Vital nutrients: carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals
Food enriches our body with the energy necessary for a full life. It consists of different chemicals that are responsible for performing a variety of functions in our body. All these substances can be divided into 5 large groups: carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals.
Carbohydrates are the main source of energy for our organism. They can be simple or complex, depending on their structure. There are monosaccharides - simple sugars, disaccharides - two linked monosaccharides, oligosaccharides - three to ten linked sugars, and polysaccharides - those with more than ten sugars. During digestion, our bodies break down complex carbs into the monosaccharides, which our cells can use for energy.
Proteins are involved in almost all chemical processes in the body. They are composed of amino acids that are used in our organism like bricks for building. Our body can synthesize some amino acids on its own, and some it can only get from food. Such amino acids are called essential. If essential amino acids are not enough, protein synthesis gets impaired, because of which memory and mental abilities can suffer, and immunity can get reduced.
Lipids are a source of energy, they participate in the process of assimilation of certain vitamins, and fat deposits act as an energy reserve of the body. Fats are divided into saturated and unsaturated, and both of them are necessary for the proper functioning of the organism. So, saturated fats affect the functioning of the lungs and central nervous system, while unsaturated ones make up the cell membranes and are solvents of vitamins.
Vitamins are essential nutrients of organic origin with a variety of chemical structures. Vitamins are necessary for the proper functioning of enzymes, they take part in metabolic processes, they are necessary for the implementation of many processes in the body. There are 6 groups of vitamins (A, B, C, D, E, K), which include individual vitamins, each of which is responsible for certain functions in the body.
Minerals are a part of tissues and organs, also they are contained in cells, in the blood and lymph. The most important minerals are sulfur, chlorine, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and calcium. Thanks to these elements, tissues and cells are built in the body, and the functions of the muscles, heart and central nervous system are provided.
Each of the listed substances performs a certain function; therefore, it is very important to consume all of these elements in the proper amount.