Six Essential Nutrients


What are the 6 essential nutrients
What are the 6 essential nutrients

What are the 6 essential nutrients

Wellness Wednesday Tip – With the New Year comes a fresh start and the opportunity to add new healthy habits. Try focusing on goals that add something to your life instead of focusing on what needs to be removed. What you choose to focus on can make or break the long term success of your goals

Sometimes how we frame or see a goal can be the deciding factor in how well we accomplish it. An example of how to apply this thinking is “I will fill my daily meals with more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains” VS “I will stop eating that bag of chips” Focusing on the positive addition will elicit healthful habits instead of short lived change. Write your goals down and place them somewhere you will frequently be reminded of them like your planner, phone or bathroom mirror.

By April D. Davis, RDN, CD, ACSM CEP

Believe it or not, nutrition is all about biology and chemistry, otherwise known as biochemistry. Your body runs like a well-oiled machine due to the thousands of chemical processes that are occurring inside it every second of every day. It’s important to support these processes fully by providing your body with a wide variety of nutrients. Foods provide the nutrients needed for your body to grow, repair, regulate, and maintain itself – especially after the “hits” it might have taken during the holiday season.

There are six basic nutrients: carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water. All of these are classified as essential. Your body requires essential nutrients to function properly. These nutrients must be obtained from the foods you eat; your body cannot make them on its own.

The two major categories of nutrients are macronutrients and micronutrients. You need a large amount of macronutrients on a daily basis. They provide your body with energy in the form of calories. Carbohydrates, proteins and fats are the three macronutrients. Micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals are required in smaller amount, hence the prefix “micro.” Water fits into its own class and requirements for it vary greatly depending on your weight, activity level, and medical condition.

In upcoming blog posts, I’ll be talking about each of the six basic nutrients in great detail. My focus will be on explaining how each nutrient is used in everyday life, giving examples of healthy food choices, and relaying the unique role each nutrient plays in supporting your body. It is my goal to cultivate dialogue and education as it relates to nutrition and health through these blog posts. Happy Eating!


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