporting by our digestion system, and it allows efficient absorption of nutrients.

Classification of Nutrients

Nutrients are classifying into two major groups; they are:

  • Macronutrients – they are required in large quantities,
  • Micronutrients – they are required in smaller quantities.

Macronutrients are Carbohydrates, fats and proteins.

Micronutrients are Minerals and vitamins.

There are six major classes of nutrients; they are carbohydrates (starches & sugars), fats (all lipids - saturated fats, monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, & essential fatty acids), proteins (amino acids), vitamins, minerals, and water.

Some common vitamins are Vitamin A, Vitamin B complex, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Biotin, and Carotenoids.

Some common minerals are macro minerals (Calcium, Chloride, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sodium, and Iron) and trace minerals (Boron, Cobalt, Chloride, Chromium, Copper, Fluoride, Iodine, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum, Selenium, and Zinc).

Energies are often a measure in Joules or Calories. Energies provided by some of the macronutrients are:

  • Carbohydrates and proteins which provide approximately 17 kJ (4 kcal) of energy per gram,
  • Fats provides approximately 37 kJ (9 kcal) per gram.

The net energy produces depends on how effective is the digestion, and the absorption processes are? This may vary considerably from one instance to the other.

Vitamins, minerals, fiber, and water do not produce any energy, but they are required for some other purpose. The fiber is non-digestive materials, which are required for mechanical and biochemical purposes. Vitamins and minerals are need in small quantities not for providing energy, but they are requiring for proper metabolism, boost the immune system, support growth, and development.

Carbohydrate and Fat molecules have carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms. Carbohydrates are of simple monosaccharide (glucose, fructose, and galactose) to complex polysaccharides (starches). Fats are triglycerides, made of fatty acid monomers bound to glycerol. The body cannot produce some fatty acids, and they are considering as essential in the diet.

Protein molecules additionally have nitrogen along with carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen atoms. The proteins are made up of nitrogen containing amino acids; the body cannot produce some amino acids, and they are considering being essential. Some amino acids can convert into glucose by spending some energy and can utilize for energy similar to ordinary glucose; this process called as gluconeogenesis. This occurs only during prolonged starvation.