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7 Essential Nutrients

There are 7 essential nutrients that sustain human life. Here is a list of those 7 nutrients and what roll they play in your body, and in your life. Here is how or where you can get these 7 essential nutrients.

1) Water - is the body most basic need. With out water you would die in just a few days. It is important not to ignore your thirst. You should never try to reduce your fluid intake, you should actually try to drink the recommended 8 glasses of 8 ounces of water everyday. It is even more important if you are trying to lose weight. Plus by drinking that much water, it is very good for your skin, and can make you look younger.
2) Carbohydrates - provides fuel to meet energy needs. Complex carbohydrates, or starches, are found in many plant foods such as grains, potato's and rice. Carbohydrates should be 55 to 60 percent of your diet.

3) Protein - made up of amino acids, is essential for the growth and maintenance of body tissue, blood cells, hormones and enzymes. The best source of protein is meat, poultry, fish, milk products, and eggs. Vegetables, grains, fruits, legumes, seeds and nuts contain lesser amounts. Ten to 15 percent of your daily calorie intake should be from protein.

4) Fiber - is indigestible carbohydrate and is very important for general health. There are two types insoluble and soluble. Insoluble fiber acids in the digestive process: it can help prevent hemorrhoids and may also protect against cancer of the lower bowl. Sources include brown rice, brain, whole grain cereals and broccoli. Soluble fiber is thought to help reduce cholesterol and thus reduce the risk of heart and arterial disease It is found in oats, peas, beans, root vegetables, and citrus fruits. Recommended intake of fiber is 20g to 35g per day from different sources.

5) Fat - is essential as an energy store, to insulate the body against rapid heat loss, help produce hormones, cushion vital organs suck as the liver and kidneys, and aid in the absorption of certain vitamins. Fat should represent no more than 30 percent of the diet, but many people eat more. There are two main types of fat: saturated (predominant fat in vegetable oils). Fried and sugary foods that are high in saturated fat should be avoided, as they offer little nutritional value. On the other hand, unsaturated fats, especially the monounsaturated fat in olive oil, may help protect against heart disease.

6) Vitamins - are organic compounds, essential for body growth, function, maintenance and repair. They are categorized into two groups, water soluble and fat soluble. Water soluble vitamins including the B complex group and vitamins C, need to be replenished daily because they are not stored in the bodies tissue. Fat soluble vitamins, including A, D, E, and K, are stored by the body for long-periods of time, and so excessive intake may be harmful, a balanced diet that includes plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and cereals should provide all the vitamins that the body needs.

7) Minerals - are essential inorganic compounds that aid energy production and body maintenance as well as assisting in the control of body reactions and reflexes. There are three groups; macro minerals, electrolytes (a subgroup of macromineral), and micro, or trace, elements. The macromineral, calcium magnesium, and required n larger amounts. The body needs trace minerals - chromium cooper, fluoride, iodine, iron magnesium and, molybdenum, selenium, sulfur, and zinc - in minuscule amounts. A diet that includes a wide range of animals and plant goods should provide all the minerals essential for health.
An essential nutrient is a nutrient required for normal body functioning that cannot be synthesized by the body and thus must be obtained from a dietary source. Some categories of essential nutrients include vitamins, dietary minerals, essential fatty acids, and essential amino acids.

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