Nutrients are found in the foods we eat. Nutrients are substances that the body requires to function properly. Nutrients must be obtained through our diet because the human body cannot produce them. Nutrients perform one or more of three basic functions in the body: they provide energy, contribute to body structure, and/or regulate chemical processes. These fundamental functions enable us to detect and respond to our surroundings, move, excrete waste, breathe, grow, and reproduce. The body requires six types of nutrients to function and maintain overall health. Carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, water, vitamins, and minerals are examples.
Dietary nutrients are substances found in food that are essential for the proper functioning of the body. They provide the body with energy, promote growth and development, and help to maintain good health. There are six main categories of dietary nutrients, including:
- Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates are the body’s primary source of energy. They are found in foods such as bread, pasta, fruits, and vegetables.
- Proteins: Proteins are essential for growth and repair of body tissues. They are found in foods such as meat, fish, eggs, and dairy products.
- Fats: Fats provide the body with energy and are important for the absorption of certain vitamins. They are found in foods such as nuts, seeds, oils, and fatty fish.
- Vitamins: Vitamins are organic compounds that the body needs in small amounts to function properly. They are found in foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- Minerals: Minerals are inorganic substances that are necessary for the proper functioning of the body. They are found in foods such as leafy green vegetables, nuts, and whole grains.
- Water: Water is essential for the proper functioning of the body. It helps to regulate body temperature, transport nutrients, and remove waste. It is found in foods such as fruits and vegetables, as well as in beverages such as water and milk.
A healthy diet should include a balance of all of these nutrients in the right amounts to support overall health and wellbeing. Eating a balanced diet that contains all of these nutrients in appropriate amounts is important for maintaining good health and preventing nutrient deficiencies.