You’ve probably heard that eating a healthy diet is important to your health. But what does that actually mean? What are the right foods to eat, and why are they good for you? In this guide, we’ll explain what nutrients are, why we need them, and how they affect our bodies. We’ll also discuss common deficiencies in diets and how to prevent them.
You may have heard that there are malnutrition that your body can’t produce itself, and which you therefore must obtain from food. There are many such nutrients: for example, vitamin C and vitamin D are both considered essential because your body cannot synthesize them. This is in contrast to non-essential nutrients, which you do produce on your own. Your body uses fat, protein, and carbohydrates as energy sources; these foods provide calories and help to keep us alive but aren’t necessary for survival like vitamins are.
Some nutrients have multiple functions and roles in your body
In addition to their roles as building blocks for cells, some nutrients act as hormones and neurotransmitters. These are essential for optimal health and well-being.
A few examples include:
- Vitamin D is necessary for bone health and helps the body absorb calcium. It also plays a role in the immune system and may help lower your risk of certain types of cancer. If you’re not getting enough vitamin D, you can develop osteoporosis or osteopenia (low bone density), which can increase your risk of fractures later in life.
- Magnesium helps regulate blood sugar levels by controlling how much glucose gets absorbed into your bloodstream after you eat something high in carbohydrates like pasta or breads made with white flour not the whole wheat kind! A magnesium deficiency can cause low energy levels due to poor insulin function, which leads to cravings for sweets because they create an influx of energy from blood sugar that crashes quickly when it’s used up immediately after eating them without having anything else available afterwards.
A nutrient deficiency occurs when your body doesn’t get enough of a specific nutrient
A nutrient deficiency occurs when your body doesn’t get enough of a specific nutrient. This can occur for a variety of reasons, including:
- Inadequate intake—Not eating enough food that contains the nutrient in question
- Reduced absorption—The body’s inability to absorb a particular nutrient due to conditions such as malabsorption disorders, celiac disease, or Crohn’s disease
- Blocked absorption—The presence of other molecules within the gastrointestinal tract that prevent some nutrients from being absorbed (e.g., fiber)
A deficiency in just one nutrient can indicate a dietary imbalance and a need for more diverse sources of nutrition. Not getting enough of one nutrient may not be the only problem; it could be a sign of an overall dietary imbalance. Dietitians often see this lack of nutrient in people who don’t eat balanced diets: vegans and vegetarians, as well as those who over-consume refined grains and sugars, are often lacking many essential nutrients because they aren’t eating enough whole foods.
If you’re concerned that you may not be consuming enough vitamins and minerals to maintain optimal health, consider seeking help from your doctor or dietitian.
If you think you might be nutrient deficient, it’s important to get tested by your doctor and make sure that your body is getting the right nutrients. If not, there are ways to change your diet to help prevent this from happening again in the future!