Nutrition and Disease
HCS308 Intro to Nutritional Concepts
Instructor Christine McMahon
June 10, 2016
What do they do?
Macros and Micros are all the hype right now. In fact, there are fad diets and workout routines focusing on the macros, and there are different percentages to use depending on whether you are trying to lose weight or put on muscle. So what is the impact these nutrients have on our health and well-being? For starters, macros and micros feed the body, give us energy, and fight disease and illness. Macros and micros also have specifically detailed jobs when it comes to nutrition absorption, efficiency in the elimination of waste and toxicity, and even protecting the cellular structure from harmful attacks.
What are they?.
Macros are mainly the large nutrients in our diets such as fats, carbohydrates, and protein. According to Sizer and Whitney (2013), micros such as Vitamin A, D, C, E, and B6 in addition to Selenium and Zinc have key roles in the immune function such as protecting against oxidative damage, maintaining immune response such as antibody responses, maintaining healthy skin, as well as regulating T cell responses. Sizer and Whitney also speak about macros such as carbohydrates, proteins, and fats in that the carbohydrates provide energy, the protein rebuilds cells, and the fat helps fuel the body. Macros and Micros are basically one way of organizing different aspects of the food we eat, and we can use this organization to maintain a healthy balance in our diet and regulate what our body needs for optimum efficiency.
Optimum Nutrition Absorption
Optimum nutrition absorption is determined by the balance of fiber and water in the diet mainly. Fiber is found in foods such as legumes, fibrous fruits and vegetables, and even in whole grains. According to Sizer and Whitney (2013), the fiber adds volume and sweeps through the colon, stimulating the villi in the colon lining, which also stimulates absorption of the micronutrients in the foods. Fiber is actually non-nutritious, however, it is essential for absorption of the micronutrients found in the macronutrients, in addition to cleaning and stimulating the muscular walls of the colon. Proper use of the microbiome of the gut then helps with a healthy absorption system, which is essential to support the colon and digestive track in the sense that it prevents diseases such as Leaky Gut Syndrome and other digestive disorders or food sensitivities. It is essentially part of the entire detoxification system as well as the immune system by protecting the gut itself (Brodhead, N.D.)
We can clearly see that the sources and functions of macronutrients and micronutrients have a huge impact on our health and well-being. With the surge of information today on the internet regarding health, many of these concepts are beginning to reach social media and make an impact; however, it is good to understand what we are talking about when we talk about talking our macros. Basically speaking, counting our macros is looking at our portions of the main items in our diet, in addition to watching our fat intake. Watching one’s micronutrients would be essential for those who are fighting disease and illness, trying to reset the balance of a vitamin or mineral deficiency, or even those who don’t have access to healthy foods and find they may be lacking in certain micronutrients. Overall, the main focus is to make sure we have enough healthy foods such as plant-based carbohydrates, healthy low-fat meats and dairy, and also lots of water with fiber to help stimulate absorption and healthy colonic action for proper elimination.
Brodhead, P. CN. (N.D.). Healing the Gut and Working with Food Allergies. From the Book Is Your Child’s Brain Starving? By Dr. Michael R. Lyon, MD. Retrieved from URL: http://www.brighterdayfoods.com/PDFDocs/d/DR3C27M98FWC9G33VJ916NSGP7RTAG86.PDF
Sizer, F. & Whitney, E. (2013). Nutrition Concepts & Controversies, Thirteenth Edition. Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
Nutrition Basics Picture. Retrieved from URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QqEVNbkW53k