The human body cannot produce everything that it needs to function. There are six essential nutrients that our body needs to be consumed through dietary sources. It helps in maintaining the best health and keeping a person healthy. These nutrients are vital in maintaining health, growth, and reproductive health.
These essential nutrients are divided into six different classes. These classes are:
It is essential to include all these nutrients daily as these help build our body and maintain health. The nutrients that our body needs are divided into two categories- macronutrients and micronutrients.
Macronutrients are the nutrients required by the body daily and in large amounts. These nutrients are carbohydrates, fat, proteins, fibers, and water which play a crucial role in the supply of energy and the growth of the body.
On the other hand, Micronutrients are the substances needed in the body in small amounts. These nutrients are vitamins and minerals. Every food item has several nutrients, and some of them might have a high quantity of one nutrient and little of the other. This is why foods are grouped based on the nutrient they contain in abundance.
Here are the nutrients and the sources from where you can get them in your diet:
- Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates are one of the essential nutrients needed by our body as it provides up to 65% of the energy to the body. Carbohydrates get converted into energy made available in the form of glucose. Primary sources of carbohydrates are bread, wheat, potatoes, rice, maize, etc.
- Proteins: Proteins are a vital part of our diet as they promote growth and improve immune functions. We get approximately 10% to 35% of calories from proteins. They help maintain essential hormones and enzymes. The primary source of protein are meats, chicken, eggs, beans, etc.
- Fiber: Fibers are a mixture of different carbohydrates that are not digested by our stomachs and pass out of the body. The sources for rich fiber consumption are vegetables like cabbage, carrots, and fruits like banana, peas, beans, avocado, whole-grain cereals, etc.
- Vitamins: Vitamins are small amounts of nutrients present in the food. These are necessary for our body as they help in functioning normally. Vitamins are classified into two types, i.e., water-soluble and fat-soluble. Water-soluble vitamins are Vitamins B and C, and fat-soluble vitamins are Vitamins A, D, E, and K. The best sources for micronutrients are fruits and vegetables. In the case of vitamin deficiency, the person is asked to take vitamin capsules and tablets to improve their health.
- Minerals: Minerals play a role in maintaining the health of the soft tissues, fluids, and the skeleton in a person's body. Our body might need these minerals regularly: fluorine, zinc, iron, iodine, calcium, sodium, and many more. The primary source of these minerals is milk, cheese, egg, bread, green leafy vegetables, fruits, pulses, etc.
These are the nutrients that our body needs daily, and these are the sources of these nutrients.