Mineral and Water Function Essay

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This report will investigate and explain the six essential nutrients that are required in our diet. The report will look at macronutrients which are needed in large amounts and micronutrients like vitamins and minerals which are only needed in small amounts, the report will also look at water. This report will include details such as specific structure, what role they have in the body and some examples of where they are found.

Carbohydrates are mainly used as a fuel source and provide the body with the energy our brain and body needs, carbohydrates also supply dietary fibre and breakdown fatty acids in the blood. Carbohydrates in the body also prevent ketosis.

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Simple carbohydrates can effectively contribute to the diet but can have negative effects if taken in excess as it can become unused energy which will then become fat, a few sources of simple carbohydrates are sweets, soft drinks, and fresh fruit.

Complex carbohydrates should take up the bulk of the diet, they help by providing the body with many micro-nutrients, a few sources of these are potatoes, pasta, and rice. (NESCol,2020)

A carbohydrates structure is made up of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, a carbohydrate can differ depending on whether it is monosaccharide (comprise of the simplest carbohydrates and contain one single sugar unit), disaccharide (made of two sugar units), or polysaccharide (contain several sugar units). (Dotson, 2012).

There are two types of fibre, soluble and insoluble, soluble fibre can dissolve when it becomes in contact with water and gastrointestinal fluids within the stomach and intestines. This type of fibre can help lower your cholesterol levels. Soluble fibre can be found in oats, peas, and beans.

Insoluble fibre cannot be digested but it can help move other foods and waste through the gut and can also help prevent constipation, Insoluble fibre can be found in wholegrain foods like wheat, brown rice, it can also be in root vegetables like carrots and parsnips.

The main function of fat is to be a storage system and be a reserve supply of energy. Fat can also help the body conserve body heat as fat acts as an insulation layer. And anther role of fat is to line and protect internal organs from any potential damage. (Eufic, 2015)

Fats are a subgroup of lipids, the most common type of lipid is called a triglyceride, it is made up of three fatty acid chains which is attached to a glycerol backbone, these fatty acids are chains of carbon atoms. These triglycerides are stored in fat cells. (A-level biology, 2015-2020)

There are two main types of fat, saturated and unsaturated. Saturated fat is fat that is tightly packed with no double bonds between the fatty acids. Saturated fat can correlate to having bad effects on the heart such as clogging arteries and causing heart disease although there is no conclusive evidence. Saturated fat can be found in animal fat, dairy products, and coconut oil.

Unsaturated fat can help lower your cholesterol. Omega-3, which is found in fish, has fatty acids which is a type of polyunsaturated fat that our bodies cannot create. Omega 3 can help prevent blood clots along with a lot more health benefits. Unsaturated fats are commonly found in fish, oils, and nutseeds. (Heart UK, no date)

Protein is mainly built up of amino acids, within protein multiple amino acids are linked together by peptide bonds which form a chain. A peptide bond is a chemical bond which is formed when the carboxyl group of one molecule reacts with the amino group of another molecule which causes the release of a molecule of water (This happens between two molecules). That sequence of amino acids is considered the primary structure of protein. (Nature education, 2014)

Protein has a few functions some of these are, to build, maintain and repair cells of the body. Protein also enables muscle contractions to take place, and protein also helps protect against disease. (NESCol,2020)

There are two types of protein, complete and incomplete. Complete proteins have all the essential amino acids our bodies need and are mostly animal based whereas the mostly plant based incomplete proteins do not contain all the essential amino acids our bodies need. Complete proteins are found in meat, fish and eggs and incomplete proteins can be found in wholemeal pasta, nuts, and lentils.

Minerals are inorganic compounds found naturally, with functions that include maintaining strength and structure of the skeleton and a few more. Minerals are classified as macro and trace minerals. Macro minerals are needed in large amounts. Trace minerals are needed in very small amounts.

Water is found in fluids such as tea, coffee, and soft drinks to some extent. There are foods that are high in water content such as watermelon (96% water), celery (95% water) and tomatoes (94% water). (NESCol,2020)

In conclusion macro and micronutrients are important in the diet and it is important to get the right amount of them in our diets as they play a vital role in maintaining the health and functioning of the body. Ensuring we get enough minerals, carbs vitamins etc is vital to maintaining health as each of them play key individual roles in the body.

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