A nutrient is a source of nourishment, an ingredient in a food. The seven important nutrients being protein, carbohydrate, fat, vitamin, mineral, fiber and water.
Macronutrients are nutrients the body needs in relatively large quantities, while Micronutrients are required in relatively small quantities.
Macronutrients (Energy providers)
- Carbohydrates : the molecules consist of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atoms. Carbohydrates include monosaccharides (glucose, fructose, glactose), sisaccharides, and polysaccharides (starch).
- Proteins : the molecules contain nitrogen, carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. Simple proteins, called monomers, are used to create complicated proteins, called polymers, which build and repair tissue.
- Fats : the molecules consist of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms. Fats are triglycerides – three molecules of fatty acid combined with a molecule of the alcohol glycerol. Fatty acids are simple compounds (monomers) while triglycerides are complex molecules (polymers).
Macronutrients (Non-energy providers)
Fiber : consists mostly of carbohydrates. Fiber is a crucial part of essential human nutrition.
Water : about 70% of the non-fat mass of the human body is water. Water requirements are very closely linked to body size, age, environmental temperatures, physical activity, different states of health, and dietary habits. The variables that influence water requirements are so vast that accurate advice on water intake would only be valid after evaluating each person individually.
- Minerals : Dietary minerals are the other chemical elements our bodies need, apart from carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen.
According to experts, 16 key minerals are essential for human biochemical processes for serving structural and functional roles, as well as electrolytes: Some of them are:
Potassium, Chloride, Sodium, Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Zinc, Iron, Manganese, Copper, Iodine, Selenium and Molybdenum