Your body, like a car engine, needs the appropriate lubricants for optimum performance.
Nutrition requirement may be considered as the type of oil needed by your body.
These requirements range from what you learned in grade school as go, grow, and glow foods and maybe as complicated sounding as macro and micronutrients.
Nutrition requirements differ from person to person. There is no general nutrition requirement since people vary in height, weight, age, sex, metabolic rate, and type of activity done. However, there are specific nutrients to be considered which are needed by the body.
The new Food Guide Pyramid suggests and stresses the importance of an increase in the consumption of whole grains, vegetable and fruits, intake substitution of fat-free or low-fat milk products or equivalents for whole-fat milk products, and consumption reduction of saturated fats and trans-fatty acids as nutrition requirements. To recall, your body’s nutrition requirement consists of two Ms; the big M and the small m.
The big M stands for the macronutrients which must compose the bulk of your diet as it is where your body gets most of its nutritional requirements. They are the classic nutrition requirements you often hear from your science teacher: carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.
The other macronutrients are water and macro-minerals. The classic nutrient requirements; carbohydrates, proteins, and fats are interchangeable sources of energy.
However, these nutrition requirements have specific roles although they can be used interchangeably as sources of energy.
- Carbohydrate, our main source of energy can be obtained from flours, cereals, baked goods, and sugars.
- Proteins are macro nutrition requirements for their role in the growth and repair of bones and other body tissues and production of hormones and antibodies. Good sources of protein are meat, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy products, beans and nuts.
- Fats are also sources of energy and are an important nutrition requirement in relation to fat soluble vitamins. We can obtain this important nutrition requirement from butter, lard, egg yolks, cheese, and vegetable oils.
- Water is enlisted as a part of the nutrition requirements for its role as vehicle for carrying nutrients in the body.
- Macro-minerals are inorganic elements needed by the body like sodium and potassium. The former helps in regulating fluids and the latter helps in the functioning of the nervous system. These nutrition requirements may be obtained from pickles, table salt, pretzels, processed cheeses (for sodium) and bananas, tomatoes, cantaloupes, green leafy vegetable (for potassium).
Small m is for the micronutrients, a nutrition requirement needed in minute amounts. These nutrition requirements are needed in small amounts and are often toxic at high levels.
Micronutrients are still a part of the basic nutrition requirements for their role in the development of tissues and metabolism.
- The easily remembered vitamin alphabet, namely, A, B complex, B12, C, D, E, and K make up these basic nutrition requirements. They are found in fruits and vegetables like carrots, squash, mangoes, bananas, and more.
- Others are chromium, copper, iodine, iron, and zinc which are also abundant in green leafy vegetables and fruits.