The Main Nutrients

Protein:

Protein is needed to repair damaged muscle cells and is instrumental in tissue growth. There are 22 amino acids in the protein in human muscle tissue, eight of which cannot be synthesized in the body. These eight amino acids are termed essential and must be provided from your diet. Vegetable proteins lack either one or more essential amino acids, or have very low levels so that you must combine your vegetable protein sources carefully to maximize their yield. You should eat at least one gram of protein per pound of bodyweight daily.

The best sources of protein are fish, chicken, lean meats, turkey, nonfat milk, egg whites, nuts, soy and whey products and various vegetables.

Carbohydrates:

You’ll need to consume plenty of carbohydrates to supply energy for your workouts. There are three types of carbohydrate food. The first is refined carbohydrates, mostly sugar and chemical additives-junk food. Eating more than one junk-food item per day is excessive. Simple carbohydrates (mainly fruits) come next. They’re excellent for giving the body energy. The fructose is readily converted into glucose. The third type, the “large” complexed slow-burning carbohydrate, is found in vegetables, grains, legumes, seeds and nuts. They will give you a steady flow of energy for your workouts. Eat at least two grams of carbohydrates per pound of bodyweight daily.

Some good sources of carbohydrates are whole-wheat pasta, whole-wheat breads, noodles, fruits, vegetables, legumes, seeds, nuts and low-fat dairy products.

Fat:

Certain fats are vital for the function of the human body. Fats serve as carriers of fat-soluble vitamins in your blood, as body insulators and protectors of vital organs and also provide energy for basal metabolism and sustained activity. Specific fatty acids are essential components of our cells. Most foods contain the fats necessary to the human body.

Good sources are dairy products, plant and fish oils, cheeses and yogurt.

The Main Nutrients

Vitamins and Minerals:

Vitamins and minerals are necessary micro-nutrients in almost every energy and digestive reaction in human metabolism. They are vital for fighting off desease and maintaining good health. Fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of vitamins and minerals.

Water:

Since the human body is close to 80% water, it’s necessary to provide your body with an adequate supply of water daily. Drink at least 2 liters of water every day.

The Food Groups:

When planning your meals, make sure that you include foods from the four basic food groups each and every day.

1) Fruits and Vegetables
2) Cereals and Grains
3) Meat / Lean Protein
4) Milk and Dairy Products

Your daily food consumption must be made up of about 25-30% protein, 55-60% carbohydrates and 15-20% fat.

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