8 Essential Nutrients For Optimal Health

Submitted By Karyn Holmes  


Our body requires the right mix of essential nutrients to function optimally and keep us healthy. Nutrients are categorized as macro-nutrients and micro-nutrients. Macro-nutrients such as fats, proteins, water and carbohydrates are required by your body in large amounts while micro-nutrients are needed by the body in small amounts and include vitamins and minerals. Every nutrient is necessary for our body as each one of them has its specific function or role in the functioning of cell. With deficiency of any of these nutrient may cause imbalance in our metabolic system and thus, we can suffer from malnutrition and deficiency diseases.



It is a key macro-nutrient which is necessary for the growth and development of skin, muscles, cartilage and other body tissues. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, proteins should constitute 10 to 35% of our daily calorie intake. Protein can be obtain from plants such as legumes and nuts and pulses while animal-based sources include poultry, eggs, meat, dairy products and fish.



Water in our body and contributes 60 to 70 percent of your overall body weight. It is a key macro-nutrient that plays significant roles in the body such as flushing out toxins, transporting other nutrients, regulate body heat and creating a moist environment for throat, nose and ear tissues. According to a report published by the Institute of Medicine, a man should drink about 3.7 liters of fluids each day, while a woman should drink approximately 2.7 liters per day. On average, a person should take 7 to 8 glass of water daily if you are conscious about your weight than drinking water to lose weight can be a good option for you but it should be regular and consistent.

Vitamin D


Vitamin D is a micro-nutrient and it can be obtained naturally through exposure to sunlight. Other sources of it are eggs, liver, milk and dairy products, and fatty fish such as tuna, salmon and mackerel. Vitamin D aids in the absorption and retention of calcium in your body which strengthen your bones.  Deficiency of vitamin D makes your bones brittle and hence prone to breaking easily. More over regular intake of foods high in vitamin d can also help in covering up the deficiency of vitamin d in individuals.

Vitamin C


Vitamin C is also known as ascorbic acid. It is a micronutrient that improves the ability of your body to recover quickly. It also possesses antioxidant properties that help slow down the process of aging. Rich sources of vitamin C are peppers, citrus fruits and green vegetables.

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Iron is an essential mineral that plays an important role in the delivery of oxygen to the every tissue and cell of the body. It can be obtained in two forms: heme and non-heme. Heme iron is obtained from animal foods, such as fish, meats and poultry, which are rich in hemoglobin. While according to the Office of Dietary Supplements of the National Institutes of Health, non-heme iron is found in plants foods such as beans, spinach, oatmeal and lentils. Heme iron is easily absorbed by the body as compared to non-heme iron. The best way to increase the iron minerals in your body is to intake often foods high in iron so that your tissues start getting better.

Vitamins B


This micronutrient is comprised of niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, B5, B6, biotin, folic acid and B12. Vitamin B assists in breaking and utilizing the energy from foods. It also facilitates smooth transmission of signals in the nervous system. you might want to check out  Major sources of B vitamins include poultry and lean meats, beans, milk, eggs, and liver.



Fat is an essential macro-nutrient which helps in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins D, E, A and K. Fats contain more calories per gram than proteins and carbohydrates and between 20 and 35 percent of our calories are derived from fat. Fats can be classified into two categorizes i.e. saturated or unsaturated fats. At room temperature, saturated fats tend to be solid, while unsaturated fats are in the form of liquid.

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Carbohydrates are vital macro-nutrients that make up most our body’s calorie needs. They are instant source of energy. There are three main types of carbohydrates that are starch, sugars and dietary fiber. Dietary fiber may help in shedding excess weight because fiber adds to the bulk of food, which leaves you feeling fuller for longer and potentially reduces food cravings. It may also reduce the risk of obesity, cardiovascular diseases, gastrointestinal diseases and Type 2 diabetes. Dairy products such as low-fat milk and yogurt contain the sugar lactose, a type of carbohydrate which offers a prolonged energy supply, increases mineral absorption in our body and stimulates the growth of healthy intestinal bacteria.

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