In the course of his life accumulating plants useful to humans. They can be divided into food (energy) and biologically active (protective, healing). Of course, the boundary between these substances is conditional, not absolute. To restore energy costs, meet hunger needs, above all, proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Average demand per day adult: 600 g carbohydrate, 100 g protein, 50 g fat. It is believed that the optimum ratio of proteins, fats, carbohydrates should be close 1:1:4. But hunger and health – conditions are different. The second group of compounds – biologically active substances. They have a strong impact on organism, prevent or cure disease. The famous Russian scientist, Academician Ivan Pavlov said that "pound of prevention more pounds of cure" is more important to prevent disease than to treat. Needed for normal functioning of mineral substances. This potassium, calcium, magnesium, sulfur, phosphorus, and trace elements such as iron, manganese, zinc, copper, cobalt, iodine and other important group are vitamins. The need for them is about 200-250 mg per day.
Let us discuss briefly the major plant nutrients and their role in humans.
Proteins – the basis of a living cell, they are a part of every living organism. Without the protein can not be life. Protein comes from animal and vegetable food. Digestibility of animal protein is higher than vegetable. Proteins called plastic, building material of cells. It is known that the more varied food of man, the more he will get enough protein from food quality. Proteins are mainly in the colloidal state. This is a complex matter, they contain nitrogen, carbon, oxygen, hydrogen and sulfur. Proteins are very important for the body, no other substances can not replace them. They are built from amino acids. Part of the amino acid is synthesized in the body, but there are essential amino acids, which are organism alone can not produce. Food proteins are complex way in the body. Complex proteins are broken down into easier-to-stomach cancer which secrete hydrochloric acid and the enzyme pepsin. Then, under the action of pancreatic juice and the intestinal wall, which contain enzymes, proteins are broken down into amino acids. They are absorbed through the villi of the intestine into the blood. Of these amino acids are based proteins human organs and tissues, and animals. Protein is especially important for children, with their lack of delayed growth and development. However, an excess of – children lose their appetite. Necessary to determine the optimal amount of protein for normal growth and development. It is believed that in the daily diet of human proteins of plant origin should cover about two thirds of the total number. Use squirrel depends on the vitamin and mineral content of food, and the important role played by herbal products because they are a source of vitamins, minerals, organic acids, soluble carbohydrates.
Fats. This glycerol esters of higher fatty acids. Vegetable fats are called oils. Fats give the body the most energy. For calories they are more than twice the protein and carbohydrates. It is known that animals, who grew up on a diet of lean, differed from the controls that received normal diet, a short life span. Fats can be produced from carbohydrate foods, abundant protein diet. The fat in the body break down into simpler substances. Lipolysis occurs in the small intestine by the enzymes of pancreatic juice and intestinal juice, with the participation of bile. The bile produced by the liver and enters the gall bladder, then into the duodenum. Bile helps dissolve fatty acids and absorption of intestinal villi.
Most often, fat accumulates in the seeds, fruits. Produced in plants from carbohydrates. Vegetable fats necessary for a person can not be replaced by animals. The human body does not synthesize all it needs fatty acids. For example, linoleic, linolenic, arachidonic acid comes only with food. These unsaturated acids help to lower blood cholesterol levels and inhibit the development of atherosclerosis. They are sometimes referred to as vitamins (vitamin F).
Excess fat in the diet reduces the digestibility of food, in particular protein. But the lack of fat affects the quality of the food spoils normal taste dishes reduces digestibility of nutrients.
Carbohydrates. Important organic compounds. They are composed of carbon, oxygen and hydrogen. 80% of the dry weight of the plant – the carbohydrates formed by photosynthesis. The plants are the most common sugar and starch.
Moreover, in the roots, rhizomes contained mainly starch, sugar – berries, fruit. But this is not a hard rule. Carbohydrates are readily soluble in water, absorbed by the body. And sugars are rapidly absorbed into the blood. Starch also has pre-split in the small intestine into simpler compounds, and then absorbed into the bloodstream gradually. Phenols are formed from carbohydrates, tannins, anthocyanins, fats and amino acids. Found that fat and carbohydrates in the body can be formed of three basic substances – proteins, fats, carbohydrates food. Only the protein is essential and can be formed from squirrel.
Plants is the most important carbohydrate cellulose, pectins. This ballast substances. They are not absorbed by the body and excreted almost unchanged, but are essential for the normal functioning of the intestines. These substances promote the excretion of excessive amounts of cholesterol and waste products. Lack of fiber is one of the risk factors for diseases such as diabetes, atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease. Established a clear relationship between the amount of fiber and cholesterol in the blood. Deficiency of fiber can cause constipation. It is known that 30-35% of the population suffer, so do not underestimate the importance of dietary fiber (cellulose).
The mechanism of action of fiber is not yet fully understood. But we know that methyl cellulose binds ammonia formed in the colon, reduces the level of urea in the blood serum. Dietary fiber swell adsorb organic substances, bile acids, facilitate the exchange of cations, promote bowel evacuation activities. Additionally, you fat and bile acids from the body, have anti-toxic, anti-oxidant effect.
Digestibility of nutrients is different. Improves it with a combination of animal and vegetable origin. Recent increase secretion of digestive juices. Particularly contributed to this bitter, spicy, fragrant substances. They are very much in the wild edible plants (wormwood, yarrow, thyme, etc.). I want to remind this fact all too familiar. It is known that the southern people, especially in the Caucasus, characterized by good health. Among them are many centenarians. But they eat a lot of fatty foods, like barbecue, drink wine, etc. But note that fatty meats they literally snack whole bunches of different herbs (parsley, basil, dill, coriander, etc.). Vitamins and minerals help to improve digestion. The optimal assimilation of food, especially in children, with a ratio of protein, fat and carbohydrates 1:1:4 ie the number of grams of fat should be the same as the amount of protein, and carbohydrates should be 4 times more. In adults, noted that with the prevalence of fat protein, decreasing carbohydrate digestibility of food, especially protein decreases. Of great importance for good digestion of food is cooking, aesthetic appearance. Good secretion promote herbal products containing extractives. Digestibility of animal products is only slightly dependent on the method of cooking. For the same plant foods containing fiber, very important pre-treatment products. Having a large number of fiber reduces the overall digestibility of food. But its lack of harmful effect on the gastrointestinal tract. The required amount of fiber in the diet provides the right mix of animal and vegetable products in the daily diet. People who use little plant food, fiber, tend to suffer from constipation.
Moreover, the meals should keep a sense of satisfaction. This is achieved under the condition that at the time of the meal appears appetite, and after her admission – a feeling of fullness. It is important that the food was varied.
Minerals. Minerals are important in the implementation of the normal functioning of the body. As a part of the body found over 70 elements of the periodic system of DI Mendeleev, plus many isotopes. First of all, it is potassium, calcium, sodium, phosphorus, and macronutrients. In addition, necessary and minerals – are substances that person needs in very small amounts, but it is extremely important to him. For example, the daily rate of iron is only 10-20 mg, 10-12 mg of zinc, manganese, 3.5 mg, 2 mg of copper, molybdenum, 0.5 mg, 0.1 mg of cobalt, iodine 0.1 mg. Most trace elements, connecting with specific proteins, serve as a basis for the formation of vital enzymes and hormones. To construct the needed enzymes, primarily zinc, copper and molybdenum. Minerals person receives mainly from plants, where they are easily digestible form and salts are the main character, which is very important to maintain the alkalinity of the blood. No artificial drugs can not replace them, but the sodium we get in the form of salt. In plants, minerals come from the soil and water.
Aluminum. Present in almost all organs and tissues. Participates in the construction of the epithelial and connective tissue, bone regeneration processes, exchange of phosphorus increases the overall acidity of the gastric juice increases the amount of hydrochloric acid in gastric juice. Daily demand ~ 49 mg. Contained in berries, vegetables.
Bromine affects the thyroid gland, has a regulating effect on sexual activity, stimulation of the nervous system normalizes. Bioelement indispensable. Daily requirement – 0.8 mg. Comes into contact with the grain and vegetables.
Iron is involved in blood formation, the formation of hemoglobin and respiratory enzymes. Iron-rich black currant, cranberry, blueberry.
Iodine is a material for producing thyroxin – the thyroid hormone. Prevents the development of multiple sclerosis and atherosclerosis, has antimicrobial properties. Used in atherosclerosis, syphilis, chronic poisoning by mercury and lead, for the treatment of endemic goiter. Daily requirement – 0.1-0.2 mg.
Potassium regulates the metabolism, water content, a diuretic, helps normalize heart function and other functions. Involved in the metabolism of sodium and calcium. A good source of potassium is potatoes and other plants.
Calcium is essential for building and strengthening bone tissue, bone, is involved in hematopoiesis. Essential for the heart muscle and the entire musculoskeletal system.
Cobalt – the catalyst in hematopoiesis, it contributes to a more rapid transition of iron in hemoglobin, protein synthesis, absorption of nitrogen, phosphorus and calcium. Daily requirement – 0.1-0.2 mg.
Silicon influences the formation of connective tissue and epithelial structures. The decrease of silicon in the body leads to bone and skin.
Magnesium activates a number of enzymes, phosphorus metabolism, reduces fatigue and improves performance, prevents the development of MS. Requires the heart muscle, muscular system. Lowers high blood pressure and is involved in the removal of cholesterol from the intestine. The best sources of magnesium are vegetables, herbs, berries, whole-grain bread.
Manganese activates the carboxylase, which includes vitamin B1, affects the growth, reproduction, hematopoiesis. Involved in the regulation of sexual functions.
Copper is an essential element in hematopoiesis, and to build a callus. Since copper deficiency is often associated anemia in children and pregnant women. Daily requirement – 2-3 mg.
Molybdenum is involved in nitrogen metabolism and absorption of vitamin C daily requirement – 0.5 mg.
Nickel activates carboxylase, trypsin and other enzymes. Daily requirement – 0.6 mg.
Sulfur is part of some amino acids, proteins involved in the formation and metabolism.
Titanium accelerates the regeneration of blood serum proteins, increases the number of red blood cells.
Phosphorus is part of DNA and RNA, promotes the formation and strengthening of the musculoskeletal system, bones and teeth, regulates the higher nervous activity. Much phosphorus in peas, beans, green plants in the fish.
Fluoride affects the enzymatic processes, carbohydrate metabolism, the thyroid gland, strengthens tooth enamel. 1 mg daily need.
Zinc regulates the activity of enzymes, has a normalizing effect on carbohydrate (destroys the excess carbon dioxide), and protein metabolism, function, sexual activity, procreation and the process of fertilization. Daily requirement – 10-12 mg.
Great importance to the organism is common table salt. With its lack can develop serious morbid symptoms such as dizziness, fainting, disorder of heart activity. Unsalted food insipid, tasteless. But excessive intake of salt has a negative impact on the state of the cardiovascular system, the kidneys and other organs. Salted food can turn into a great dish inedible. Average rate of 15 g of salt per day, in the heat – up to 20 g Note that broth to add salt before the end of cooking. Potatoes – at the beginning of cooking.
Water. Not a living cell, no living organism can not exist without water. Blood contains 80% water. It is known that a person can live without food for a long time (a month or more). But without water dies quickly. Average daily water demand is 2.5 liters. Excessive drinking liquids causes an enhanced functioning of the heart and kidneys. They can not cope with this volume of work, there is swelling. With water washed beneficial minerals and vitamins.
Thus, all the minerals necessary for normal functioning of the body. None of them can be replaced. We get them mainly from plants, including wild, where they are easily digestible form. And no artificial drugs can not replace them.
Vitamins – are substances which in small quantities are essential for normal growth and functioning of the body. Vitamins hardly synthesized in the human body, he gets them mainly from food. Moreover, most of them are found in plants, with the exception of B12, D, and A. Vitamins are involved in the synthesis of enzymes – regulators of metabolism. Enzymes – powerful accelerators of biochemical reactions that underlie the respiratory activity of the heart, movement. With their low or develop severe disease. Each of them has a specific action should act in a certain amount. But the daily rate depends on physical activity, age, and other factors. For example, in old age the need for vitamin C increases by 1.5-2 times. The content of bioactive compounds in plants is usually expressed in mg%, ie specify how many mg of the compound is 100 g of the plant. B vitamins are water-and fat-soluble (lipovitaminy). Fat-soluble – vitamins A, D, E and K, other water-soluble.
Vitamin A is essential for the growth and multiplication of cells, to maintain a normal state of epithelial sheets. It is called the vitamin of growth. It is necessary for normal embryonic development of the fetus, vision, especially at dusk. Strengthens the body's resistance to infectious diseases. Together with vitamin C promotes rapid healing of wounds and burns heal. Lack of vitamin – dry mucous membranes, hair, dandruff, eczema appearance. Vitamin A is found in animal products. Plants contain carotene, a provitamin A. The body moves carotene into vitamin A is stored in the liver. This vitamin is rapidly destroyed by drying, does not like the effect of light, but retained when fermented, cooking. Rich in carotene marigold, sorrel, black currant, blueberry, pine needles, etc. The industrial production of vitamin A use carrots, pumpkins, flowers, marigolds. 1.5-2 mg daily need.
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is involved in a variety of oxidation-reduction processes, stimulates the metabolism, especially carbohydrate, favors blood clotting and tissue regeneration. This is the "king of vitamins." Very soluble in water, but is readily oxidized by heating, improper storage, especially in cooking and warming up in a metal container containing copper. And when cooking foods containing vitamin C, they should be put into boiling water. It is better to cook in enamel or aluminum pan. This vitamin is stable in an acidic environment. Quick frozen foods retain good vitamin C. The richest source of vitamin C in the flora of Russia – the rose. A lot of ascorbic acid in cabbage, horseradish, asparagus, berries, primroses. Interestingly, the infusion of fresh needles contains vitamin C as well as black currant and red pepper. Lack of vitamin, lack of it – scurvy, weakness, drowsiness, fatigue, increased susceptibility to colds and infectious diseases. Vitamin C enhances the pharmacological effect of drugs and reducing their toxic side effects, is very active antidote for lead and mercury salts. The main industrial source of vitamin C – rose. The daily requirement of 100-120 mg.
Vitamin D regulates calcium and phosphorus metabolism, strengthens bones. With his lack of children developing rickets, anemia, reduced resistance. In adults – there is a depression and softening of the bones (osteoporosis, osteomalacia). This vitamin we get from animal food, pro-vitamin D is found in plants, under the action of ultraviolet rays, it goes into vitamin D.
Vitamin F is of vegetable origin. It is believed that it delays the development of multiple sclerosis, regulates cholesterol. Most rich in this vitamin vegetable oils (cottonseed, soybean, corn).
Vitamin B1 in the body regulates glucose and water exchange, is involved in protein and fat metabolism. Normalizes the nervous system, gastric motility and gastric acidity. Resistant to acid, is destroyed in alkaline. During intense physical and mental work his need increases significantly. Lack of this vitamin – fatigue, mild anxiety, heart pain, poor appetite, nausea, neuralgia, paresis. Lack of vitamin – the disease beriberi. Contains this vitamin in brewer's yeast, wheat germ and shells, oats, buckwheat, bread baked from flour plain flour. The daily requirement of 2 mg.
Vitamin B2 plays an important role in carbohydrate metabolism, regulates blood sugar and nitrogen, is involved in the formation of respiratory enzymes needed for cell growth and repair, to view the synthesis of hemoglobin. Normalizes the nervous system, capillaries, glands, stomach and intestines, liver, skin and mucous membranes, is required for the synthesis of protein and fat. Resistant to heat, at the light, the action of an alkaline environment. Lack of vitamin – a violation of appetite, weight loss, weakness, eye disease (photophobia, lacrimation), dryness, cracks, even sores on the lips, poor healing of cuts, scrapes, and anemia. Found in brewer's yeast, buckwheat, peas, embryos and shells crops. The daily requirement of 2.5 mg.
Vitamin VZ – pantothenic acid. Found in yeast, grains. Synthesized by intestinal microflora. Affect the processes of oxidation, promotes epidermal tissue. Dangerous deficiency of pantothenic acid during pregnancy, which can lead to premature birth, birth defects and death of infants.
Vitamin B6 is a positive effect on the nervous system, is involved in protein, fat metabolism, the formation of enzymes. Improves lipid metabolism in atherosclerosis. With its lack, especially in children, there are seizures. Resistant to food processing. Especially it is necessary for women in pregnancy, breast-feeding, nervous disorders, childhood exudative diathesis. Found in yeast, unrefined grains cereals, bananas. Part of this vitamin is synthesized by intestinal microflora.
Vitamin B9 is found in fresh vegetables, wheat, rye, salads of greens. This important vitamin is involved in the synthesis of amino acids necessary for normal hematopoiesis, obesity, ulcerative colitis, neurasthenia, viral hepatitis.
Vitamin B12 is found only in animal products.
Vitamin B15 is extracted from brewer's yeast, liver. Especially it is necessary for the treatment of hepatitis and atherosclerosis.
Sun vitamin found in fresh vegetables. Synthesized in the intestinal microflora. Involved in the synthesis of proteins necessary for normal hematopoiesis. With his lack of anemia, blood disorders, digestive tract is affected.
Vitamin E is found in green parts of plants, green beans, salads, sprouts of young cereals, vegetable oils. It is an active antioxidant agent, is required for muscular dystrophy, high physical stress, dermatitis, menstrual cycle, gonadal function in men. In the body, is involved in the regulation of spermatogenesis and the development of the embryo.
Vitamin PP – protivopellagricheskimi. In its absence, there is a disease pellagra – skin lesions, diarrhea, and mental disorders. Lack of vitamin – dizziness, fatigue, and headaches. This vitamin is found in yeast, vegetables, salad plants, buckwheat. When heated and fermented it is not destroyed, but loses stability in alkali. Vitamin PP improves carbohydrate metabolism and helps with mild diabetes, affects lipid metabolism, lowering cholesterol. Good effect for liver, heart, ulcers, enterocolitis, weak healing wounds, ulcers, also has a vasodilator effect. Increases the acidity of gastric juice, promotes better absorption and assimilation of food. Improves liver and increases its ability to detoxify harmful substances. The daily requirement of 5 mg.
Vitamin K is necessary for the formation of the body in the liver of prothrombin – proteins for blood clotting, tissue regeneration. Synthesized in the large intestine. He is shredding fibrinogen, increasing the elasticity of blood clots. Especially important when the external and internal bleeding, hemorrhoids. Interestingly, the animal products vitamin K barely contain. Rich in vitamin K nettle, yarrow and other plants.
Vitamin U – antiulcer factor is contained in the juice of cabbage, vegetables. Has a good therapeutic effect for gastritis, ulcers, cardiovascular and skin diseases.
Vitamin P strengthens the walls of the finest blood vessels – capillaries, reduces fragility and increased permeability decreases. This is particularly important in high blood pressure. Hardening of the blood vessels can lead to dangerous internal bleeding, such as heart muscle, brain cortex. Moreover, the strengthening effect occurs only in the presence of vitamin C. In addition, vitamin E helps preserve vitamin C, protects it from premature oxidation. Regulates the activity of the thyroid gland.
Vitamin E is found in tea, chokeberry Aronia, thoroughwax, dog rose, black currants, cranberries, blueberries, marigold, St. John's wort.
In addition, the food plants contain volatile antibiotics, compounds that inhibit or kill pathogenic microbes, bacteria, fungi, protists that cause amoebic dysentery, giardiasis. Herbal antibiotics are highly effective. For example, 10% emulsion of garlic killed more than 600 strains of bacteria that are not sensitive to penicillin.
From other compounds in plants are biologically active substances such as alkaloids, glycosides, polysaccharides, saponins, flavonoids, tannins, oils, essential oils, organic acids, etc.
Alkaloids – are complex nitrogen-containing compounds. Many of them are poisonous. Alkaloids are a source of high-performance drugs to treat diseases of the nervous system and internal organs.
Glycosides – a substance with a complex structure, which cleaves to form sugars. These include polysaccharides, cardiac glycosides, saponins, antroglikozidy, bitter glycosides, flavonoids, coumarins, etc.
Polysaccharides – molecular compounds consisting of a large number of monosaccharides. It is spare and skeletal material of plants. They have emollient, coating, anti-inflammatory action.
Antroglikozidy accumulate in underground parts, bark, grass. These are substances that are mostly orange. They have a laxative, diuretic effect.
Saponins have expectorant, diuretic, tonic effect, a positive effect on the cardiovascular system in atherosclerosis.
Flavonoids – natural polyphenolic compounds. Have P-vitamin activity, diuretic, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory effect.
Tannins – polyphenolic compounds with the ability to tan skin. They are astringent, antibacterial, hemostatic effect. Used in diseases of the stomach, intestines, mouth.
Fat – esters of glycerol with high-saturated and unsaturated organic acids. They contribute to the absorption of vitamins, laxative, demulcent action.
Essential oils – a complex mixture of fragrant, volatile terpenoids and aromatic compounds. They usually stimulant effects on the gastrointestinal tract, causing the secretion of digestive juices, improve digestion, increase secretion of digestive glands. Prepare the stomach to digest protein and fatty foods. It is therefore very important to use a spicy, fragrant plants, especially from wild species. They have anti-inflammatory and expectorant, sedative, antispasmodic effect on the body.
A special group of compounds in fresh foods are a relatively newly installed substances with antioxidant name. They are also needed, such as vitamins, but are especially important for the protein diet. The fact that administration of protein products, especially cooked meat, in every cell of the body during the metabolism of formed hydrogen peroxide, which is a strong toxic and mutagenic substance. To defuse it, in the cells, there are special organelles, peroxisomes, contain a special enzyme. This enzyme is a person receives from fresh ingredients: milk, cabbage, fresh vegetables and fruits. The peoples of the north, prepared from fresh meat, fresh blood. Here is an example of what happens when criminals were fed only boiled meat. Antioxidants are very rich wild plants – shamrock, clover, sverbiga Eastern (heartily), sorrel, all berries, etc.
Pollen and nectar, which give the plant needed to supply and zhizneoobespecheniya bees. They are rich in many biologically active substances, bees produce from them the most important, and health products, honey, propolis, ambrosia, etc.