Macronutrients and micronutrients – what are the benefits to our health?
Have you ever wondered how the food we eat affects our body and what does it cause us? Even though many books have been written on our food’s essential components, it is good to go through these basic facts once again. And maybe also focus on sports, because if you do sports, your food should look different compared to sitting at the computer all day.
Macro or micronutrients are substances we ingest as a food throughout the day. For our body to work optimally, we should not forget about any of these substances. However, in practice, this is often not the case, of course. Macronutrients provide human nutrition and include carbohydrates, fats and proteins. On the other hand, there are micronutrients, also called vitamins, but also minerals. These can be, for example, calcium, vitamin B6 or zinc.
Makro vs. Mikro
The prefix of each of these two words provides us an exact idea of that particular term. Macro comes from the Greek word “makros” and means “big”. Macronutrients are usually measured in grams and include:
- to be found in foods such as bread, pasta, rice, fruit. They contain approx 4 calories / 1 gram. These are sugars, starches and fiber, found in the fruits and vegetables and grains, a source of fast energy in our diet. They break down into the glucose that our brains and muscles need to function. Carbohydrates are also known for unhealthy foods such as cakes and sweets. In general, however, no need to be worried. The body needs carbohydrates. However, it is necessary to distinguish between simple and complex carbohydrates. Their main difference is in the chemical structure. Those „bad“ carbohydrates release sugar faster and do not contain any micronutrients at all.
Your daily carbohydrate intake should depend primarily on your energy expenditure. Try not to eat only carbohydrates in your diet.
these are vegetable oils, meat, fish, nuts, avocados, etc. They provide us about 9 calories / 1 gram. Fats can be divided into saturated and unsaturated. The difference between these two is significant because your body only needs the latter. Unsaturated fats regulate metabolism, maintain cell membranes’ elasticity, improve blood flow and promote cell growth and regeneration.
eggs, meat, fish, tofu, dairy products, contain about 4 calories / 1 gram. Proteins are created by amino acids and act as hormones, enzymes and antibodies in the immune system. They form parts of body structures such as connective tissues, skin, hair and muscle fibers. Unlike carbohydrates, proteins serve as a direct energy source but act as building blocks for other structures in the body.
Two essential facts need to be mentioned in this context. The first is that foods do not always contain only one macronutrient, but it can be two or all three. Also – the fact that fats have more calories per gram does not mean that they are harmful. If the diet is balanced, that’s fine. The human body cannot produce macronutrients on its own, and therefore must receive it in the diet.
Micronutrients have a much lower nutritional value. This word comes from the Greek word “mikros”, which means small. They cannot be measured in grams but milligrams or even micrograms. Some of the foods we consume contain more micronutrients than others. Many of them are in fruits and vegetables, such as calcium, iron, vitamin B6 and B12, vitamin C and E, zinc and others.
Vitamins and minerals
The main benefit of vitamins for the body:
- – support to the release of the energy found in the foods you consume;
- – support protein creation and help your cells to multiply
- – produce collagen, which helps heal wounds, supports the walls of blood vessels and is essential for bones and teeth
- – your eyes, skin, lungs, digestive tract and nervous system in good condition;
- – build your bones, protect your eyesight and interact with each other to help the body absorb the vitamins it needs;
- prevent the body against disease.
Why are minerals useful ?
- – minerals support the right balance of water in your body;
- – keep healthy bones and stabilize the protein structures we get from the proteins consumed, including those building our hair, skin and nails;
- – support oxygen distribution throughout the body.
Many people do not put such importance in focusing on the absorption of beneficial substances for our bodies. However, a quality diet with quality ingredients has a significant positive effect on our body. It is essential to take both of these substances. In cooperation, they can provide the body with exactly what it needs to stay healthy. At first, it might seem that knowing all the components of food can be extremely difficult. However, suppose you want to stay healthy and possibly exercise as well. In that case, it is essential to support what your body needs.
Check our list of 9 tips for better intake of macronutrients:
- Try to eat as many unprocessed products and ready to eat products as possible; usually, they contain little nutrients.
- Instead, focus on consuming fruits, vegetables, seeds, etc. supplying you with nutrients.
- It is said that there is a specific type of addiction to refined sugars. Try to get rid of it. No need to cross out the refined sugar completely, but it’s a matter of days before you get used to the lack of it, at least a little.
- Read the food labels.
- Try to get information about individual foods. As a result, you soon get a much better overview of what you eat.
- Experiment in the kitchen, try new things.
- Try to make each of your food colorful – not only with color but also with fabrics served it around.
- Listen to your body; if tired, it can very likely be caused by the wrong diet.
- Eat proper portions of food and do not overeat.
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Goodbye friends at the next blog post.