elements and other useful elements in the food
healthy nutrition depends
on us. First of all, we have to know in what we are departing from the
proper nutrition. As soon as we discover these points, we can recover
them easily. For this we need to know what the body needs and why. This
web site helps you in this. After this summary you won't have any
trouble regarding healthy nutrition.
are the most frequent organic molecules in the nature. They contain
only three elements (carbon, hydrogen, oxygen). They are the most
important energy resources for the organism; 50-70 percent of the
energy taken in the organism derives from carbohydrates. Their other
important functions are: they are part of the build up of the
determiner of the inherited qualities, the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)
and the ribonucleinic acid (RNA), and they are also part of the build
up of the indispensable amino acids, fatty acids and connective tissue,
and help the defense of mucous membrane. So you can see that they are
very useful, but you can't feed one only with carbohydrates bacuse the
organism stores the exceed as fat. The organism obtains its resources
from fat. The wrong nutrition urge the body "to store", and this is the
way to put on weight.
The carbohydrates of the food which cannot be digested
cellulose), as a matter of fact, do not give energy, but the bacterium
of the intestines break down some part of them, so they are utilized in
a small degree. But as fibre they have an important role: they help
peristaltic movement, they have a good effect on the absorption of a
lot of elements, they make you feel you're full. But in an extreme
degree they are disadvanatageous: they inhibit the absorption of
minerals and trace elements, and they produce too much gas in the
carbohydrates do we need?
To maintain the balance of the metabolism our food needs to
contain at least 50 g carbohydrate. If we take in 200 g carbohydrates
per day, the glucose stores of the body fill up. The brain, which has
the glucose as basic energy resource, uses 140 g glucose per day. If we
take in carbohydrates in sufficient quantity, it helps the body to
If the glucose stores are filled up, the glucose intake
transforms into fat in the liver. Too much carbohydrate causes
overweight. But if we take in carbohydrates propotionally, they do not
cause overweight. The carbohydrates need to be transformed into fat
first, which needs a lot of energy. Almost quarter of the carbohydrate
intake is consumed in the process of this transformation, so this
wont't result in fat. Fat can be stored without any energy
Fats can give the most energy to the body. According to the rules of
healthy nutrition you would be well advised to take in 30 percent of
the energy intake from fats. But beside of these facts, the quality of
fat taken in is also important to the proper nutrition.
Fats can be divided into several groups on the basis of the
structure of their main element, the fatty acid. Saturated fat,
monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat are ditinct in their quantity
of hydrogen. This means that unsaturated fats contain the less
hydrogen. In our nutrition unsaturated fats are the most important,
mainly those of vegetable origin.
You should know that however particular products (butter,
margarine, semi-finished products, ready-made products) are made from
vegetable oils, during the production they are hydrogenated, which
changes the origin structure of the fatty acids.
Fats rich in saturated fats are mainly animal fats, such as
(pig fat), butter and their most obvious feature that they are solid at
room temperature. They can be also found in cold cuts, tinned meals as
so-called hidden fats. Saturated fats can be also found in vegetables
(coconut oil, palm oil). These fats give energy but beside this they
aren't of much use. Consuming of them in a great quantity increase the
risk of coronary heart disease, because they settle, they close the
blood vessels and increase cholesterol level.
The other group of fats is unsaturated fats, which is
of monosaturated fats ands polysaturated fats. Fruits and vegetables
are rich in unsaturated fats. Mainly apple and pear (particularly their
peel) contains a lot. They can also be found in olive oil, rape oil and
oily seeds. Polyunsaturated fats can be found in most of oils and fish
oils. They are liquid at room temperature and help the funtion of the
nerve system, they produce hormones and increase the fat metabolism.
Proteins are organic macromolecules composed of linear
(a chain of the same molcules one after the other) of amino acids.
Proteins are of high importance as they participate in every
process going on in a cellular. A lot of protein is a catalyst of some
kind of a biochemical process. Several kinds of proteins exists; amino
acids, enzymes, hormones, etc. are composed of them.
The organism obtains amino acids from the proteins of the
and uses them for building up its proteins and other elements contaning
nytrogen. So protein necessity means amino necessity, The protein level
in the human body is 14-16% and the level of free amino acids is around
the birth they compose 0,1 percent of the body - which is only 4 g in
case of a 4 kg baby. However their presence is very important. Our
health and tend to illnesses depends on them.
these positive characters you should watch not to fall victim to take
in pills without selecting, because the too much intake of one trace
element or the other could have a bad effect on the adsorption of
another. This applies mainly on the products containing a huge quantity
of metal trace elements. The popular products which contain trace
elements in a combined quantity are not a source of worry.
long-running consequence of iron deficiency can be anaemia (condition
in which there are too few red cells in your blood).
- the physical efficiency lessens
not only the groving of the child retards but their cognitive and
motoric (relating to movement) development will be slowed down
is a defect which occurs
between the age of 12-18 months and can't be prevented or reversed with
inceased iron intake. These children at the age of 6-7 years will be
still behind their contemporary in the field of study and memory.
Under normal circumstances the iron taken in with the food is
sufficient to the protection and maintenance of the ideal iron
quantity. For children and pregnant women it is advisable to take in
iron but only under control of the doctor. Iron is used with
therapeutic purposes in case of increased loss of blood: strong
mentruation, bleeding gastric or duodenal ulcer.
Lack of cupper is rarer than lack of iron. Although Menkes
disease (also called the kinky hair disease) is the evidence of the
importance of this trcae element. This disease can also attack children
suffering from lack of cupper and because of it their bones are getting
more fragile and they have growing disorders.
Usually we don't take in too less zinc but zinc deficiency
can happen if we don't take care of taking in natural zinc.
to know: The body needs 15-20 mg of zinc per day, which can be found in
200 g of liver of calf or 300 g of lentil or 120 g of wheat germ. Other
legumes, fully ground cereals, egg yolks and certain cheeses are also
very good zinc sources.
deficiency slows down
various metabolism process, such as healing of injuries, blood
formation, immune processes and insulin production. Also a lot of nerve
function depends on the supply of zinc. Zinc deficiency occurs quite
often during pregnancy or the period of intense growing, and also
during the period of intake of less food - such as a diet - and playing
production oriented sports.
opposed to iron, the
organism can't store zinc; this vital trace element keeps excreting by
the bile. So we have to take it in again and again.
Zinc pills are often used to cure acne, herpes, certain
and the latest studies assert that zinc pills help to get over the flu
Regarding the intake of trace elements you would be well
to consult a doctor or a pharmacist because the exaggerated intake of a
trace element or an other could have a bad effect on the absorption of
elements and our health,
the proper nutrition consists of: fruits, vegetables, legumens, fully
ground cereales and low-fat milk products. A lot of minerals and trace
elements leave when we cook or steam a vegetable. Some mineral water
also contains certain trace elements.
Interactions of calcium (Ca)
Lactose (a type of sugar found in milk), fructose (a type of
natural sugar in fruit juices and honey), acidic environment and
vitamin D help the absorption of calcium. Fibre (cellulose), for
example, worsens its absorption. Fatty acids with Ca make soap, so this
way both can't be absorbed. Too much phosphorus also worsens the
absorption of calcium (the proper Ca/P rate is 2:1). Too much vitamin C
(more than 1500 mg) washes out calcium from the organism. The best way
to take in calcium is in form of natural products (such as milk). Let's
not take in supplements containing calcium meanwhile eating.
Interactions of magnesium (Mg)
Magnesium is a well-known antioxidant. It affects in synergy
vitamin E. Magnesium helps making use of the most of trace elements.
Increased phosphate intake prevents the use of magnesium. Vitamin B
helps its absorption. You would be well advised to take in calcium with
magnesium as they help the absorption of each other.
Interactions of iron (Fe)
Ascorbic acid (vitamin C), sugar and amino acids help the
absorption of iron. Tea and coffee, bran, Calcium compounds, milk
proteins and soya proteins disturb the absorption of iron. But it can
be well absorbed from meal. Regarding iron it is advisable to take in
milk with flour, and cereales with meal. In the presence of too much
ascorbic acid, the copper level lessens; and the damaged iron
metabolism can cause anaemia. If someone takes is iron and folic acid
(vitamin B9) for a long time, it can cause zinc deficiency. (Women have
to take care of this during pregnancy.) Too much zinc can cause
selenium (Se) deficiency. Selen is needed for the utilization of iodine
(I). The level of selenium depends on vitamin E. Vitamin E increases
the absorption of vitamin A and defends the body against overdose.
Because of this complex relation the take in of minerals is
recommended from trustful origin and together with vitamins.
Vitamins are vital organic compounds which are required in
amounts for the organism. These (except vitamin D) cannot be
synthesized in sufficient quantities by the organism, so we have to get
them from the food.
Overdose of some vitamins (mainly the overdose of fat-soluble
vitamins) can be as damaging as the lack of a vitamin. For example,
overdose of vitamin A can cause loss of hair, dryness of skin, lack of
appetite, vomit, or in more serious cases even psychical disorders or
liver damage. If we keep in the proper proportion of vitamins, nothing
wrong will happen.
Some vitamins are antioxidants. Antioxidants protect against
bad effect of the oxidation processes. During the oxdiation processes
in the body, certain elements can form which could damage DNA,
proteins, carbohydrates and so they may cause cancer or coronary heart
Vitamin A (retinol)
is a fat-soluble vitamin. Fish oil, butter, egg yolk, cream are rich in
vitamin A. Vitamin A deficiency can cause eye disorders.
is a group of fat-soluble prohormones. Two major forms of it are
vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) and vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). Vitamin D
regulates the calcium and phosphorus levels in the blood and it is also
needed for bone growth. Milk, cream, cod-liver oil are rich in vitamin
D3. Vitamin D2 can be found in mushroom and yeast.
is the most important fat-soluble antioxidant. It protects cell
membranes from oxidation. Vegetable oils, almonds, nuts, avocado,
seeds, spinach are rich in vitamin E. Overdose can cause diarrhoea,
(thiamine) is a water-soluble vitamin which plays an important role in
cell metabolism. It can be found in grain, yeast, nuts. Vitamin B1
deficiency causes beriberi (disease of the nervous system, emotional
disturbances) or - in case of heavy deficiency - heart failure. If
there is too less in the organism it can also cause nightmares. If you
do a lot of mental work, you would be well advised to take in some
(riboflavin) is a water-soluble vitamin and the lack of it
cause defects of the mucous membrane. Seeds, vegetables, cheese, egg,
yeast are rich in vitamin B2.
(niacin, niacinamide) is a water-soluble vitamin and plays an important
role in the energy producing processes of the organism. Vitamin B3
deficiency causes pellagra (problems with the skin and the central
nervous system). It can be found in meals and vegetables..
(pantothenic acid) is a water-soluble vitamin, which is vital for the
metabolism and synthesis of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Small
quantities of pantothenic acid are found in nearly every food. Its name
refers to this as it is derived from the Greek pantothen, which means
"from everywhere". Whole-grain cereals, legumes, eggs and
are rich in vitamin B5.
(pyridoxine) helps the body in the balancing of sodium and potassium
and also in promoting red blood cell production. Vitamin B6 deficiency
can cause sores in the mouth, anaemia, nerve damage, seizures and skin
problems. In 30% of chronic alcoholics lack of vitamin B6 can be
showed. Vitamin B6 can be found in meals, liver, soya bean, grains and
vegetables. During the boiling (cooking) the food losses from its
vitamin B6 content. Overdose can cause poor coordination, tiredness,
staggering, decreased sensation to touch, temperature, and vibration
(biotin) is a water-soluble vitamin and it can be found in meals and
egg yolks. It helps to maintain a steady blood sugar level
assists in various metabolic reactions and also helps to transfer
carbon dioxide. Lack of vitamin B7 can only occur in special cases such
as under artificial fed.
Vitamin B12 (cobalamin)
can be found in every food which stems from animals. Lack of vitamin
B12 can cause memory loss and other cognitive deficits. It is most
likely to occur among elderly people. It can also cause symptoms of
mania and psychosis.
is not considered a vitamin itself because it can be synthesised by the
body, but it is part of the vitamin B complex. It can be found in many
foods, in particular, in cereals with high bran content, beans, nuts
and fruits (especially cantaloupe melons and oranges).
is an organic compound, a water-soluble essential nutrient which is
usually grouped within the vitamin B complex. The organism
it for some functions of the cell membranes. Egg yolks, soya and cooked
beef, chicken, veal and turkey livers are rich in choline. The most
often available choline dietary supplement is lecithin.
(ascorbic acid) is a water-soluble vitamin, an important antioxidant.
There are experiments that are testing the role of antioxidants in the
fight against cancer. Vitamin C deficiency causes scurvy which leads to
the formation of liver spots on the skin, spongy gums and bleeding from
all mucous membranes.
Vitamin C can be found in fruits (rose hips and acerola are
extremely rich in it), vegetables, but meanwhile cooking it dissolves.
In spring and winter fruits and vegetables contain less ascorbic acid.
The body can only store a certain amount of vitamin C. Overdose of
vitamin C can cause kidney stones. It is advisable to take in vitamin C
with calcium or with other supplements. The best way to take in
vitamins are those complex forms, where the dose of each other is
determined relating to the others.
We take in most vitamins with our food. The body can produce only
vitamin D, K and biotin (or vitamin B7) from other sources.
Vitamins are not energy sources as carbohydrates, fats and proteins,
but they are essential to various processes of the body.
In case of healthy nutrition lack of the fat-soluble vitamin E can't
occur. However, in case of fat absorption disorder this vitamin is
absorbed in minor quantity, and it affects the nerve system.
From the desciption above you can see what the body needs and
what our food needs to contain. To make it easier to change the proper
products, you just need to study the information on a certain product,
and later on you just take that brand. Meanwhile cooking take care of
the proportion of proteins and carbohydrates. You can take in vitamins
in various forms (tablets, drink mixes, crystals in capsules or naked
crystals). And in you eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables, you
don't have to bother with trace elements.