Vilnius College in High Education

Vitamins, minerals,carbohydrates, fats, fiber, water


Vilnius, 2005m.

1. Introduction 3
2. Vitamins and minerals 4
3. Proteins 6
4. Carbohydrates 7
5. Fats 8
6. Fiber 8
7. Water 9
8. Conclusion 11
9. Key words 12
10. Literature 13


What you eat has a life long effect on your health and well-being. To look and feel your best, you have to eat adequate amounts of the proper foods. Many teenagers don’t always choose the food that is best for them. They may not want to eat what the rest of the family is eating or they may eat poorly at school. The food at the scchool cafeteria is required by law in the United States to meet certain nutritional standards, but you may not be eating their food.
There are six types of nutrients: protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water. In simple terms, nutrients are the chemicals that your body gets from food. If your body gets the right fuel, just like a car, it will run smoother. Nutrients in food allow your body to break down the food you eat into energy so caan use function. When you go for a run, swim a few laps, or even talk on the phone you are using energy that your body has produced. When you are taking a test, you’re using brain power, which is re

eally energy that is coming from the food you had last night for dinner and this morning for breakfast. One nutrition key is to never skip breakfast, especially the morning of tests. Your body has not received energy for more than 12 – 15 hours and will not be able to function at its peak without that boost you get from food.

Vitamins and Minerals

These nutrients don’t supply your body with energy because they don’t have calories. However, they are necessary because they help your body convert food into energy. Using our car analogy, vitamins and minerals are like spark plugs in a car, not the gas. The thirteen vitamins: A, C, D, E, K and the eight B vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, B6, paantothenic acid, biotin, folacin, and B12) can be divided into two types: fat-soluble and water-soluble. You do not need to consume the fat-soluble vitamins everyday in order to maintain their proper levels because they are stored in your body fat and liver. But, the water-soluble vitamins, the B-complex vitamins and C, dissolve in the water in your system. So, these vitamins should be consumed everyday (with the exception of B12, which your liver stores).
Vitamin A Promotes normal bone growth, healthy skin, ha

air and eyes, helps with night vision.
Vitamin C Strengthens blood vessels, helps the immune system, heals wounds and helps heal broken bones.
Vitamin D Helps absorb calcium for strong bones and teeth, your body produces this from sunlight.
Vitamin E Ensures that Vitamins A and C are not destroyed by oxygen and are properly used by your body. Helps form red blood cells.
Vitamin K Called the clotting-factor vitamin, it enables your liver to produce a blood-clotting factor to control and prevent internal bleeding.
VitaminB-Complex(8 different vitamins and minerals) Breaks down carbohydrates and fat to energy, works to give you a healthy nervous system and healthy skin, helps you digest food and utilize minerals in foods you eat, important in the production of red blood cells, and works with proteins to build and repair tissues.
Thiamine Helps keep your nervous system healthy, breaks down (Vit. B1) carbohydrates into energy.
Riboflavin Breaks down carbs, proteins and fats so your body can use (Vit. B2) them for energy and repair.
Niacin Works with riboflavin to convert proteins into energy. (Vit B3)
Calcium Needed for healthy bone and teeth development, helps with muscle function, helps blood to clot.
Iron Ensures the body produces red blood cells — which transport oxygen. (Needed to produce he
emoglobin – the red oxygen carrying pigment in blood.)
Folic Acid Needed to produce genetic material (DNA & RNA), needed during and before pregnancy to prevent birth defects.


Every single cell in your body is made up of protein. Hair and fingernails consist of fibers of protein called keratin. Collagen is the protein that strengthens your skin, blood vessels, bones and teeth. Even your muscles are held together by the protein fibers called myosin and actin. In fact, about one-fifth of your body weight is protein. Every chemical reaction that takes place in your body — that is a lot — is dependent on proteins. These important nutrients help us build new cells and repair damaged body tissue. Because your tissues are constantly being destroyed and rebuilt, and because unlike carbohydrates your body has no means to store protein, you must make sure you get enough of this important nutrient to keep all your vital processes functioning. During digestion, large molecules of protein are broken down into smaller, simpler units called amino acids. The body requires 22 amino acids in specific patterns to make human protein and thus do its necessary functions. Your body can produce all but nine of these amino acids. The nine th

hat can not be produced are called essential amino acids because they must be supplied by your diet. In order for your body to properly use proteins, all of the essential amino acids must be present in your system. A food that contains all the essential amino acids is called a complete protein. Examples of foods high in protein include: meats, fish, lentils, nuts, dairy products such as cheese or yogurt and beans.

Amino Acids: The Building Blocks of ProteinThe building blocks that protein makes available to the body are called “amino acids.” Protein itself is made up of amino acids. During digestion, your body breaks protein down into these building blocks and uses some of them to build and rebuild body tissues, such as your skin, muscles and bones. Essential Amino Acids Of the 20 amino acids used by the body, nine are considered “essential.” They are described in this way because the body requires them but cannot manufacture them on its own. “Essential” amino acids must be provided by the diet. While almost all foods contain protein, only animal protein contains all nine essential amino acids in proportions needed by the body. Therefore, protein from animal sources is considered “complete protein.” Protein that comes from plant sources is considered to be less complete than protein from animal sources. That’s because it is low in one or more essential amino acids. Fortunately though, protein from different plant sources — for example, beans and rice — can be combined to provide complete protein for the body. Protein: Other Important RolesIn addition to supporting growth and maintenance, protein has otherimportant duties. Protein: · Provides the building materials for chemical messengers called hormones. · Is required for important enzyme reactions such as digestion. · Forms disease-fighting antibodies. · Helps regulate water balance in the body. · Provides energy if dietary carbohydrate and fat are in short supply.

CarbohydratesMost of our energy comes from carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are chemical compounds of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. They provide us with calories which can be converted into energy. There are two types of carbohydrates: simple, which are sugars, or complex, which are starches. It’s a good idea to try to eat more complex carbohydrates because your body get longer sustained energy from these foods. Examples of complex carbohydrates include: potatoes, pasta, bread, rice, lentils, cereals and fruits and vegetables. Compare these to the simple carbohydrates such as cookies, candy bars and other sugar foods which provide a quick jolt of energy, but then leave your body craving more. These simple carbohydrates are known as “empty calories” because they lack vitamins, minerals, fiber or anything of value to your system.

While too much fat is bad for your health, we do need some to survive. By cutting down on your fat intake you can reduce your chances of developing heart disease or cancer, not to mention staying in better physical shape and maintaining a healthy weight. There are three types of fat: saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. Saturated fats are the worst type because they raise the cholesterol level in your blood, which can lead to heart disease. The more saturated the fat is, the more solid it will appear at room temperature. This includes animal products such as butter, cheese, milk and meats. Monounsaturated fats are the types in nuts and fruit and polyunsaturated fats are found in oils. If you are trying to reduce the fat content in your diet, try broiling rather than frying your food, use skim milk rather than whole milk, use low-fat salad dressing or yogurt, and cut down on red meats.

Okay, you are right, there is no nutritional value in fiber. But we do know that fiber absorbs water, helping both keeping away hunger pangs and to keep the colon healthy by allowing bowel movements to be regular, softer and easier to pass. Fiber has an important role in protecting us from certain diseases, such as heart disease, high blood cholesterol, some cancers and bowel conditions. It also can keep us leaner (people who eat a lot of fiber are less likely to be overweight). Fiber is present in the cell walls of all plants, but is NOT found in any food obtained from animals. It can be found in all foods of plant origin like fruits, vegetables and nuts. It is also found in unrefined breads, cereals, brown rice, corn kernels and beans. Cellulose and pectin, found in all stringy vegetables and apples (and other fruit) cannot be digested, but they are important as roughage.
More About Fiber
Also sometimes known as “roughage,” fiber is the indigestible component of plant foods. It’s what is left after everything else has been digested. Although fiber is not a significant source of energy (calories), it is an essential component of a balanced diet — and most people don’t consume enough of it. The fiber in your diet should come from a variety to sources to make sure you receive an ample intake of both types:
· Soluble fiber — found in foods such as oatmeal, fruits and vegetables (including beans), this type of fiber is of interest because of its cholesterol-lowering properties and possible benefits in helping to reduce the risk of heart disease.
· Insoluble fiber — Whole grains, such as wheat bran, are a good source of insoluble fiber, which helps promote regularity. Insoluble fiber may help prevent colon cancer because it is believed to bind to potentially harmful substances and eliminate them from the body quickly through the digestive system.


Our bodies are about two-thirds water, and we need to ensure that we keep up this balance in order to remain healthy. That’s why it is recommended that you drink at least eight glasses of water every day. This will keep all your organs hydrated so that they can function properly, and water also helps to flush toxins and other impurities out of your body. Water serves many other crucial functions including: respiration, digestion, metabolism, body temperature regulation and excretion. Water is also responsible for dissolving and transporting nutrients through the body. Only oxygen is more important to sustaining human life than water. So, drink a tall glass of water and stay healthy!
In order to live, every cell in the body must be bathed in water. Water takes an active part in many chemical reactions and is needed to carry other nutrients, to regulate body temperature, and to help eliminate wastes. Water makes up about 60 percent of an adult’s body weight. Requirements for water are met in many ways. Most fruits are more than 90 percent water.

Water has several vital functions in the body. It: · Delivers to each cell the nutrients needed to carry on the processes of life. · Dissolves vitamins, minerals, amino acids, glucose and other nutrients. · Provides a medium for chemical reactions. · Is involved in the production of energy. · Lubricates joints. · Acts as a shock absorber inside eyes, spinal cord and joints. · Helps the body flush out waste materials. · Helps maintain the body’s temperature.

Of these six nutrients, these three provide no calories, but they’re just as vital to life. These nutrients are vitamins, minerals and water. (Yes, water. It’s actually been called the “forgotten nutrient.”)
Unlike carbohydrates, fats and protein, vitamins do not provide energy (calories) — but they are vital, nonetheless.
Vitamins help regulate the many chemical processes in the body including those that convert food into energy — and into living tissue. Thirteen different vitamins are known to be required for good health. They are separated into two classes: water-soluble (B-complex vitamins and vitamin C) and fat-soluble (vitamins A, D, E and K).

Key words

Suoble tirpus
Bone kaulas
Adsorb adsorbuoti
Direct tiesioginis
Protect saugoti
Cells langeliai
Human žmogiškas
Intestinal tract žarnų traktas
Pork kiauliena
Liver kepenys
Maintain palaikyti
Convert pasisavinti
Major svarbesnis
Oxygen deguonys
Lung plaučiai
Leafy lapai
Provide aprupinti
Obtain išgauti
Quantities kiekis
Adolesent jaunas
Fat riebalai
Carbohydrates angliavandeniai
Blood kraujas
Joulk trynis
Skin oda

Ų // laikas: 2005-03-08
Ų // laikas : 2005-03-08

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