All living organisms require food for survival. The food gives us the energy to carry out various activities. Various nutrients like carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, fibers, and minerals are supplied by various food items. These nutrients perform specific functions in our body. Let us see what do various nutrients do for our body.
Functions of Various Nutrients
The proteins make up the muscles, the internal organs, skin, and blood. Without proteins, the body cannot remain healthy. Out of the 20 amino acids, 11 are synthesized in our body. The remaining 9 are supplied by the food we take.
Fats and Carbohydrates
Fats are an efficient energy source. Carbohydrates are broken down into sugars and dietary fibers. It is stored in the liver and muscles as glycogen. Dietary fibers are indigestible by human digestive enzymes. It is the sixth major nutrient and helps to increase the number of good bacteria in the digestive tract. It maintains the bacterial balance in the intestines.
Also read: Balanced Diet
Vitamins are organic compounds, a deficiency of which can lead to several diseases. They are not used as an energy source but help in breaking down and building up of proteins, fats, carbohydrates. They are essential for keeping the body in good working order.
These are two types- water-soluble and fat-soluble. The fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K) can easily dissolve in fats. If consumed in large amounts can lead to vitamin overdose. The water-soluble vitamins (B and C) can easily dissolve in water and do not carry any overdose risk.
This water-soluble vitamin keeps the teeth, gums, and joints healthy. It makes the body resistant to diseases and increases its disease-fighting capacity.
This fat-soluble vitamin is known as calciferol. It increases the absorption of calcium and phosphorus in the body and helps in the normal growth of bones and teeth.
It is important for the normal functioning of the muscles and protects the liver.
It aids in blood clotting and prevents haemorrhage.
They aid in the breaking down and building up proteins, fats, and sugars. The most important minerals required by our body include:
It is an important mineral required to prepare haemoglobin in our body. The haemoglobin helps in transporting oxygen to different body cells.
It is an important mineral for the production of the thyroid hormone called thyroxine.
It is an essential source for making bones and teeth, aid in blood clotting, and proper functioning of the muscles.
It is required for the formation of bones and teeth. It also converts carbohydrates into energy. It is a compound of DNA, ATP, and RNA.
This is how nutrients help in the normal functioning of the body. A slight deficiency in the nutrients leads to certain diseases and disorders in the body.
Also read: Deficiency Diseases
Q.1. What would happen if we do not have a balanced diet?
A.1. It can lead to tiredness, stress and can contribute to the risk of developing serious ailments such as high blood pressure, heart ailments, obesity, etc.
Q.2. Can you suggest a few food items that a calcium-deficit person can consume?
A.2. Dairy products, green leafy vegetables, calcium-rich nuts, salmon, etc.
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