The 6 groups contain everything the body needs to survive and perform its daily activities. When we maintain a proper balance of these nutrients, we have everything we need for optimal health. While the exact balance varies from person to person, we'll share the generally accepted guidelines that can help us make the right choices. Here are the 6 basic nutrients groups:
Basic Nutrients Groups For Energy:
These nutrients provide sugars to your system for quick energy. 40-50% of our daily food energy intake (in calories) should be carbohydrates, but not just any carbohydrates. Many processed foods (candy, ice cream, soda, fruit juice, honey, etc.) have very high amounts of refined carbohydrates that flood your body too quickly with energy. Over time, this can cause very serious health problems. Make sure to get most of your carbohydrates from unprocessed foods (whole grains, beans, peas, brown rice, fresh fruits and vegetables).
These are sometimes called the building blocks of life because, in addition to providing slow, sustained energy, proteins provide necessary amino acids that help regulate body function and structure. This is why some body-builders and athletes add protein supplements to their diets. Go to our page, Proteins-Amino Acids to get more information on specific proteins. 20-30% of our daily food energy intake should be from proteins. While all meats and dairy foods are high in proteins, the best protein foods are low in cholesterol and saturated fats (ocean fish, salmon is best, tofu, beans, black-eyed peas).
Fats may be the least understood of the nutrient groups. We can't live without them but we think they harm us. Actually, only certain fats (cholesterol, saturated fats) are harmful when eaten in excess. This is why we should limit our beef, pork, lamb, veal, butter, coconut and dairy products. Monounsaturated fats (from nuts, seeds, olives) and Polyunsaturated fats (from sunflower, corn, fish and shellfish) are fats that are good for us. Omega 3 fats (cold water ocean fish, salmon) actually have been shown to reduce cholesterol. Our fat intake should be about 20-30% of our diet.
Basic Nutrients Groups For Metabolism:
These nutrients have been proven over time to be necessary for health and fitness, but are in short supply in most modern diets. It only takes a tiny amount of these nutrients, but, if missing from the diet, they can cause giant health problems with names like scurvy, night blindness, anemia, etc. Many vitamin supplements are available at varying strengths and qualities. Be careful, because too much of some vitamins can be as harmful as too little. You can get recommended amounts, natural sources and benefits of specific vitamins from our page, Vitamin Benefits List.
Like Vitamins, it only takes a tiny amount of each mineral to avoid serious health problems (like anemia, bone disease, depression, etc), but with more processed and prepared foods in our diets, less minerals are available. Also, like vitamins, too much of a specific mineral can cause serious health problems. See our page Nutritional Supplements for guidelines on how to choose mineral supplements. Also see Minerals Good For The Body for our recommended amounts, natural sources and benefits of specific minerals.
Yes, water is a nutrient...the forgotten nutrient. Many people chase after the latest, most exotic nutrient when all they really need is to drink enough pure water. Nothing else works like water to clean your system, control your weight, digestion, energy, alertness. Nothing on this page can work if you're not getting enough pure water. For most adults, 1/2 to 3/4 gallon of water daily is right...don't go much over that. Like all other nutrients, too much water can cause serious health problems. See our page Drinking Water-Advantages for information on water advantages, disadvantages, purity, etc.
Nutrients For Life:
People looking for nutrient information usually want to avoid health problems, get the most out of life and the most life they can. Not just physical existence, but mental and spiritual. If you're looking for more than body or looks in your health and fitness goals, you can find it spiritually through God. He can heal the stuff your diet doesn't control and bring real health and fitness to your life. If you want His help, go to Healing From God.