What are nutrients and their functions? – What nutrients do you lack?

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Do you know what nutrients are?  It is the organic substance that the human being needs to support the normal functioning of the body system, growth, as well as the maintenance of health. Some experts describe the nutrient as the chemical bond that the body needs to perform its main functions in the form of energy. In addition, energy can build and maintain tissues in the body and regulate the processes of life.

Mainly, there are seven main nutrients that are necessary for the human body: fats, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, minerals, fibers and water. All of them have their own roles and characteristics that are frequent in a specific part of the body of the human being. And we have to take in the right proportion to guarantee good benefits for our overall health.

Here are the quick explanations of the functions of the essential nutrients.

Essential nutrients


Fats have been mistakenly taken as bad nutrients for the body by many dietitians. Conversely, fats are crucial energy storage and we need it to sustain us. For example:

– Fats stored in our body become a good source to keep the heat in our body.

– They also help the body to lead the growth of hormones, safeguard the organs and improve the absorption of vitamins and fibers.

The intake of fats should not exceed 30 percent on a daily basis. However, in practice, many people take more than that. That explains why many people are overweight, although some cases of overweight do not pose a threat to their health.

Fats are basically classified into two types: saturated fats that we usually find in fried and sweet foods. These should be avoided since they have low nutritional content. Meanwhile, the other type is unsaturated fats, which are healthy fats that we can get from olive oil. We have to take in adequate amounts on a daily basis to help us prevent various diseases such as heart disease, hypertension, and much more.


The carbohydrates are nutrients important to provide fuel to the body. This fuel will become necessary energy for the body to perform daily activities. You can get carbohydrates from many foods such as potatoes, white bread, rice, and grains. To fight for health in general, we must have carbohydrates whose percentage is around 55 to 60% of our diet.


The protein is made of amino acids, which is very important for maintaining body tissue, hormones, enzymes and blood cells. The protein is also for the rejuvenation and healing of the body. That’s why the doctor always says we should eat more protein when we’re injured.

The protein sources can be obtained from various food products such as meat, fish, poultry, dairy products, cheese, and eggs. For dieters, protein sources can also be obtained from less-heavy foods such as fruits, seeds, nuts, vegetables, and grains. Unlike carbohydrates, we must have at least 10 percent protein in our daily food intake.


Vitamins have been the main necessity because they have an important role in most parts of the body of a human being. They are included in the essential nutrients, as they drive the growth of bones and muscle tissue, as well as maintain them. That is why children and teenagers need to take a lot of vitamins for their bones and muscle growth.

The vitamins are also the first protector of the human body. These improve our immune system, maintain the quality of the blood, and improve the functions of our important parts of the body such as hair, eyes, skin, and so on. They are included in micronutrients. That means that we only need to take small portions of the vitamins on a daily basis. But keep in mind that we should not lose our vitamin intake, as this will interrupt our bodily function.

Vitamins are crucial for body growth, maintenance, as well as repair.

There are some differences in how we take vitamins because they have different characteristics. The complex of vitamin B and C, for example, are soluble in water. They are not stored in our body so we have to take them every day in a certain dose. The other type, soluble in fat, is stored in the body for longer so it is important to control the intake of vitamins. These are vitamin A, D, E, and K.


The minerals are important to improve energy distribution to our bones and blood. Some known minerals that we can find daily are calcium, potassium, iron, and sodium.


Fibers are indigestible nutrients that are prevalent in our health. They are crucial for our digestive system and bowel movement. Fibers can help prevent dangerous diseases such as cancer of the intestine and other stomach problems. The fibers also help to get rid of bad cholesterol, which leads to a healthier heart and other important organs in the body.

You can get the good fibers of citrus fruits, green vegetables, peas, beans, and oats.


Obviously, we cannot neglect the importance of water for our daily lives. Without water, a human being can die due to dehydration. In addition, it is very important to take care of your body by drinking at least 8 glasses of water per day, to meet all your fluid intake needs.


The carbohydrates, fats, and proteins are included in the macronutrients. Macro means big. Therefore, as we know, that macronutrient is necessary for large quantities. You will get most of the energy sources of these macronutrients. Without an adequate amount of this intake, you will feel slow, weak and less focused. As mentioned above, it is necessary to take it in a fairly large percentage at each meal on a daily basis.

Non-essential nutrients

The non – essential nutrients are the category of nutrients that are produced by our body. These non-essential nutrients can also be obtained from the foods we eat on a daily basis. Although they are less significant compared to macronutrients, our body still needs to work fully.

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