We have all received education about the basic food groups that should compose our diets. At some point, we've also learned about macronutrients. These are proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. They each have their own essential roles in the function of our body. They're known as macronutrients because we require them in large amounts in our diets. Of course, there are other nutrients out there in the form of vitamins and minerals. Our bodies need the three main macronutrients for survival. But what exactly is the role of each? Can we survive with one or two less of these?
The body needs proteins to build, repair, and maintain tissues. This is especially true for people who engage in physical activity. For those people, their muscles are always engaged and subject to damage. However, protein does not always equate use with muscles because it has other essential roles in the body. Enzymes and hormones are responsible for carrying out vital body functions. These are actually proteins. Other proteins also aid in the body's immune processes.
Dietary fats should also comprise part of our diets. Good fats can reduce the risks of heart problems. They can help lower blood pressure and blood triglyceride levels as well. They can also reduce the presence of lipoprotein in our blood. Good dietary fats can protect the body against diseases, including breast, colon, and prostate cancer. A significant role of dietary fats is its effects on the body's immune system. It strengthens immunity which enhances the body's abilities to ward-off diseases.
Fats play various roles in the functioning of the body. First and foremost, its main function is providing protection. Fats can insulate the body from variations in temperature. They can also serve as a cushion for protecting the organs inside the body. Second, fats promote growth and development of cell membranes. Third, fats aid in the digestion of vitamins. The fat-soluble vitamins need the presence of fat to dissolve them. Then, they can get absorbed into the body.
Fiber-rich carbohydrate foods are essential for the function of a robust digestive system. The presence of fibers will facilitate the movement of waste in the digestive tract. They help to regulate hormones and cholesterol excretion. Finally, they can prevent certain diseases like diverticulitis and colon cancer.
The quickest and most convenient sources of energy to be used by the body are carbohydrates. The energy provided by carbohydrates will allow the body to function properly. When in need of energy, the body can always break down its fat and protein reserves. But that is not the most efficient process and will take much longer. Glucose is a "body food" that we get from the digestion of carbohydrates. It's the preferred source of energy and essential for the brain, heart, and central nervous system.
The structure of all our cells in the body comes from proteins. This food group is the main ingredient in building enzymes and hormones. It maintains the base-acid balance in the body and transports different substances to body cells. This helps keep the immune system healthy. Proteins consist of amino acids, the building blocks, which are a major component of all cells. That makes protein essential in the building, repair, and maintenance of body tissues. It is especially important for growing children. For those who want to have a lean physique, protein is your answer as it is responsible for the building of muscle mass.
Carbohydrates aren't just an instant energy source. It is also a food group that provides nutrients that are important in the function of the body. Fiber, for instance, is an indigestible type of carbohydrate and such fibers can keep our blood sugar levels in check. The fibers also contribute to bowel health and regularity. Other nutrients found in carbohydrates are vitamins and phytonutrients. Vitamins protect us from diseases, keep our immune system healthy, promote healthy growth, and help build DNA. Phytonutrients are naturally occurring chemicals that protect the body from damage and diseases.
As mentioned earlier, glucose is the immediate source of energy for the body, and this comes from carbohydrates. Our body’s cells can store food as fat, which can be drawn from when needed. The brain is an exception because brain cells cannot store food. This means they need a continuous supply of food in order to survive. Even several minutes of the brain being deprived of food could be disastrous.
You can break proteins down into smaller particles known as amino acids. These particles are essential components of the brain messengers known as neurotransmitters. These chemicals help the brain cells to communicate with each other. Fats are also an important brain food, the good type of course. A diet that lacks the right amounts of good fats could have an impact on the body's overall health, including our cognitive abilities.
Protein is important in growth, especially for children where they enter a rapid phase of building strong muscles, bones, and more. Protein intake should always be adequate in our regimen. For the adults, protein concentrates more on making our cells strong and repairing any that have incurred damage. Dietary fats are also necessary for producing healthy cells and maintaining strong cell walls.
Consider these points about dietary foods as aids in losing weight. In terms of fats, research has shown that healthy amounts of dietary fat is capable of burning fat and can prevent the build-up of excess body fat. Proteins can also aid in weight loss. A protein meal would burn more calories than a meal high in carbohydrates. Also, protein in the form of the amino acid leucine can act as an appetite suppressant. Consider this supplement for those who are trying to lose weight.
Macronutrients promote the health of all the organs. They keep the brain healthy by supporting the production of signal pathways and cell membranes. They support the health of the heart by providing stearic and palmitic acids. These are types of saturated fats that the heart needs for fuel when subjected to stressful conditions. They offer protection to the liver against detrimental substances and can also help reverse damage to the liver. They can decrease the lungs' surface tension by promoting the production of lung surfactant, ultimately promoting oxygen to the cells and parts of the body.
This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.