Nutrients can be broadly classified as Macronutrients and Micronutrients.
Macronutrients are the major nutrients needed in larger quantities which include carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and water. Macronutrients (except water) are also called energy-providing nutrients. The unit of measurement of energy is calories or joules. Energy is essential for the body to grow, repair, for all the systems to carry out their function and also to carry out our day to day activities.
Unlike macronutrients, micronutrients are required in minute quantities but are extremely important for the normal functioning of the body. These nutrients include vitamins and minerals.
Vitamins can be further classified into fat soluble and water soluble vitamins.
Vitamin A (Retinol):
Vitamin A is necessary for clear vision in dim light. Lack of vitamin A can lead to night blindness. Another important function of vitamin A is to maintain the integrity of epithelial tissues. Vitamin A helps form and maintain healthy teeth, skeletal and soft tissue, mucous membranes, and skin.
Present in some animal foods like butter, ghee, whole milk, curds, egg yolk, liver, liver oils of certain fish, etc. The rich source of beta carotene is green leafy vegetables, ripe yellow fruits like mango, papaya, and tomatoes, etc Among veggies carrots, yellow pumpkin, etc.
Vitamin D is required for bone growth and calcium metabolism. Lack of vitamin D leads to rickets and osteomalacia. Vitamin D plays an important role in the absorption of dietary calcium from the intestine and its deposition in bone. Another role of vitamin D is to block the release of parathyroid hormone. Vitamin D may also play a role in muscle function and the immune system.
Food sources of vitamin D include fatty fish, like tuna, mackerel, and salmon.
Foods fortified with vitamin D, like some dairy products, orange juice, soy milk, and cereals, liver, cheese, egg yolks.
The most inexpensive way of getting vitamin D is exposure to sunlight.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant. This means it protects body tissue from damage caused by substances called free radicals, which can harm cells, tissues, and organs. Vitamin E is the major lipid-soluble component in the cell antioxidant defense system and is exclusively obtained from the diet. It has numerous important roles within the body because of its antioxidant activity. Oxidation has been linked to numerous possible conditions and diseases, including cancer, aging, arthritis, and cataracts; vitamin E has been shown to be effective against these.
Nuts such as almonds, peanuts, and hazelnuts are good sources of vitamin E. Vegetable oils, such as sunflower, wheat germ, safflower, corn and soybean oils, sunflower seeds and green, leafy vegetables such as spinach and broccoli also contain vitamin E.
Vitamin K plays a role in blood clotting, bone metabolism, and regulating blood calcium levels. The body needs vitamin K to produce prothrombin, a protein, and clotting factor that is important in blood clotting and bone metabolism.
Green leafy vegetables, such as kale, spinach, turnip greens, collards, Swiss chard, mustard greens, parsley, and green leaf lettuce.
Vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage.
Fish, liver, meat, eggs, and cereals (contain smaller amounts)
B Complex and Vitamin C:
B-complex vitamins all work together to support cellular metabolism. B vitamins help the body metabolize carbohydrates, proteins, and fats into glucose, which the body uses for energy. B vitamins help maintain healthy nerve cells and proper neurological functioning. Vitamin B-9 or folic acid also works closely with vitamin B-12, also called cobalamin, to help the bone marrow produce healthy red blood cells.
Vitamin C in many body functions, including the formation of collagen, absorption of iron, the immune system, wound healing, and the maintenance of cartilage, bones, and teeth.
Sources of B complex vitamins include yeast, outer layers of rice, wheat, and millet, milk and milk products, green leafy veggies, eggs, liver, etc
Sources of Vitamin C include broccoli, brussels sprouts, and cauliflower.
Green and red peppers, spinach, cabbage, turnip greens, and other leafy greens.
Sweet and white potatoes tomatoes, citrus fruits.