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  Nutrition

Nutrition plays a great role in your health. Read this nutrition information to learn the basics of good nutrition facts and understand the role of different vitamins, nutrients and minerals in keeping you healthy.

Vitamins
Vitamins are organic compounds that help maintain normal body functions, such as reproduction, growth and cell repair. Your body can't manufacture vitamins, so you need to obtain them from other sources. Most of the vitamins you need come from the food you eat, except for vitamin D, which your body makes when exposed to sunlight, and K, which is made by the bacteria in your intestines. In addition to their presence in natural foods, vitamins can also be manufactured synthetically. Vitamin supplements may be available in tablet, caplet or liquid form.

Vitamins : Biotin ,Vitamin A ,Vitamin B1 , Vitamin B2 ,Vitamin B3 ,Vitamin B5 ,Vitamin B6 ,Vitamin B9 ,Vitamin B12 ,Vitamin C ,Vitamin D ,Vitamin E and Vitamin K .

Nutritionists categorize vitamins by the materials that a vitamin will dissolve in. There are two categories: water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins. Water-soluble vitamins, which include the B-complex group and vitamin C, travel through the bloodstream. Whatever water-soluble vitamins are not used by the body are eliminated in urine, which means you need a continuous supply of them in your food.

Fat-Soluble Vitamins—vitamins A, D, E and K—are stored in the fat tissues of the body for a few days to up to 6 months. If you get too much of a fat-soluble vitamin, it can be stored in your liver and may sometimes cause health problems.

If you want to get the most vitamins possible from your food, refrigerate fresh produce and keep milk and grains away from strong light. Vitamins are easily destroyed and washed out during food preparation and storage. If you take vitamin supplements, store them at room temperature in a dry place that's free of moisture.

Carbohydrates
Carbohydrate-rich foods are the primary source of energy for all body functions. Your body breaks down carbohydrates, or carbs, into fuel for use by your cells and muscles - that's why eating a moderate amount of carbohydrates is necessary for most people. There are two types of carbs - sugars and starches. Sugars are simple carbohydrates that can be easily digested by your body and include foods like cake, soda, candy, jellies and fruits. Starches are complex carbohydrates that take longer to be digested and include foods such as breads, grains, pasta, tortillas, noodles, fruits and vegetables.

Many carbohydrate-rich foods are loaded with other nutrients. Fruits and vegetables are not only great carbohydrate sources, they're also excellent suppliers of vitamins A and C and many other vitamins and minerals. Most dairy products are also great sources of carbohydrates.

Fat and Calories
Fat is the body's major energy storage system. When the energy from the food you eat and drink can't be used by your body, the body may turn it into fat for later use. Your body uses fat from foods for energy, to cushion organs and bones, and to make hormones and regulate blood pressure. Some fat is also necessary to maintain healthy skin, hair and nails, so you shouldn't cut all fat out of your diet. Too much fat can lead to heart disease, obesity, diabetes and many other health problems.

Types of Fats

Not all fats are created equal. Saturated fats, which are generally solid at room temperature, are the least healthy and tend to increase the level of cholesterol in your blood. Foods that contain saturated fat include butter, cheese, some margarines, shortening, tropical oils such as coconut and palm oil and the fats in meat and poultry skin, so you should try to limit your consumption of those oils and foods.

Unsaturated fats reduce blood cholesterol when they replace saturated fats in the diet. There are two types of unsaturated fat - monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat. Monounsaturated fats have been shown to raise the level of HDL, the 'good' cholesterol that protects against heart attacks, in the blood, so in moderation they can be part of a healthy diet. Olive and canola oils, peanut butter and nuts are particularly high in monounsaturated fats. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that you limit calories from monounsaturated fat to no more than 15% of your total calorie intake.

How Much Fat Should You Eat?
The American Heart Association and the United States Department of Agriculture recommend that you limit your fat intake to no more than 30% of your daily calories. Of that 30%, 10% or less of the fat calories should come from saturated fat.

Adjusting Fat Intake for Weight Loss or Gain
If you want to lose body fat, limit your intake of high-fat foods. This will not only improve your metabolism, it will allow you more food for your calorie expenditure because fats have more than twice the calories per gram as proteins (which contain 4 calories per gram) and carbohydrates (also 4 calories per gram).

To use up your body's fat storage, you need to exercise regularly. Moderate aerobic exercise, which raises your heart rate, is especially important. And any exercise that builds muscle mass can also help you burn more calories because muscle burns more calories than fat.

Protein
Along with carbohydrates and fat, your body needs protein, a nutrient made up of essential and nonessential amino acids, for good health. Your body manufactures 13 nonessential amino acids, which aren't available from food. For the body to process protein properly, the foods that you eat must contain the nine essential amino acids that are available only from dietary sources.

Protein helps to maintain and replace the tissues in your body, and it's found in almost every living cell and fluid. Your muscles, organs and many of your hormones are made up of protein, and it is also used in the manufacture of hemoglobin, the red blood cells that carry oxygen to your body. Protein is also used to manufacture antibodies that fight infection and disease and is integral to your body's blood clotting ability. Both children and adults need plenty of protein to grow and develop.

Protein-Rich Food
Good low- or nonfat sources of protein include: Beef, poultry, pork and lamb

Fish and shellfish; Dairy products, including cottage cheese, cheese, yogurt and milk ;Eggs, egg whites or egg substitutes; Dry beans, peas, oats and legumes ;Tofu and soy products ;Nuts and seeds

Proteins are considered either complete proteins (which supply enough essential amino acids) or incomplete proteins (which lack adequate essential amino acids). Meat, eggs and dairy products are considered complete proteins, but vegetables, beans and other plant products are considered incomplete proteins. However, some incomplete proteins can be combined to create a complete protein - rice and beans, peanut butter and jelly, and corn and beans are examples of complete-protein meals.

Sugar
Sugar is a simple carbohydrate. There are two types of sugars - monosaccharides, which include glucose, fructose and galactose, are made of one sugar molecule, and disaccharides are made of two sugar molecules linked together. Disaccharides are formed when monosaccharides combine - for example, when glucose and fructose are combined, they form sucrose, also known as table sugar. Other disaccharides include maltose, dextrose and lactose. When many sugar molecules are linked together, they form a complex carbohydrate, also known as a starch.

Sugar provides the sweet flavor to foods to which it has been added, and it may also act as a preservative and flavor enhancer. Sugar is used in a variety of foods, including cookies, cakes, pickles, ice cream, alcohol and jams and jellies. Types of sugar include raw sugar, brown sugar, honey, molasses, maple sugar and corn syrup.

Sugar, which provides 16 calories per teaspoon, provides no vitamins and minerals, so it's a good idea to use it in moderation. Overconsumption of sugar, like other carbohydrates, has been linked to the development of cavities. However, sugar consumption has not been linked to hyperactivity in children. A high intake of sugar does not cause diabetes, but if a person is diagnosed with diabetes the amount of simple sugar eaten daily often needs to be reduced.

Minerals
Minerals help the body perform numerous functions, such as building strong bones, transmitting nerve impulses, making hormones and maintaining a regular heartbeat. There are two types of minerals - macrominerals and trace minerals. Your body needs larger amounts of macrominerals like calcium, sodium and potassium. Trace minerals, on the other hand, are only needed in small amounts. Common trace minerals include iron, zinc and selenium.

Calcium
Calcium is an important macromineral that is absolutely necessary for healthy bones and teeth. It helps your heart and nerves function properly and helps your blood to clot.

How Much Calcium Is Enough?

The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for calcium is:

1,000 milligrams a day for women and men ages 19 to 50
1,200 milligrams a day for men and women age 51 and older
1,000 milligrams a day for pregnant or breastfeeding women

Good Sources of Calcium :

  • Milk (low- or non-fat varieties are best if you are watching your fat intake)
  • Yogurt
  • Cheese
  • Green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, kale, broccoli, bok choy, collards and Chinese cabbage
  • Tofu
  • Canned salmon or any fish with bones
  • Calcium-fortified juices

Too little calcium in the diet can lead to calcium deficiency and osteoporosis, a weakening of the bones that puts people at increased risk for fractures. People with calcium deficiencies may also suffer from dental problems and hypertension.

Iron
Iron, a trace mineral, prevents anemia and keeps your red blood cells healthy. In fact iron is an essential part of hemoglobin, a part of the red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout your body. You also store iron in your muscle tissues and it's an essential part of many of your body's proteins and enzymes.

How Much Iron Is Enough?

The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for iron is:

10 milligrams a day - Men age 19 and older and women age 51 and older who are not menstruating
15 milligrams a day - Women age 19 to 50 who are menstruating
30 milligrams a day - Pregnant women
15 milligrams a day - Breastfeeding women

Good Sources of Iron:

  • Animal liver, kidney and heart
  • Oysters
  • Iron-fortified bread and cereal
  • Lean red meat
  • Nuts
  • Egg yolks
  • Dried beans and legumes
  • Blackstrap molasses
  • Dried fruit
  • Dark leafy green vegetables
  • Foods cooked in an iron skillet

 

Potassium
Potassium, a trace mineral, balances water and acid in the blood and body tissues. Potassium is also important for building muscle and metabolizing protein and carbohydrate.

How Much Potassium Is Enough?
Although there is no recommended daily allowance (RDA) for potassium, the National Library of Medicine suggests that consuming 2 to 2.5 grams of potassium a day is adequate. Most Americans consume between 2 and 6 grams of potassium each day.

Good sources of potassium include:

  • Fish, such as salmon, flounder, cod and sardines
  • Meat, such as beef and chicken
  • Peas
  • Lima beans
  • Tomatoes
  • Potatoes (especially their skins)
  • Leafy green vegetables
  • Citrus fruits
  • Bananas
  • Apricots
  • Melon
  • Dried fruit
  • Nuts
  • Chocolate

Selenium
Selenium is a trace mineral, and the body only needs small amounts of it to function properly. Selenium plays an important role in the body's enzyme function, and may help to stimulate the production of antibodies (disease-fighting organisms) after vaccination. Selenium also aids in male fertility.

Selenium is also considered an antioxidant, and it may work with other antioxidants such as vitamins C and E to protect the body's cells against free radicals, which can promote the development of cancer and heart disease.

How Much Selenium Is Enough?
Men and women should consume 50 to 200 micrograms of selenium a day. Selenium is often an ingredient included in commercial multivitamin supplements. The typical American diet provides adequate amounts of selenium.

Good Sources of Selenium from Foods Include:

  • Fish and shellfish
  • Red meat, chicken and liver
  • Grains
  • Eggs
  • Garlic
  • Brewer's yeast and wheat germ

Sodium
Sodium, a macromineral, is actually necessary to regulate your blood pressure and blood volume. Without sodium, you wouldn't have any blood pressure at all. Sodium occurs naturally in many foods, including vegetables and dairy products. In addition, sodium is in drinking water and in many processed foods and condiments, such as soy sauce, processed meats, and canned soups and vegetables.

How Much Sodium Is Enough?
The American Heart Association recommends that for every 1,000 calories of food you eat, the sodium intake should be 1,000 milligrams or less and should not exceed the 3,300 milligram daily limit for adults.

Zinc
Zinc, a trace mineral, is important to maintain your body's immune system functioning. Zinc also aids in cell growth and cell division and helps with wound healing. Zinc is also integral to your ability to taste and smell.

How Much Zinc Is Enough?

Recommended daily allowances (RDAs) for zinc are:

15 milligrams per day - Men over 11 years
12 milligrams per day - Women 11 to 50 years
15 milligrams per day - Women over 50 years
19 milligrams per day - Pregnant and breastfeeding women

Good Sources of Zinc:

  • Beef, pork and lamb
  • Dark meat of chicken
  • Fish and shellfish (especially oysters)
  • Dairy products
  • Peanuts and peanut butter
  • Legumes
  • Fruits and vegetables are not generally good sources of zinc.

People who eat vegetarian or low-protein diets may have low zinc intakes, which can lead to zinc deficiency. Symptoms of zinc deficiency include slow growth, poor appetite, impaired smell and taste and hair loss.

Reference:- Nutrition

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