As you start to become more concerned over the nutrients that you're putting in your body, one of the things that you should be doing is educating yourself about the essential nutrients that you must be eating.
This will ensure that you're getting in the right mix of foods that will help prevent disease, provide energy, and repair broken down muscle tissues.
Let's break down the essential nutrients into their categories so you have a clear understanding of this.
The very first of the essential nutrients are carbohydrates. This is the body's preferred source of fuel and the primary fuel that the brain will run on. Carbohydrates are classified as simple and complex depending on how quickly they break down in the body. For best hunger and blood sugar control, you want to choose complex varieties such as oats, brown rice, whole wheat bread, sweet potatoes, and vegetables over simple varieties such as sugar and processed snack foods.
Fiber is a nutrient that is found in carbohydrate rich foods, especially the whole grains, fruits, and vegetables and will help to decrease the transition time of the food through the digestion system so you stay feeling full longer and also help to promote regular bowel movements.
Fiber is also important for reducing your cholesterol levels and keeping your heart healthy.
Omega Fatty Acids
Omega fatty acids include omega-3 and omega-6 fats and are vital for maintaining good health. These fats support brain and nervous system function, help ward off a wide variety of diseases, and help to prevent insulin resistance.
They're most commonly found in foods such as fatty varieties of fish, flaxseeds and flaxseed oil, and walnuts. The body cannot make these fats on its own, so they must be supplied by the diet.
Saturated Fat And Cholesterol
Moving along, the next type of fats we come to is saturated fat and cholesterol. These are typically seen as the 'bad guys' in the diet, but you do require them in small amounts. These fats are necessary for generating the sex hormones in the body, estrogen and testosterone, so you don't want to cut them out completely.
Do limit the amount you consume however as taking in too much could lead to heart disease and stroke. They're most commonly found in high fat meat and dairy products.
Finally, the last of the essential nutrients is protein. Protein will be broken down into individual amino acids in the body, which are then used to generate new body tissues, particularly lean muscle mass.
Protein also has a number of other functions in the body such as creating neurotransmitters that control each and every body function.
Protein also helps to support a strong immune system, so by taking in enough you ensure that you recover from all the physical activity that you do.
So there you have the main nutrients that make up your diet. Each food will supply a different mix of these nutrients which is why it's important to get a good variety in your diet plan. If you eat a varied diet, then you should have no problem getting in these nutrients that you need.