Healthy eating requires us to eat a number of nutrients every day. In fact, there are 40 different nutrients we need in order to keep our bodies healthy. That’s a lot of nutrient we need to know about! Luckily, we can break down all of these nutrients into smaller categories in order to keep them organized in our minds and make sure we get all of the food products we need.
First and foremost, everyone needs water in order to live a healthy life. Without water, we naturally become dehydrated and will eventually die. On the average, one can only survive without water for about seven to ten days. We lose water through perspiration and through daily bodily functions, so water must be replenished. Drinking about eight glasses a day is recommended. Of course, water is found in food products as well as in drinks, so we can get these eight glasses by consuming such things as cantaloupes and watermelons.
Of course, we need much more than water every day to survive. Another group of nutrients we cannot live without are proteins. Proteins are found in foods such as meat, eggs, and soy products. They provide the amino acids needed to build muscle tissue as well as help to make some of the hormones in our bodies. Red blood cells and hair are also made from protein.
Along with proteins, a body also needs adequate amounts of fats and carbohydrates in order for us to have enough energy during the day. Fats are primarily used for energy during intense activity, like exercising, while carbohydrates are primarily used for energy during fewer intense activities, such as sitting as in the case of truck drivers. Both the fats and the carbohydrates that we eat in a day can be stored for later use as fat, so it is important to eat enough for energy. However, it is also just as important to regulate our intake in order to stay slim and healthy. In the event that we are not eating enough fats and carbohydrates, our bodies can also provide itself with fuel from proteins.
Vitamins and minerals are also important nutrients for our daily lives. We get these from fruits, vegetables, milk, and most natural sources of food. Some of our foods, such as bread products, can even be enriched so that we get more vitamins and minerals in our bodies. There are dozens of nutrients that we need to consume regularly, such as iron, thiamine, vitamin C, and vitamin D. If we are eating a healthy diet, we can most likely get enough vitamins and minerals from our food intake, but we can also take vitamin supplements to make sure that we are getting the right amounts we need to maintain body function. Supplements may also be available to help with other nutrients as well, so if you are worried, talk to your doctor about how you can be certain you are eating a healthy amount of nutrients.
© 2008, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.