macronutrient and micronutrient

Whatever we eat irrespective of their source it contains both macronutrient as well as micronutrient so, what are they? How we can set different goals using the knowledge of them? let’s dig deep into their understanding through this article.

1. What are macronutrients?

What is a macronutrient? so, basically our bodies need this type of nutrients in large amounts to generate energy. This particular nutrient consists of protein, carbohydrates, fats, water, and fiber. However, fiber and water don’t provide us energy.

1.1 Different types of macronutrients

Let’s understand each and everyone of them

1.1.1 Protien

Protein is the building block of the body tissue. They are a chain of 20 amino acids out of them, 11 are non-essential amino acids and 9 are essential amino acids. Amino acids that our body can make on their own are known as a non-essential amino acid in order words, we don’t need to consume it externally our body is capable enough to make them. whereas, amino acids that our body can’t make on their own that we need to consume externally through foods are known as essential amino acids.

 They can also serve as a fuel source. As a fuel, proteins provide as much energy density as carbs that are 4kcal per gram. Protein is a nutrient needed by the human body for growth and maintenance. Aside from water, proteins are the most abundant kind of molecules in the body. Protein can be found in all cells of the body and is the major structural component of all cells in the body, especially muscle. This also includes body organs, hair, and skin. Proteins are also used in membranes

An average healthy human should consume daily at least 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. which means if you are 60kg then you should eat 60*0.8 which is 40 grams of protein per day.

Good sources of Protien:

  • Eggs
  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Soya chunks
  • Panner (cottage cheese)
  • Curd
  • Lentils

1.1.2 Fats

Fats are a chain of fatty acids. They are often known as triglycerides that are the main components of vegetable oils and of fatty tissue in animals and humans. The molecule of a fatty acid consists of a carboxyl group HO(O=)C– connected to an unbranched alkyl group –(CHx)NH: namely, a chain of carbon atoms, joined by single, double, or (more rarely) triple bonds, with all remaining free bonds filled by hydrogen atoms

They can serve as both fuel sources and stores for energy in excess of what the body needs immediately. As a fuel, fats provide maximum energy density compared to carbs and protein that is 9kcal per gram. Whenever you eat more food then your maintenance energy the access of those stores in your body as fats.

1.1.2.1 Saturated and unsaturated fats

For human nutrition, an important classification of fats is based on the number and position of double bonds in the constituent fatty acids. Saturated fat has a predominance of saturated fatty acids, without any double bonds, while unsaturated fat has predominantly unsaturated acids with double bonds. (The names refer to the fact that each double bond means two fewer hydrogen atoms in the chemical formula. Thus, a saturated fatty acid, having no double bonds, has the maximum number of hydrogen atoms for a given number of carbon atoms — that is, it is “saturated” with hydrogen atoms.)

Unsaturated fatty acids are further classified into monounsaturated (MUFAs), with a single double bond, and polyunsaturated (PUFAs), with two or more.

1.1.2.2 Which one is more healthy out of saturated and unsaturated fat?

The general consensus between dietitians, nutritionists, and other experts is that saturated fat is less healthful than unsaturated fat.

Saturated fats increase your LDL which is known as bad cholestrol and it may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease on the other hand unsaturated fats can increase your HDL which is good cholestrol which can decrease your risk of cardiovascular disease.

Fat is an essential nutrient that the body needs to function fully. Fats in the diet help the body absorb vitamins and minerals and serve other vital roles. Fat stored in body tissues is critical for:

  • energy storage and metabolism
  • body temperature regulation
  • insulation of the vital organs

Sources :

  • Olive Oil
  • Avacado
  • Nuts
  • Oils and Ghee

1.1.3 Carbs

Carbohydrates are naturally occurring sugars, starches and fiber in food. All carbohydrates are made up of sugar molecules. Sugar molecules linked together form starches and fiber.

In the body, starches and sugars are broken down in the digestive system to glucose. Glucose is the fuel that provides energy and powers all of the body’s functions. Glucose is also called blood sugar.

Dietary fiber is a form of carbohydrate that is not broken down during digestion. It passes through the stomach, small intestine, colon, and then out of the body.

1.1.3.1 Complex carbohydrates and simple carbohydrates

Complex carbohydrates are the carbs that contain both starch and fiber and thus help us to provide energy for longer duration in intervals, on the other hand, Simple carbohydrates are the carbs that contains only sugar which provides us energy in a single go. Now the question would be which one is better among them? so, the answer will depend on the requirement. If your an athlete or a marathon runner and you need energy immediately then you need simpler carbs and that is the only reason doctors recommend glucose to the patient as it is simple carbs and provide the energy in a single go without taking time to digest it. but for normal activity, you always need complex carbs because complex carbs contain fibers and take time to break down which results in the slow supply of energy for a longer time and makes you feel full for a longer duration.

Sources:

  • Whole wheat grain
  • Breads
  • Sugar
  • Fruits and Vegetable

1.1.4 Water

Water is one of the most essential elements for the human body, as it is present in every cell, tissue, and organ of the body. The best thing about water is it doesn’t increase or decrease weight as it doesn’t provide as energy but still plays an important role in:

  • Water carries nutrients to all cells in our body and oxygen to our brain
  • Water allows the body to absorb and assimilate minerals, vitamins, amino acids, glucose, and other substances
  • Water flushes out toxins and waste
  • Water helps to regulate body temperature 
  • Water acts as a lubricant for joints and muscles

1.1.5 Fiber

Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that the body can’t digest. Though most carbohydrates are broken down into sugar molecules, fiber cannot be broken down into sugar molecules, and instead it passes through the body undigested. Fiber helps regulate the body’s use of sugars, helping to keep hunger and blood sugar in check.

2. What are micronutrients?

Basically our bodies need this type of nutrients in small amounts. This particular nutrient consists of vitamins and minerals.Micronutrients are one of the major groups of nutrients our body needs

2.1 Vitamins

Vitamins are necessary for energy production, immune function, blood clotting, and other functions.

rdless of type, vitamins and minerals are absorbed in similar ways in your body and interact in many processes.

2.1.1 Water-Soluble Vitamins

Most vitamins dissolve in water and are therefore known as water-soluble. They’re not easily stored in your body and get flushed out with urine when consumed in excess.

While each has a unique role, their functions are related.

For example, most B vitamins act as coenzymes that help trigger important chemical reactions. A lot of these reactions are necessary for energy production.

The water-soluble vitamins — with some of their functions — are:

  • Vitamin B1 (thiamine): Helps convert nutrients into energy.
  • Vitamin B2 (riboflavin): Necessary for energy production, cell function, and fat metabolism
  • Vitamin B3 (niacin): Drives the production of energy from food
  • Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid): Necessary for the fatty acid synthesis
  • Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine): Helps your body release sugar from stored carbohydrates for energy and create red blood cells
  • Vitamin B7 (biotin): Plays a role in the metabolism of fatty acids, amino acids, and glucose
  • Vitamin B9 (folate): Important for proper cell division.
  • Vitamin B12 (cobalamin): Necessary for red blood cell formation and proper nervous system and brain function.
  • Vitamin C (ascorbic acid): Required for the creation of neurotransmitters and collagen, the main protein in your skin.

2.1.2 Fat-Soluble Vitamins

Fat-soluble vitamins do not dissolve in water.

They’re best absorbed when consumed alongside a source of fat. After consumption, they are stored in your liver and fatty tissues for future use.

The names and functions of fat-soluble vitamins are:

  • Vitamin A: Necessary for proper vision and organ function.
  • Vitamin D: Promotes proper immune function and assists in calcium absorption and bone growth.
  • Vitamin E: Assists immune function and acts as an antioxidant that protects cells from damage.
  • Vitamin K: Required for blood clotting and proper bone development

2.2 Minirals

Minerals play an important role in growth, bone health, fluid balance and several other processes.

2.2.1 Macrominerals

Macrominerals are needed in larger amounts than trace minerals in order to perform their specific roles in your body.

The macrominerals and some of their functions are:

  • Calcium: Necessary for proper structure and function of bones and teeth. Assists in muscle function and blood vessel contraction.
  • Phosphorus: Part of bone and cell membrane structure.
  • Magnesium: Assists with over 300 enzyme reactions, including regulation of blood pressure.
  • Sodium: Electrolyte that aids fluid balance and maintenance of blood pressure.
  • Chloride: Often found in combination with sodium. Helps maintain fluid balance and is used to make digestive juices
  • Potassium: Electrolyte that maintains fluid status in cells and helps with nerve transmission and muscle function
  • Sulfur: Part of every living tissue and contained in the amino acids methionine and cysteine

2.2.2 Trace Minerals

Trace minerals are needed in smaller amounts than macrominerals but still enable important functions in your body.

The trace minerals and some of their functions are:

  • Iron: Helps provide oxygen to muscles and assists in the creation of certain hormones.
  • Manganese: Assists in carbohydrate, amino acid, and cholesterol metabolism.
  • Copper: Required for connective tissue formation, as well as normal brain and nervous system function.
  • Zinc: Necessary for normal growth, immune function, and wound healing.
  • Iodine: Assists in thyroid regulation.
  • Fluoride: Necessary for the development of bones and teeth.
  • Selenium: Important for thyroid health, reproduction, and defense against oxidative damage

3. How to identify macros and micros in food

It is very easy to find macros and micros in food if it is pakaged food the nutrition breakdown will be give on behind of the packet, refer this digram. So, you can clearly see this image it clearly shows distribution of macros as well as micros.

macronutrient
Packaged food macros and micro

For non-packaged food or home made food you can use dedicated apps such as healthifyme and fitnessPal refer the image

Macronutrient and micronutrient
For packaged as well as non packaged food

4. How to use them to set your goals

Now, as you understand the concept of macronutrient and micronutrient you can finally set your goals to take your health at next level

Things you can do now:

  • Make your diet as balanced diet: A balanced diet is a diet that contains differing kinds of foods in certain quantities and proportions so that the requirement for calories, proteins, minerals, vitamins, and alternative nutrients is adequate.
  • Weight gain or weight loss: You can set your target to either gain weight or lose weight by increasing or decreasing your macros based on calories.
  • Stay fit: Eat healthier foods which include complex carbs, good protein sources, unsaturated fats

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