Composition of the Human Body
When you understand the composition of your body, you’ll be able to meet the thresholds of nutrition required to keep it operating efficiently – which is the precise definition of health.
Water is the most abundant nutrient (accounting for roughly 2/3 of body weight) and, by far, the most important because it’s involved in nearly every process including: digestion, absorption, circulation and excretion; water is the primary transporter of nutrients and is necessary for all the building processes, maintaining body temperature and is essential for carrying wastes out of the body.
Protein is the 2nd most abundant component. It is materials that build muscles, blood, skin, hair, nails and internal organs like the heart and brain. Protein forms hormones that control growth, sexual development, and metabolic rate. It helps control pH (acidity and alkalinity) and regulates water. It is the component of enzymes, antibodies, lactation and blood clotting. Protein is a source of energy, producing 4 calories of energy/gram.
NOTE: Sources for protein are meat, dairy, fruits and vegetables. To determine protein requirements, divide body weight by 2, the result will indicate the approximate number of grams you require each day. It is important to balance meals to balance the types of protein in the diet – a good rule of thumb is 30% animal source, 70% plant source. There’s 28.3 grams per ounce.
Fat (lipids) is a concentrated source of energy delivering more than twice the energy of either protein or carbohydrates (9 calories/gram). They carry vitamins A, D, E and K; aid in the absorption of D, make Calcium available to tissue, bones and teeth. Fat insulates the body, protects it, holds organs in place, insulates, contours its shape and prolongs digestion.
- Unsaturated fats are usually liquid at room temperature and derived from: vegetables, nuts, seeds and fish.
- Saturated fats are usually solid at room temperature and usually come from animal sources (except coconut oil).
- Cholesterol is a fat-related substance that is a component of tissue – especially the brain, nervous system, liver and blood. It forms sex and adrenal hormones, vitamin D and bile (necessary for the digestion of fat).
NOTE: Nutritionists suggest eating a diet that provides 25% to 30% of its calories from unsaturated fat.
IMPORTANT: If a lack of carbohydrates is accompanied by a deficiency of water, or a kidney malfunction, fat cannot be completely metabolized and becomes toxic.
Minerals make up about 5% of the body, but they’re vital to 100% of mental and physical well-being. They’re essential part of all structure, organs and functions. All of the minerals need to be supplied by your diet. Physical and emotional stress causes a strain on the body’s supply of minerals.
Carbohydrates are the main source of energy for all body functions, body heat and muscular exertion. The chief sources are: sugars, starches and cellulose. Simple sugars, like honey and fruit are easily digestible. Double sugars like table sugar, white flour, dairy and root vegetables, require some digestion, but they too are a ready source of glucose. Starches, like whole grain, require prolonged digestion to be broken down into glucose (the fuel the body uses).
NOTE: Overindulgence in starch and sweet foods may crowd out other essential foods and can result in nutritional deficiencies, obesity and tooth decay.
Vitamins have no caloric or energy value but they’re important as constituents of enzymes, which function as catalysts in nearly all metabolic reactions. They are not a component of major body structures but aid in the building of these structures.
The Recommended Daily Intake is the daily intake level of a nutrient that is considered to be sufficient to meet the requirements of 97–98% of healthy individuals in every demographic in the United States (where it was developed, but has since been used in other places).
NOTE: With a few exceptions, the body cannot synthesize vitamins; they must be supplied in the diet or by the judicious use of dietary supplements.
Of the body’s 4 processes (ingest, digest, assimilate, eliminate), you control only one – ingest – choosing and consuming stuff. When you match the food and beverages, that you choose to consume, to the composition of your body, you’ll be able to meet the thresholds of nutrition required to keep it operating efficiently – the precise definition of true health.
Regardless of the reasons – your preferences for sugary, fast or prepared meals, your schedules, your lifestyle and commercial farming practices like continuous cropping, early harvest, fertilizers, pesticides, handling or shipping creates a mismatch – when your diet creates a mismatch between what you consume and the needs of your body it creates a deficiency that prevents your body from operating efficiently – the precise definition of declining health, sickness and disease.
What People Do, When They’re Having Symptoms
Typically, when people get the body’s distress signal – a symptom – that it’s not working efficiently, they rush to the nearest pharmacy or schedule a Physician appointment to “get something” to make it go away.
Will this “Here’s-a-prescription – see ya-later” encounter made you healthier?” In a word – no!
Another option is: change the things you’re doing.
Regarding your diet, try to make it match the needs of your body. When it’s impractical, fill the gaps with supplements. But when you do, choose a high quality, professional-grade supplement, suited to you needs, rather than a price-sensitive consumer version – it will pay dividends when you do.
Some people find the process of changing things to be confusing or overwhelming. Protecting or improving your health naturally is simple – but it’s different, so it may not be easy. That’s precisely where a Natural Health Consultant fits in – he or she can help put you back on track.
Health is a Journey
Staying or becoming healthy, naturally, is a journey – what you do, every day, can help you, what you do occasionally won’t harm you. And, if you hit one of life’s pot holes, an injury or infection, you’ll be ready.