Macronutrients and Micronutrients

Pallavi Singh
Pallavi Singh

 | 1 minute to read

Six Classes of Essential Nutrients:

Macronutrients *Carbohydrate *Protein *Fat *Water Micronutrients *Vitamins *Minerals Carbohydrates They are required for energy and provide the body's main source of energy (4 calories per gram); they form the major part of stored food in the body for later use of energy and exist in three forms: sugar, starch, and fiber. The brain works entirely on glucose alone. When in excess, it is stored in the liver as Glycogen. Protein Your body needs proteins to grow normally, maintain or repair tissues, make hormones and enzymes, help your body fight disease and preserve your muscle mass. Each gram yields 4 calories of energy. Of the 20 amino acids that constitute the building blocks of protein, nine are essential. Animal sources, soy, and quinoa contain all the essential amino acids you need, while most other plants do not. However, a carefully planned and varied vegetarian diet can provide all essential amino acids. Fats Your body needs some fat in order to grow and function normally. Fats specifically help with tissue growth, hormone production, and vitamin absorption. They used in making steroids and hormones and serve as solvents for hormones and fat-soluble vitamins. Fats have the highest caloric content and provide the largest amount of energy when burnt. Fats provide about 9 calories per gram of fat, making them twice as energy-rich than protein and carbohydrates. Extra fat is stored in adipose tissue and is burnt when the body has run out of carbohydrates. Water It makes up a large part of our body weight and is the main component of our body fluids. The body needs more water every day than any other nutrient and we replenish it through foods and liquids we eat and drink. Water serves as a carrier, distributing nutrients to cells and removing wastes through urine. It is also a compulsory agent in the regulation of body temperature and ionic balance of the blood. Water is completely essential for the body’s metabolism and is also required for lubricant and shock absorber. Vitamins Vitamins are micronutrients, meaning that your body only needs minute amounts. They are essential for normal metabolism, growth and development, and regulation of cell function. They work together with enzymes and other substances that are necessary for a healthy life. Vitamins are either fat-soluble or water-soluble. Fat-soluble vitamins can be stored in the fatty tissues in the body when in excess. Water-soluble vitamins are excreted in the urine when in excess and so need to be taken daily. Water-soluble vitamins include Vitamin B and C. Green leafy vegetables are rich in Vitamin B, whereas Vitamin C is found abundantly in citrus fruits. Fat-soluble vitamins are Vitamin A, D, E, and K. Green leafy vegetables, milk, and dairy products and plant oils provide these vitamins. Minerals Minerals are found in the ionized form in the body. They are further classified into macrominerals and microminerals (or trace minerals). Macrominerals present in the body include Calcium, Potassium, Iron, Sodium, and Magnesium to name a few. Iron is a constituent of Hemoglobin which is present in the blood. Macrominerals are needed in more amounts, as compared to microminerals. Microminerals include Copper, Zinc, Cobalt, Chromium, and Fluoride. They are mostly co-factors, and are necessary for the function of enzymes in the body, but are needed only in minor quantities. Approximately 4% of the body’s mass consists of minerals. Reference:

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