The 15 Essential Nutrients
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The 15 Essential Nutrients
Milk is a source of energy plus 15 essential nutrients all working
together towards your good health.
1. Protein for building and repairing body tissues, even bones. Helps
build antibodies to fight infection in your body.
2. Carbohydrates provide the main source of energy in your body cells.
3. Vitamin A for healthy skin, eyes and night vision. Essential for
normal bones and teeth.
4. Vitamin D for optimal calcium and phosphorus absorption. Essential
for strong bones and healthy teeth. Note: At present, vitamin D is
only added to milk and not yet to cheese or yogourt.
5. Thiamin for turning carbohydrates into energy. Maintains a healthy
appetite and helps normal growth.
6. Riboflavin for healthy skin, eyes and nerves. Helps convert food
7. Niacin for growth and development, a normal nervous system and
healthy digestive tract.
8. Vitamin B6 helps protein build body tissues. Helps produce red
blood cells and antibodies to fight infection.
9. Vitamin B12 for healthy red blood cells. Helps maintain a healthy
nervous system and digestive tract.
10. Pantothenic Acid helps turn carbohydrates and fat into energy your
body can use.
11. Folic Acid helps form red blood cells and genetic material for
12. Calcium for strong, healthy bones and teeth. Helps your heart
beat, muscles contract, nerves function and blood clot normally.
13. Magnesium for strong, healthy bones and teeth. Helps convert food
into energy and build body tissue.
14. Phosphorus for strong, healthy bones and teeth. Contributes to the
general functioning of your body.
15. Zinc for converting food into energy. Important for tissue repair
Dare to Compare!
A brief comparison with other nutritious foods shows how healthful
milk is. A single cup or 250 ml of whole milk contains:
* As much protein as a grade A large egg
* More thiamin, riboflavin and niacin than a slice of 100% whole
How to Cite this Page
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Nutrients Blood Cells Good Health Nervous System Teeth Fight Nerves Bones Vitamin Tissues
* Half the cholesterol of 100 grams of sole or cod
* Less fat than a 1/4 pound of lean ground beef
* As much calcium as 7 medium sardines with their bones
* Almost as much potassium as a banana
* Close to 3/4 of the vitamin A in 1/2 cup of cooked broccoli
* About 50% of the vitamin D adults under 50 years old need, daily
Calcium: an important part of a healthy lifestyle
Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body and is found mostly
in your bones, where it gives them strength. The body does not produce
calcium, which means that you must get it from your daily diet. That's
why a diet rich in calcium is so important, particularly when bones
are growing and developing. Even after full bone development, you
still need an adequate calcium intake throughout your life to keep
your bones strong and healthy.
It's good to be dense!
A calcium-rich diet contributes to the "density" of bone tissue,
ensuring a strong and healthy skeleton.
A calcium-poor diet is one factor that can make bones less dense and,
as a result, weak and brittle.
If they think about it at all, many people believe they consume enough
calcium when in fact they don't. Use the Calcium Calculator to find
out whether you get enough calcium from your daily diet, and whether
or not you get it from the best sources.
Why is calcium so important?
Apart from giving strength to your bones, calcium is necessary for
many body functions. Practically every cell in your body, including
those in your heart, nerves and muscles, relies on calcium to function
In order for your body to function properly, the level of calcium in
the blood must stay relatively constant. For this to happen, you need
to consume enough calcium throughout the day — otherwise, your blood
will "steal" calcium from your bones to maintain the level it
requires. Think of your bones as a "bank". If your diet is low in
calcium, your blood "withdraws" the calcium it needs from your bones.
When your diet is rich in calcium, you make "deposits" in your calcium
"bank". Over time, if your withdrawals exceed your deposits, your
bones can begin to weaken and become more susceptible to breaking.
Osteoporosis is a condition characterized by calcium-depleted bones
that are so porous and fragile they can easily break — even a simple
hug can fracture the bone of someone afflicted with osteoporosis. 75%
of individuals who fracture a bone due to osteoporosis will suffer
deformities and permanent disabilities which greatly decrease their
quality of life. Osteoporosis affects one in four women and one in
eight men over the age of 50.
As we age, we all lose some bone mass. Whether or not you get
osteoporosis later in life depends on how big and dense your bones
become during your developing years, and how much bone mass you lose
after that. If you start off with bigger and denser bones and if you
lose bone mass as you get older, you will have more left in later
A person can achieve a balanced diet by following the dietary guidelines provided in the food pyramid. The table guidelines listed below indicates the minimum number of servings from each food group for each day. The menu attached show examples of these recommendations. The pyramid is divided into 4 levels according to the needs of your body. The base of the pyramid contains foods including grains such as oats, rice and wheat, and the breads, cereals, noodles and pasta made from them. Try to choose 6-11 servings of these products each day to ensure a solid foundation for your diet. Foods from this group are high in complex carbohydrates, which are the main energy source for daily activities. The next level of nutrition in the food pyramid includes foods from the vegetable and fruit groups. These foods include all fresh, frozen, canned and dried fruits and vegetables and juice. These groups are loaded with vitamins and minerals, carbohydrates and fiber. It is recommended that your diet consist of 3-5 servings of vegetables and 2-4 servings of fruit each day to ensure an ample supply of vitamins, minerals and carbohydrates. The next level of nutrition in the food pyramid consists of 2 food groups; the dairy products, including milk, yogurt and cheese; and the meat products, including meat, poultry, fish, dry beans, eggs and nuts. These groups are rich in proteins, calcium, zinc, iron, and vitamins, and are essential for healthy bones and muscles. Choose low fat dairy products and lean meat products to get the full advantage of these foods without excess fat calories. Your diet should include 2-3 low fat serving from the dairy group each day, as well as 2-3 servings from the meat group each day.
The top of the food pyramid includes nutrients that should be used sparingly in your diet, including fats, oils, and sweets. Many of these nutrients are already present in foods previously discussed and are other added in processed foods. Be careful in your selection of foods and check food labels for added sugars and fats that can add calories to your diet without significantly increasing their nutritional value.
Your body depends upon a constant supply of nutrients to keep it functioning. There are six essential groups of nutrients your body needs every day: water, carbohydrates, protein, fats, vitamins, and minerals. These nutrients work together to build and fuel your body. Carbohydrates are the main food source for your body and should make up 55-65% of the total calories you consume. Excellent sources of carbohydrates include breads, pasta, cereals, fruits and vegetables. Everyone needs a little fat in his or her diets. Fat should make up about 20-30% of the calories you consume. Most of the fat we consume is naturally found in foods or added during the preparation of food. Protein is used for growth and repair of all cells in your body. Good sources of protein are meat, fish and poultry. Many plant foods, like beans and...
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