By Hira Mushtaq
What Nutrients does our body need to be healthy?
Our bodies need micro-nutrients and macro-nutrients to produce energy and perform all bodily functions.
Micro-nutrients include vitamins and minerals. Minerals are called spark plugs of the body. A balanced mineral profile in the body helps to absorb nutrients from our food, metabolize it, create energy from it and also detoxify the body from what is not needed. I will talk about minerals in more detail in another post.
In this post, I am explaining macro-nutrients. What are they, what functions do they perform in our body and what are the good sources of food to get these macro-nutrients?
What are macro-nutrients? These are the nutrients that our body needs in relatively large quantities. They are carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Let’s dig into each one of them.
Carbohydrates are the main fuel provider of our body because they quickly break down to their basic molecule and provide energy. They also help to keep our digestive system stable by feeding good bacteria in the intestinal tract. The non-breakable part (fibre) regulates bowel movements thus helping to remove the toxins from the body.
In the diet culture somehow carbs have gotten a bad reputation. Good quality and whole foods carbs eaten in proper ratio to other macros are beneficial for our hormonal and overall health.
Good sources of carbohydrates: Vegetables, fruits, whole milk, whole grains, lentils, beans and legumes.
Proteins are the building blocks of our body. It makes up about 20% weight of our body weight. It is a very essential macro-nutrients. Collagen an important molecule of protein is part of healthy connective tissues, cartilage hair, skin, and nails. Actin which is another molecule of protein helps with muscle contraction. Enzymes, certain hormones, antibodies, and hemoglobin all are proteins and need protein to work in our body.
Good sources of Protein: Meat, organ meat, poultry, fish, eggs, cheese, beans, greek yogurt and milk.
Fats are 3rd main macro-nutrients that are needed by our body. A few important roles that fats play in the body are, that they are part of our cell membrane, especially the membrane of our brain cells is composed of 60% fats. Some hormones are also composed of fats and they also help to keep our body warm.
Good sources of Fats: Whole milk, full-fat yogurt, nuts and seeds, butter, coconut oil, ghee, avocados and olives.
It is important to include all three macro-nutrients in your meals in a balanced quantity. Remember each individual is different and their bodily needs are different according to their health.
I hope you benefited from this post if you have any questions reach out via email at email@example.com or lets talk on Instagram @heal_with_hira. Insha’Allah in my next post I will discuss how to create a balance meal/pate and some healthy snack ideas.
Legal note: This is all general information, please talk to your health care provider before you make any huge changes in your diet.
Demeda, P. (n.d.). Course Notes, Nutrition and Health: The fundamentals. The Institute of Holistic Nutrition.
Haas, E. M., & Levin, B. (2006). Carbohydrates, Proteins, Fats. In Staying healthy with nutrition. essay, Celestial Arts.
About the Author
Hira Mushtaq is a clinical nutritionist. She helps women with hypothyroidism and digestive issues to eliminate their fatigue, gas, bloating, constipation, lose weight and balance their hormones. She believes every individual is different and has different symptoms and goals to improve their physical and emotional health. There is no “one-size-fits-all” nutrition plan. She works with you to figure out the root cause of your health issues and help you to achieve your goals with diet and lifestyle changes.