Remember how your grandmother would remind you that you are what you eat? It’s incredible how the food you consume can make or break you. Whether you are eating an apple or a burger, the body converts all of it into nutrients and diverts it to the cells of your body for all the energy you need. However, your body converts food into essential nutrients based on the type of food you eat. The quality of food, whether it is an apple or a burger, is reduced to their basic chemical components - macronutrients and the micronutrients. Let us explore what they are and how they benefit us.
Nutrients are all those chemicals that all human beings require to survive and execute day-to-day activities. Carbohydrates, proteins and fats are considered to be macronutrients. The group is termed ‘macro’ simply because these three nutrients are required in bulk to provide structural components and caloric value i.e. calories which in turn, are metabolized to exude energy. Constituting the basic fuel of the body, these are critical for growth, repair and development of new tissues, regulating all life processes and even conducting nerve impulses. Almost all food items have these macronutrients, but in varying proportions. The secret is to understand each of their role and importance to tweak your diet accordingly.
Fats are essential for improved brain development, smooth overall cell functioning, protection of your body’s delicate organs and assisting in absorbing fat soluble vitamins like A, D, E and K. A healthy diet must include about 12%-20% of good fats, depending on your lifestyle. Almonds, avocados, walnuts, and olives are rich sources of fats that can be included in your diet.
Made up of simple and complex chains of sugar, these are broken down by your digestive system into glucose - the primary energy source of your body. Your diet should have anything from 45% to 65% of this macronutrient. Good sources of simple carbohydrates include fruits which mainly contain fructose whereas the complex carbohydrate sources include staples like rice, wheat, ragi, millet, oats etc. and pulses and dals.
Deemed as an emergency source of energy, proteins constitute the basic module of every single cell in your body. It also supplies all the essential amino acids to your body. Did you know they supply 20 types of amino acids to your body? Out of these, 9 are ‘essential’ because they cannot be made by the body and needs to be supplied from foods you eat. Amino acids are responsible for repair and regeneration of body tissue and cells, production of hormones and robust functioning of the immune system. Your diet should ideally have 15% to 20% of protein content. Beans, legumes, seeds like hemp, chia, flax, nuts, dairy products meat and fish are some rich sources of proteins.
As evident by the term ‘micro’, this group constitutes of all nutrients which are required in very small quantities, but are extremely vital for the smooth functioning and overall health of your body. Predominantly constituting of vitamins and minerals, absence of these nutrients can hamper the functioning of your metabolism, immune system and all other vital life functions. Supplying our body with zero energy, they control growth and development, cell formation, repair and resistance function. Typically, your body needs 28 essential micronutrients for survival.
Available in various types, they are critical for growth, development, normal metabolism and regulation of cell function. Some of it is fat soluble and some water soluble. Many of their types are extremely critical for various processes of your body. You might be surprised to know that your body can store fat soluble vitamins like A, D, E and K for months-, and water soluble vitamins like B and C that must be consumed every day. Citrus fruits, vegetables, milk, dairy products, and plant oils are rich sources of various vitamins.
Found in ionized form in your body, they are again classified into macro and micro minerals - you now know why. Calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, potassium, sodium, chloride and sulphur constitute the macro bracket, while iron, manganese, copper, fluorine, selenium, iodine, zinc, and organic acids are in the micro category. Their shortage can cause serious issues with your health like anaemia, thyroid deficiencies and so on.
Now that you understand both macro and micro nutrients and their importance, you must have realized that these can actually make a difference in helping you lead a healthy life. For those of you who are wondering where to find all of them, we recommend consuming HiOwna - a nutritional supplement. HiOwna contains all the essential micro and macro nutrients that are required for your body on a day-to-day basis. These are also available in yummy flavours like chocolate and vanilla. Get a box of HiOwna today and start living the healthy life.