Nutrients are substances that are essential for the body to function properly. They include vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates, and fats, and they provide the energy, building blocks, and regulatory mechanisms needed for the body to grow, develop, and maintain itself.
There are six main classes of nutrients:
- Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of energy. They are found in foods such as bread, pasta, rice, fruits, and vegetables, and they are broken down into glucose, which is used by the body’s cells for energy.
- Proteins are made up of amino acids, which are the building blocks of the body’s cells, tissues, and organs. Proteins are found in foods such as meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, and legumes, and they are essential for the growth and repair of the body’s tissues.
- Fats are a concentrated source of energy and play a number of important roles in the body. They are found in foods such as oils, butter, and nuts, and they help to cushion and protect the body’s organs, transport fat-soluble vitamins, and regulate body temperature.
- Vitamins are organic compounds that are essential for the body to function properly. They are found in a wide range of foods, and each vitamin has specific roles and functions. For example, vitamin C helps to support the immune system, and vitamin D helps to maintain strong bones.
- Minerals are inorganic substances that are essential for the body to function properly. They are found in a wide range of foods, and each mineral has specific roles and functions. For example, calcium is needed for strong bones and teeth, and iron is needed for the production of red blood cells.
- Water is essential for the body to function properly. It makes up about 60% of the body’s weight, and it is involved in a wide range of bodily functions, including digestion, absorption, circulation, and excretion.
Eating a varied and balanced diet that includes a range of nutrient-rich foods is essential for maintaining good health. However, some people may need to take dietary supplements if they are unable to get all the nutrients they need from their diet. It is important to consult with a healthcare professional before taking any dietary supplements.