Nutrients are substances that provide nourishment to the body and help in improving the functions of different organs and tissues. There are several nutrients, which act as the building blocks and allow the person to stay healthy. A balanced diet containing all the nutrients helps in preventing several disorders.
Basically, nutrients are molecules present in the food. Some of the nutrients like vitamin D can be obtained from the sources other than food such as through the exposure to the sunlight. Some vitamins are present in the food in very less amounts. Hence, they need to be consumed in the form of supplements.
There are two major types of nutrients, micronutrients, and macronutrients. The two forms of micronutrients a human body needs are vitamins and minerals. There are three subcategories of macronutrients, which include carbohydrate, fats, and protein.
Some of the functions performed by the nutrients are as follows:
- Nutrients are the source of energy for the body. Carbohydrates and fats provide energy to the body needed to carry out the biochemical reactions occurring throughout the day. Simple carbohydrates are considered an instant source of fuel as the energy released from the breakdown and absorption of these nutrients is available for the body to be used immediately. On the other hand, fats take a longer time to be able to provide fuel for the body as they need to be converted to a usable form of energy.
- Nutrients help to regulate the functions of different organs. They support and control the various body functions including sweating, metabolism, temperature, thyroid function, and blood pressure.
- Nutrients like proteins help in building muscles. They also assist in the repair and healing processes of the body.