Importance of Nutrients in Our Body

Importance of Nutrients in Our Body

What is Nutrients?

Nutrients are the constituents/components of food that must be supplied in the body in a suitable amount.

These are :

1. Carbohydrate

2. Protein

3. Fat
4. Vitamins

5. Minerals

There are some accessory nutrients like

1. Water

2. Roughage / Cellulose

3. Antioxidant

Nutrients may also reduce the risk of some degenerative diseases.

Let’s start to Discuss all Nutrients :

Carbohydrates :

Carbohydrates are sugars or polymers of sugars such as starch, that can be hydrolyzed to simple sugars by the action of digestive enzymes or by heating with dilute acids.

• Classification of carbohydrate :

 1. Free sugars – monosaccharides and disaccharides.

 2. Carbohydrate ( Soluble ) – Short-Chain Carbohydrates – oligosaccharides.

 3. Carbohydrate ( Insoluble ) – polysaccharides.

 • Functions of Carbohydrates :

1. Source of energy: Carbohydrates are minimum expensive source of energy to the body.

    1 gram of carbohydrate = 4 Kcal

 2. Protein Sparing Action: The Function of Carbohydrate of serving as a source of energy and preventing dietary protein from being oxidized is called sparing action. Carbohydrates space proteins for their important basic role in the body like supporting growth and bodybuilding.

 3. Oxidation of Fats: Carbohydrates help in oxidation of Fats.

4. Indispensability for nervous system: The main source of energy for central nervous system in glucose.

 5. Roll in Liver: These include detoxifying action and regulating of protein and fat metabolism. Liver is reach in glycogen and is more resistant to certain poisons like arsenic and toxins of bacteria.

 6. Roll in muscle: Carbohydrates are the major source of energy for muscular work.

 • Sources of Carbohydrates : 

 1. Mono-sacharides :                                                                     

• Glucose – Fruits, Honey.
• Fructose – Fruits, Honey.

• Galactose – Milk.
• Xylose – Fruits, Vegetables, Cereals.

2. Di-saccharides :

• Sucrose – Can and beet sugars, molasses.
• Lactose – Milk and Milk Products.

 3. Poly-saccharides :

 • Digestible

  1.   Rapidly digestible starch – Processed Food.
  2.   Slowly digestible starch – Legumes, Pasta.


Proteins regulate key processes within the body and any excess protein can be used 

About 50% of Protein is present in Muscle, 20% in Bone, 10% in Skin and the rest is present in other parts of the body.

Nutritional Classification of Proteins :

 Pomplete Proteins – e.g, egg proteins – Promote Good Growth.

 Partially Complete Proteins – e.g, Wheat Proteins – Promote Poderate Growth.

• Incomplete Proteins – e.g, Gelatin – Do not Promote Growth.

 Functions of Proteins : 

 1. Growth and Maintenance of Tissue.

 2. Formation and Essential Body Compounds.

 3. Transport of Nutrients.

 4. Regulation of water balance.

 5. Maintenance of appropriate pH.

 6. Defence and Detoxification.

 7. Source of energy , it’s provide 4 kcal energy per gram.

 Sources of Proteins :

  •  Animal foods like meat, fish, egg & Milk and Plant sources like pulses, oil seeds and nuts are good sources of protein.
  •   Soybean is the richest source containing 40% protein. Cereals and millets are moderate sources of protein as the content about 10% protein
  •  Rice contains less protein then wheat but its quality is better. Leafy vegetables, fruits, roots and tubers originally poor sources of protein as the contain less than 2% protein.

Fats or Lipids:

•   Fats is an important food staff for many forms of life.

•  Some fatty acids that are set free by the digestion of fats are called essential because they cannot be synthesized in the body from simpler constituents.

  •  There are two essential fatty acids (EFAs) in human nutrition.

1. alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3 fatty acid)

  2. linolelic acid (omega-6 fatty acid)

  • Classifications of Fatty Acids :

Fatty acids can mainly be classified into two groups depending on whether the fatty acid has unsaturation or not.

Sources of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids :

 A. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: are found in both plant and Marine foods, although it is the Omega-3 fats from marine sources that have the strongest evidence for health benefits (including reducing the risk of heart disease).

  Plant food sources include – Canola & Soya Oils, Margarines.

Marine sources include – especially Oily fish such as Salmon, Mackerel, Southern Blue Fin Tuna, Sardines.

 BOmega-6 Fatty Acidsis found primary in nuts, seeds, and plant oils such as – Corn, soya, and safflower.
 • Functions of Fats:-

1. Fats Provides the body with essential fatty acids and energy.

 2. One gram of fat provides 9 Kcal which is more than any other Nutrient.

 3. Fat Provides a store of energy for the body.

 4. Fat also provides protection for the major organs in the body.

 5. It is the main component of cell membranes.

 6. Fat carries important fat-soluble vitamins– A, D, E, K and is important for their absorption.

Sources of Fat : 

A.   Full-fat milk,  Cheese, Butter, Ghee, Cream, Dark chocolate, Whole eggs, Fatty fish, Nuts, Extra virgin olive oil, Coconuts and coconut oil, Palm Oil, Full-fat yogurt.

B.  Most commercially Baked products such as – Biscuits, Pastries.

C.   Most Deep – Fried Fast Foods.

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