Nutrients

This is what you are, how you function and literally what you are made of. Nutrients are divided into macro and micro nutrients. Macronutrients are the basics and they also contain micronutrients.

Macronutrients

Macronutrients are essential nutrients required for your body to survive. Energy is derived from these macronutrients to fuel the body’s various processes.

Protein

Proteos in Greek means ‘primary’ or ‘taking first place’.

The main role of protein in the body is repair and maintenance. Proteins are found in your muscle, organs, skin and blood. Proteins can be broken down into smaller building blocks called amino acids. Protein is essential to our diet as some of these amino acids are required from the diet to make proteins for our body’s muscle, organs, skin and blood.

The architecture of our body relies on proteins, making up the shape and size of cells, tissue, muscle and organs.
Complete protein foods include lamb, beef, salmon, eggs, veal, sardines, anchovies.

Incomplete proteins are proteins which lack essential amino acids needed by the body to function. These types of proteins are found in legumes, nuts, seeds, grains. To obtain a complete protein these foods need to be combined as such:

  • Grains + Legumes
  • Legumes + Nuts/Seeds
  • Nuts/Seeds + Grains

Proteins play a key role in our overall health, structure of our cells, tissues and organs and system function.

Fats, oils and lipids

Fats, oils and lipids consist of a large number of compounds such as triglycerides, essential fatty acids, sterols and many more. The functions of fats, oils and lipids are diverse.

Dietary fats include lipids in plants and animal tissue that are eaten as food. Fats, lipids and oils are used for energy, cell structure, hormones, cholesterol, prebiotics and gut flora, vitamin and mineral transport, brain function and lubrication.

Fats work together with proteins once in the blood stream to transport nutrients.

Fats include dairy, coconut oil, avocado, olive oil, fish oil, ghee, evening primrose oil, blackcurrant oil, sardines, anchovies, mustard seed oil, macadamia oil, protein foods.

Fats, lipids and oils are essential to the survival of the human body. The diverse role of this macronutrient stems from cellular communication between systems, immune, endocrine musculoskeletal and nervous system function.

Fibre

Fibre is composed of dietary fibre and functional fibre. Dietary fibre refers to non-digestible carbohydrates that are intact and found in plants. Functional fibres consist of nondigestible carbohydrates that have a specific physiologic or therapeutic effect on the human body.

Fibres are found in fruits, vegetables and whole grains. The role of dietary fibre is to give bulk to the stool and ensure toxins are bound and excreted via the digestive tract. Functional fibres contribute to healthy gut flora, peristalsis (bowel movement), protect against pathogens, detoxification and are substrates for energy in the body.

Fibre includes insoluble and soluble fibre. Insoluble fibre consists as lignins, cellulose, hemi-cellulose. Soluble fibre includes some hemi-cellulose, pectin, gums, b-glucans.

Water

Water is the most abundant macronutrient required by the body. Water accounts for approximately 60% of a normal adult total body weight.
Water is a canvas on which all other macronutrients play. Water is required for every metabolic process, biochemical reaction, and is the main component of our blood transport system.

Water is the carrier of nutrients and toxins and is therefore essential as the rivers of your body.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are comprised of two classes: simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates. Carbohydrates function as a major source of energy fuel.

Simple carbohydrates include simple sugars such as glucose, sucrose, lactose, maltose, galactose and fructose.

Complex carbohydrates include oligosaccharides and polysaccharides. Oligosaccharides include raffinose, stachyose, verbacose and eventually breakdown to simple sugars. Polysaccharides include starch, glycogen and dietary fibre and eventually breakdown to glucose.

The rate at which glucose is absorbed by the intestines is called the glycaemic index. The effect that carbohydrate containing foods will have on blood glucose concentration is dependent on the time it takes to digest and absorb the carbohydrates in that food.

The most nutritious forms of carbohydrates are vegetables and whole grains.

References available on request.