Sources of Nutrients and their Deficiency Diseases

Sources of Nutrients and Deficiency Diseases 

    Definition of Nutrients: 

    A nutrient is any substance that is absorbed and either provides you with energy or enables growth, repair or proper functioning of your body. There are 7 main classes of nutrients that the body needs. These are 
    1. carbohydrates, 2. proteins, 3. fats, 4. vitamins, 5. minerals, 6. fibre ,7. water

    Categories of Nutrients:

    According to WHO, there are mainly two categories of essential nutrients.
    1. Micronutrients: Micronutrients are nutrients that a person needs in small doses. Micronutrients consist of vitamins and minerals. Although the body only needs small amounts of them, a deficiency can cause ill health. 
    Some of the Examples of Micronutrients are Iron, cobalt, chromium, iodine, copper, zinc, molybdenum.

    2. Macronutrients: Macronutrients are nutrients that a person needs in larger amounts. Macronutrients include water, protein, carbohydrates, and fats.
    Some of the Examples of Macronutrients are carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and sulphur.

    Now, let us we discuss one by one with above listed nutrients.

    1. Carbohydrates: 

    Carbohydrates are essential to the body. They are sugars or starches that provide energy for all the cells and tissues in the body. There are two different types of carbohydrates: simple and complex.
    The body needs complex carbohydrates to support the following:
    • the immune system
    • brain function
    • the nervous system
    • energy to perform tasks
    • digestive function
    The following foods contain complex carbohydrates:
    • quinoa
    • brown rice
    • vegetables
    • whole grain pasta, bread, and other baked goods
    • oatmeal
    • fruits
    • barley

    2. Proteins: 

    Protein is a macronutrient that every cell in the body needs to function properly.
    Proteins carry out a variety of functions as listed below:
    • forming antibodies, hormones, and other essential substances
    • ensuring the growth and development of muscles, bones, hair, and skin
    • serving as a fuel source for cells and tissues when needed
    The following foods are good sources of protein:
    • eggs
    • red meats (limit their use and choose lean cuts)
    • poultry, including chicken and turkey
    • fish and other seafood
    • beans and legumes
    • dairy products
    • soy
    • nuts
    • some grains, including quinoa

    3. Fats: 

    Fats provide the body with energy and help it carry out a range of functions. However, it is essential to consume healthful fats, such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. One should avoid saturated and trans fats.
    Healthful fats help with the following functions:
    • cell growth
    • blood clotting
    • building new cells
    • reducing the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes
    • muscle movement
    • balance blood sugar
    • brain functioning
    • mineral and vitamin absorption
    • hormone production
    • immune function
    We can find healthful fats in several foods, including:
    • vegetable oils
    • nuts
    • fish, such as salmon and tuna
    • coconut oil
    • seeds

    4. Vitamins: 

    Vitamins are micronutrients that provide us a range of health benefits as listed below:
    boosting the immune system
    • helping the body metabolize proteins and carbs
    • helping prevent or delay certain cancers, such as prostate cancer
    • strengthening teeth and bones
    • aiding calcium absorption
    • maintaining healthy skin
    • supporting healthy blood
    • aiding brain and nervous system functioning
    There are 13 types of essential vitamins that nutritionists divide into two groups: fat soluble and water soluble.

    Fat soluble vitamins are:
    • vitamin A
    • vitamin D
    • vitamin E
    • vitamin K

    Water soluble vitamins are:
    • vitamin B-1 (thiamine)
    • vitamin B-12 (cyanocobalamin)
    • vitamin B-6
    • vitamin B-2 (riboflavin)
    • vitamin B-5 (pantothenic acid)
    • vitamin B-3 (niacin)
    • vitamin B-9 (folate, folic acid)
    • vitamin B-7 (biotin)
    • vitamin C
    Note: Vitamins don't provide us energy.

    5. Minerals: 

    Minerals are the second type of micronutrients. There are 2 groups of minerals: major and trace minerals. 
    The body needs a balance of minerals from both groups for optimal health.

    Major minerals are:
    • magnesium
    • calcium
    • phosphorus
    • sulfur
    • sodium
    • potassium
    • chloride
    Function of Major minerals are:
    • balance water levels
    • maintain healthy skin, hair, and nails
    • improve bone health
    Trace minerals are:
    • iron
    • selenium
    • zinc
    • manganese
    • chromium
    • copper
    • iodine
    • fluoride
    • molybdenum
    Function of Trace minerals are:
    • strengthening bones
    • preventing tooth decay
    • aiding in blood clotting
    • helping to carry oxygen
    • supporting the immune system
    • supporting healthy blood pressure

    Sources of Minerals:
    • red meats (limit their use and choose lean cuts)
    • seafood
    • iodized table salt (less than 2,300 milligrams a day)
    • milk and other dairy products
    • nuts and seeds
    • vegetables
    • leafy greens
    • fruits
    • poultry
    • fortified bread and cereals
    • egg yolks
    • whole grains
    • beans and legumes

    6. Fibre: 

    Dietary fiber is a plant-based nutrient that is sometimes called roughage or bulk. It is a type of carbohydrate but, unlike other carbs, it cannot be broken down into digestible sugar molecules. Therefore, fiber passes through the intestinal tract relatively intact.

    Types of Fibres:
    Soluble fiber: pectin, gum and mucilage, dissolves in water
    Insoluble fiber: hemicellulose, cellulose and lignin

    Functions of fibres:
    • Digestion
    • Heart health
    • Blood sugar regulation
    • Possible cancer prevention
    • Longevity

    7. Water: 

    Water is probably the most important essential nutrient that a person needs. A person can only survive a few days without consuming water. 
    Even slight dehydration can cause headaches and impaired physical and mental functioning.
    The human body is made up of mostly water, and every cell requires water to function. Water helps with several functions as listed below:
    • flushing toxins out
    • shock absorption
    • transporting nutrients
    • preventing constipation
    • lubrication
    • hydration

    List of Nutrient, their constituent, Sources and Deficiency diseases:


    Nutrients Constituent Deficiency Diseases Sources
    Vitamin A Retinol, Retinoic Acid, Beta-Carotene Night-blindness,Healing epithelial cells,Normal development of teeth and bones Carrots, Papaya, Milk, Cheese, Fish Liver Oil, Green Vegetables etc.
    Vitamin B1 Thiamine Beriberi Brewer’s Yeast, Whole Grain, Oatmeal, Legumes, Peanuts, Dried Soybean, Sunflower Seeds etc.
    Vitamin B2 Riboflavin Ariboflavinosis Beef Liver, Lamb, Milk, Mushroom, Spinach, Almonds etc.
    Vitamin B3 Niacin or Nicotinic Acid Pellagra Tuna, Chicken, Turkey, Mushrooms , Bacon, Broccoli, Veal etc.
    Vitamin B5 Pantothenic Acid Acne, Paresthesia Chicken Liver, Sunflower Seeds, Salmon, Avocados, Corn, Broccoli, Mushroom etc.
    Vitamin B6 Pyridoxine, Pyridoxal, Pyridoxamine Dandruff-like eruptions, Pink eye, Epilepsy Potatoes & other starchy vegetables, Fruit (other than citrus) etc.
    Vitamin B7 Biotin Growth & Neurological Disorders in Infants Raw Egg Yolk, Liver, Peanuts, Yeast, Whole-wheat Bread, Cheddar Cheese, Pork etc.
    Vitamin B9 Folic Acid Macrocytic Anaemia, Birth Defects Dark Leafy Greens like Spinach, Asparagus, Broccoli, Citrus Fruits, Beans, Peas, Lentils, Avocados etc
    Vitamin B12 Various Cobalamins Macrocytic Anaemia, Memory Loss, Pernicious Anaemia, Mania, Psychosis, Paralysis Seafood, Beef, Chicken, Eggs etc.
    Vitamin C L-Ascorbic Acid Scurvy Amla, Guava, Chillis, Kiwi, Broccoli, Orange, Papaya, Lemon, etc.
    Vitamin D Calciferol (D2) & Cholecalciferol (D3) Rickets, Osteomalacia,Needed for absorption of calcium from small intestines,Calcification of the skeleton Sunlight, Mushrooms, Alfalfa, Fish Liver Oils, Cooked Egg Yolk, etc.
    Vitamin E Tochopherols & Tocotrienols Red Blood Cell Destruction, Ataxia, Retinopathy, Peripheral Neuropathy, Reproductive Failure Wheat Germ Oil, Canola Oil, Sunflower Oil, Almond Oil, Hazelnuts, Peanuts etc.
    Essential Fatty Acids Omega 3 (Alpha Linolenic Acid) and Omega 6 (Linolenic Acid) Several bodily processes afflicted, Skin Ailments Fish Oils, Flaxseed Oil, Hemp Oil, Olive Oil, Pumpkin Seeds, Leafy Vegetables etc.
    Vitamin K Phylloquinone (K1), Menaquinone (K2) Lack of Clotting of Blood, Lack of Tissue Renewal Green Leafy Vegetables etc.
    Iron Anaemia, Arrhythmia Red Meat, Seafood, Egg Yolk, Bananas, Apple, Green Vegetables, Broccoli, Beans, Pumpkin Seeds etc.
    Potassium High Blood Pressure, Arrhythmia, Muscle Weakness, Myalgia, Muscle Cramps, Constipation, Respiratory Depression, Paralysis Meat, Milk, Fruits, Vegetables, Whole Grains etc.
    Calcium Osteoporosis, Hypocalcemia, Ostopenia Milk and Milk Products, Eggs, Wheatgrass etc.
    Magnesium Deterioration of Metabolism & Cellular Functioning, Heart Attacks, Insulin Resistance Nuts and Seeds, Green Vegetables, Dark Chocolate, Whole Grains etc.
    Sodium Cognitive Impairment, Headaches, Nausea, Seizure, Coma, Electrolytic Imbalance Salt, Fish, Meat, Vegetables etc.
    Chlorine alkalosis Salt, Milk, Meats, Vegetables etc.
    Phosphorous hypophosphatemia , rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults Meat, Fish, Poultry, Eggs, Milk, Bananas etc.
    Iodine Goitre, Cretinism, Deterioration of Metabolism & Cellular Functioning, Iodised Salt, Sea Food, Green Vegetables, Raw Milk, Eggs etc.
    Protein Kwashiorkor Meat, Seafood, Eggs, Pulses & Legumes, Milk & Milk Products etc.
    Protein-Energy Marasmus Grains, Pulses & Legumes, Meat, Milk & Milk Products, Eggs, Seafood etc.

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