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Breaking Down the Skinny on Nutrients

By Stephen R. Farris

You may hear it all the time when it comes to our nutritional needs. In other words, we need more nutrients in our diet. But has anyone really explained what those nutrients are? 

So here's the answer in a nutshell. The nutrients we all need to maintain a healthy diet are vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, water, fats and protein.

Vitamins

When it comes to vitamins we need A through K, the ones with B and numbers and Vitamin C. There are others but I'll be brief. Vitamins help boost our energy levels, delay the onset of certain cancers, help build strong teeth and bones, support healthy blood and assist in keeping our brain and nervous system working properly. Of course, the list of all the things vitamins can do to keep our bodies working is very long.

Minerals

Minerals are broken down into two groups, trace and major. Our bodies need a good balance of each to sustain good health. A few minerals to look at that are essential are magnesium, calcium, sodium and potassium to name some of them. A couple of things major category minerals do is to balance our water levels and assist with bone health. Trace minerals, such as copper, zinc and others, help with oxygen supply, strong bone growth, and in supporting our immune system to name a few.

Carbohydrates

Carbs, for short, help provide our bodies with added energy and can be found in bread (white), pasta and rice. However, they should be taken in moderation. Carbs are also broken down into two types, simple and complex.

Water

Water is life. It helps us stay hydrated, flushes out toxins and the delivery of nutrients throughout our bodies. Water does so many other things for our bodies as well and something we need to drink each day.

Fats

There are good fats and bad ones, but we need them in our diet (especially the good ones). Fats can help our energy levels remain high, help with muscle movement, cell growth and reduce the risk of heart disease or type II diabetes to name some of the benefits the good ones can supply. 

Proteins

Every single cell in our bodies need protein. They're fuel for our cells and tissues and help our muscles, hair, skin and bones grow and develop. Proteins can be found in beef, chicken, fish, nuts, eggs and dairy products to name a few places.

Eating a good balance of fresh fruits, vegetables and protein based foods can help you get all the nutrients you need for your body, without relying on vitamin supplements. 

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Denton, Tex.

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