by MARNÉ AMOGUIS
The whole reason we need to eat is to give our bodies the essential nutrients they need to properly function. We can’t perform our best without vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. While you’ve been told what goes into a healthy diet since you were a kid, knowing what nutrients you need and how much of those nutrients you need can be difficult. Here are the nutrients you should have every day.
Despite what many modern diet fads tell you, carbohydrates are healthy and a necessity for your body. Carbs are made from fiber, starch, and sugar. Ultimately, carbs don’t make you gain weight when you’re eating the proper amount. Carbs should make up about 45-65 percent of your daily calories.
Of course, there are different types of carbs, which is why so many dieters are confused about whether they should eat them or not. You may have heard the terms simple carbs and complex carbs. However, this idea is no longer as prevalent in the diet industry. Instead, what matters is you’re putting healthy food into your body. Healthy carbs, such as whole wheat and oats, contain more nutrients, including fiber.
It’s important to note that low-carb diets can be effective in helping you lose weight. However, before you start a diet where you’ll be greatly reducing your macronutrients, you should consult your doctor to determine how it will affect your body.
Protein allows you to build and maintain muscle, bone, skin, and hair health. Every cell in your body, which means every system in your body, requires protein on some level. How much protein you need depends on your age, physical activity, and health. Adults should aim to get around 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight. However, pregnant women require more protein, so it’s best to talk to your doctor to understand how much protein you should be consuming.
Luckily, you can find protein in many different types of food, including meat, seeds, and nuts.
Most people negatively think about macronutrient fat. After all, health experts told people that fat was unhealthy and bad for them for decades. It’s a common misconception that eating fat makes you gain weight. There are different types of fat that all play a role in how your body functions.
- Saturated Fat can be found in animal products and oils.
- Monounsaturated fat is considered good for your heart.
- Polyunsaturated fats, including omega-3 and omega-6, are essential for brain health.
Most foods contain different kinds of fat, but some fats are healthier than others. Of course, your body requires fat to absorb vitamins, balance blood sugar, and improve brain health. Fat has a bad reputation because it contains more calories per gram. However, eating a balanced diet requires fat, so it’s important to monitor your macronutrients to ensure you’re getting enough of each without consuming too many total calories.
Your body requires vitamins that can help it properly function. For example, your body gets vitamin D from the sun, which it then synthesizes. For the most part, you’ll need to get a healthy dose of vitamins from food, but you may also want to supplement them. Vitamins can also be used to help your body heal while aiding in the relief of other health conditions. For example, vitamin B is used to help relieve the symptoms of acid reflux.
There are two different types of vitamins: water-soluble and fat-soluble. Your body doesn’t store water-soluble vitamins; instead, those vitamins are excreted during normal bodily processes like urination. In turn, these types of vitamins should be replaced more often.
Vitamin difficulties can create health problems, such as fatigue, reduced memory, and cognitive problems. With a healthy balanced diet, you should be able to get all of the vitamins you need, but if you want to know whether or not you’re deficient in any, you’ll need to visit your healthcare provider, who will perform tests. Many experts believe that the vitamins you get from food are not enough and should be supplemented.
Vitamins and minerals are often talked about together. However, minerals are different because they’re inorganic compounds. Similar to vitamins, minerals support your body’s health and wellness. They are responsible for building and maintaining healthy bones, supporting muscle and brain function, improving immunity, and producing energy.
Have you ever realized you get a headache or feel fatigued when you don’t drink enough water? On the days you’re fully hydrated, your body and brain can function to the best of their abilities.
Humans can survive without food for several weeks, but they can only survive a few days without water. Think about it this way: your body is made up of 60% water, and that water gets depleted through breathing, sweat, and urination. Drinking enough water and staying hydrated is vital for your entire body and each of its systems. It can help you stay energized, increase performance, and help your body eliminate toxins.
How much water you should consume depends on your age, gender, physical activity level, and health. Most adults need at least 64 ounces of water a day, but it’s up to you to listen to your body and drink water when you’re feeling thirsty.
You can get water from eating foods, specifically fruits, and vegetables, but you must drink water throughout the day. Remember, what you drink matters. If you only drink caffeinated beverages, then you might be dehydrating your body more than you think. If you need help getting enough water, consider setting the alarm on your phone to remind you to drink water throughout the day.
Are You Getting Enough Nutrients?
If you’re eating a well-balanced diet and experiencing symptoms such as fatigue, headaches, or simply don’t feel your best, you might not be getting enough nutrients. Your physician can help you determine if you’re deficient in any nutrients to help your body properly function and sleep so you can start feeling your best.
If you wake up feeling fatigued, consider looking at the food you consume. For example, adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet can prevent illness and fatigue.
Marné Amoguis holds a B.A. in International Business from UC San Diego. She is a contributing writer at 365businesstips.com where she loves sharing her passion for digital marketing. Outside of writing, she loves traveling, playing music, and hiking.