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Diet and Nutrition

Dai, Su mei



We need to know why the diet and nutrition are important for our body. If we understand the basic principles of diet and nutrition, our body will get advantages to challenge our lives. Every day our body needs certain essential nutrients that provide energy, build and repair body tissues, and regulate body functions. The essential nutrients are categorized into five major groups: water, protein, carbohydrates, fats, and vitamins.

The first essential nutrient is water. Although water cannot provide energy, but water makes up 85 percent of blood, 70 percent of muscles, and about 75 percent of the brain. It maintains body temperature, helps digestion, rids the body of waste through urine, and cool the body. Water also dissolves amino acids, glucose, and minerals. We lose water more quickly if we exercise. If we lose about 64 to 80 ounces of water a day, Nutritionists advise that we have to drink a minimum of 64 ounces, otherwise your urine become dark. If we have no water to drink in the hot weather for five days, we will die. The sources of water come from liquids, fruits and vegetables. If we live in the world, we must drink water.

The second essential nutrient is protein. Proteins are important for grow and repair our muscles, bones, blood, hair, and fingernails, helps the body manufacture some blood cells and hormones. Proteins help keep hair, skin, and eyesight healthy; build antibodies and hormones; provide fuel for our body. The sources of proteins comes from meat, fish, eggs, beans, nuts, cheese, vegetables, some fruits, breads, cereal, and rice. That’s why our body needs the proteins to live.

The third essential nutrient is carbohydrate. Carbohydrates are organic compounds that provide our brains and bodies with glucose. There are three types of carbohydrates: simple carbohydrate, which is sugars; complex carbohydrates, which are starches and fiber. All provides 4 calories per gram. The scientists recommend that both adults and children consume at least 130 grams of carbohydrates each day. So the body has to get the sufficient carbohydrates to be consumed. The sources of carbohydrates come from grains, cereal, fruits, vegetables, nuts, milk, and sugars. It would be produced enough glucose for the brain to function. So carbohydrates are important to our body.

The fourth essential nutrient is fats. Fats carry the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K, which protect organs from injury, regulate body temperature. They are good for growth and development. They provide 9 calories per gram. Fats can store some nutrients in the bodies and also keeps the bodies warm. Fats include the unsaturated fats, which are good for body, such as some fish, peanut oils, and baked goods; and the saturated fats which are bad for body, such as the animal fats, palm and coconut oil, which even clog the blood vessel. The high bodies fats are related to heart disease, blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, gall bladder problems and some cancers. So we have to know which sources provide the good fats and choose them for our body.

 The last essential nutrient is vitamins. Vitamins help the body use other nutrients and manufacture blood cells and hormones. Vitamins help put proteins, fats and carbohydrates to use, they are essential to regulate growth and release energy from foods. The body produces some vitamins, such as vitamin D, which is manufactured in the skin after exposure to sunlight. Vitamin includes vitamin A, D, E, and K; which are absorbed through the intestinal membranes and stored in the body; and the vitamin B and C which are water- soluble, they are absorbed directly into the blood and then used up or washed out of the body in urine and sweat. The sources of vitamins come from fruits, vegetables, grains, and some meat. So fats are the essential nutrient for our body.

            We should understand the basic principles of the diets and nutrients because our body needs the five essential nutrients groups: water, proteins, carbohydrates, fats and vitamins. If we want a healthy body, we have to need these five essential nutrients to balance our body and we can not miss any one. If we understand that what diets can provide the good nutrients, we know how to take care of our body to be healthy by choosing the good diets.


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