All chemical functions of the body need certain elements that function as “fuel.” In order for our systems to meet their objectives, they need that energy. These elements are introduced to the body through food and are called macronutrients and micronutrients. If we want to understand what we need to eat to stay healthy, that is, how to structure a healthy diet, we must know what we need from macronutrients and micronutrients.
What are Macronutrients and What are They?
Macronutrients are nutrients that supply energy and are measured in calories. They are very important to regulate processes such as body growth, metabolism functioning, tissue formation and repair and more. Every human being must consume a good daily amount of each of the macronutrients, because it depends on the balance required to stay at bay of diseases. Water is also included in macronutrients, but it is often excluded because the vital liquid does not provide us with energy. However, it is what the organism most needs.
The Macronutrients are:
Carbohydrates, proteins, fats (lipids) and sugars (carbohydrates) are the most consumed macronutrients daily. Starch and fiber are also part of this group. Glucose is very important for the brain, since it is used to perform all its functions. On the other hand, fats along with the rest of sugars are used as fuel by the body. While carbohydrates provide 4 calories per gram, fats provide 9, hence we must control their intake. Contrary to popular belief, fats are very important for the development of some processes, such as the formation of hormones and for dissolving certain vitamins. The problem is that, when there is extra fat, it is stored in different parts of the body and only burned if carbohydrate intake is minimal or zero.
“On proteins, these contribute amino acids and form a large part of the composition of the cells”.
Of all the macronutrients, proteins are the last to be used by the body when it has run out of energy. In that case, the muscles, which contain proteins, begin to decrease their volume.
What are Micronutrients and What are They?
Although we do not see or feel it directly, the body is always performing functions in which thousands of substances, cells, enzymes and more are involved. Micronutrients are molecules that are part of those functions. Unlike macronutrients, micronutrients should be consumed in low quantities and usually foods have a small amount of them. Another difference is that they do not give energy to the body.
The Micronutrients are:
- Folic acid
Similar aspects, with respect to macronutrients, are that they are also fundamental in growth and in many chemical reactions linked to cellular functions. Vitamins are that plus that our organs and others need to keep functioning. There are two types, fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K) and soluble ones (B and C). The former dissolve in fat, and accumulate if there is an excess of them. The latter dissolve in water and are expelled through the urine. Soluble vitamins are those that remain for less time in our body, so we must consume them more frequently. There are two types of minerals that make up 4% of body mass, macrominerals (calcium, potassium, iron, sodium and magnesium) and micro-minerals (copper, zinc, cobalt, chromium and fluoride.). The body requires more macro-minerals than micro-minerals.
A Correct Supply for Good Health:
Although some should be more consumed than others that does not mean that there is a hierarchy between them and we should generate priorities; all nutrients are important, therefore, it is our responsibility to incorporate them into our body. A correct supply of macronutrients and micronutrients, as a result will take us away from doctors. Exercise routines also become necessary for those who wish to improve their lifestyle. It is important that you manage to define what your healthy eating goals will be, as well as improving your health. For example, if you want to lose weight, you already know that you should not consume large amounts of carbohydrates, much less if you lead a sedentary life. When you manage to understand what you get with each nutrient you consume, you will be able to design an ideal diet plan for you, without many restrictions or risks of contracting diseases.