Importance of Nutrition – Macronutrients & Micronutrients
I would like to start by talking about essential nutrients, which are nutrients our body cannot synthesise by itself, we get these nutrients from consuming food sources, this is basically most of the stuff we eat or we are supposed to eat such as vitamins, minerals, fats, proteins and carbohydrates.
Nutrients are divided into two groups’ macronutrients and micronutrients. Macronutrients are the bulk of the nutrients we consume; examples of macronutrients are fats, carbohydrates, proteins and macro minerals. We need macronutrients for energy to carry out bodily functions and daily tasks and to work out; we need them to maintain our current state and to grow. Carbohydrates, proteins and fats are can all be used as sources of energy for our body, fat has about 9 calories per gram whereas protein and carbs both have 4 calories per gram, something to consider next time you are eating fatty foods or creating a diet/meal plan for yourself.
Micronutrients are your vitamins and your minerals. We require very little amounts of these but they are needed none the less, examples of micronutrients are Vitamin A, C, D, E, K and minerals such as copper, zinc, sodium, fluoride and so on...As I said earlier on we need them in small amounts and the lack of micronutrients could lead to serious health problems caused by a micronutrient deficiency but also the overdose of micronutrients leads to serious issues as well. Did you know that vitamin C can help make you better when you have a common cold; it is also linked with protection against immune system deficiencies, cardiovascular disease and so much more?
A well balanced diet is the best to make sure that you eat enough macronutrients and micronutrients. Your diet should include all of the essential nutrients to make sure you do put yourself at risk. It is always wise to have a nutritionist help you set up your diet when you need to modify it towards weight gaining or fat loss goals, especially if you can afford it.
I will go into more detail on each of the two classes of nutrients in the next couples of weeks just to show you how important nutrition is just for general health and muscle building.