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Here is the classification of nutrients | 24 Mantra

What are Essential Nutrients?


What are Essential Nutrients?


Food provides essential nutrition that is needed for growth, development, and maintenance of normal body function. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) “essential nutrition is the intake of food, considered in relation to the body’s dietary needs”. Good nutrition is an adequate, well-balanced diet along with the regular, suitable physical activity. It is of utmost importance for us to lead a healthy life.


essential nutrition

There are hundreds of nutrients our body needs to function. But all are not essential nutrition, some of them can be synthesized in the body. Essential nutrients are those which cannot be synthesized in the body. These have to be provided through our diet. The number of essential nutrients we need is over 40 of them.

The essential nutrition can be classified into

  1. Macronutrients
  2. Carbohydrates
  3. Proteins
  4. Fats
  5. Micronutrients
  6. Vitamins
  7. Minerals
  8. Water


This essential nutrition provides energy. They have other important functions to perform in the body too. These are called macronutrients because they are needed in larger amounts.

  1. Carbohydrates
  2. Proteins
  3. Fats

These are the nutrients which are like fuel to the body.


This essential nutrition which are required in smaller quantities. Though they are needed in minor amounts they are very important for our body to function. Unless these micronutrients are present in the diet the macronutrients cannot be used properly in the body.


Vitamins are essential nutrition that are extremely important for our body to function. For a substance to be named in the distinguished list of vitamins it needs to play a valuable role in at least one chemical reaction or process in the body. Vitamins are nutrients which have no calorific value and are required in very small quantities usually micrograms or milligrams.

Vitamins are classified based on their solubility into water-soluble and fat-soluble.

  1. Fat-soluble Vitamins A, D, E, and K
  2. Water-soluble vitamins B6, B12, thiamin, folate, biotin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, and choline



Minerals are essential nutrition that are essential for the maintenance of life and represent about 5-6 % of the total body weight. They are also sometimes talked about as elements. After water, minerals are the primary inorganic component found in the body.

They are classified based on how much they contribute to the weight of our body or how much of the mineral we require every day.

  1. When the minerals make up more than one-thousandth of our body weight, they are called major minerals. The recommended dietary intake for these major minerals is more than 100 mg. Calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, chloride, and magnesium are the major minerals.
  2. When the minerals make up less than one-thousandth of our body weight, they are called minor or trace minerals. The recommended dietary intake for these minerals is less than 100 mg. Iron, chromium, selenium, zinc, iodide, copper, molybdenum, fluoride, manganese and chromium are minor or trace minerals.



Water makes up about 60 % of our total body weight, typically a little more for men and a little less for women. It is the most plentiful substance in the body because it provides a medium for the body. All other substances within the body are in one of these states, either dissolved, suspended and/or bathed in water.

We need to provide water and a variety of foods daily for our body so that along with energy these foods supply all the essential nutrition.

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