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Nutrients and Their Types

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What are Nutrients?


Nutrition is the study of nutrients in food, the relationship between diet, health, and disease, and how the body uses the nutrients. Nutritionists use concepts from molecular biology, biochemistry, and genetics to study how nutrients affect the human body. Nutrition also examines how people can use dietary choices to reduce their risk of disease, what happens if they consume too much or too little of a nutrient, and how allergies work. Nutrients, on the other hand, nourish the body. Nutrients include proteins, carbohydrates, fat, vitamins, minerals, fibre, and water. People are more likely to develop certain health conditions if their diet lacks the proper nutrient balance.

Types of Nutrients

  1. Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates include sugar, starch, and fibre.

  • Sugars are a type of simple carbohydrate. Sugars and processed starches are quickly digested and absorbed by the body. They can give you a lot of energy quickly, but they don't fill you up. They can also result in an increase in blood sugar levels. Sugar spikes on a regular basis increase the risk of type 2 diabetes and its complications.

  • Complex carbohydrates include fibre and unprocessed starch. Complex carbohydrates require some time so that the body can break them down and absorb them. After consuming fibre, a person will feel fuller for a longer period of time. Fibre may also lower the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and colorectal cancer. Complex carbohydrates are a better choice than sugars and refined carbohydrates.

  1. Proteins: Proteins are made up of amino acids, which are organic compounds found in nature. There are a total of 20 amino acids. Some of these are essential, which means they must be obtained through food. The body has the ability to create others. Some foods contain complete protein, which means they contain all of the essential amino acids required by the body. Other foods contain a plethora of combinations of amino acids.

  2. Fats: Fats are essential for:

  • Lubricant for joints

  • Assisting organs in the production of hormones

  • Allowing the body to absorb specific vitamins

  • Lowering inflammation

  • Maintaining brain health

  1. Water: The adult human body is up to 60% water, and it requires water for a variety of processes. Water contains no calories and provides no energy. Many people recommend 2 litres, or 8 glasses, of water per day, but it can also come from dietary sources like fruit and vegetables. Pale yellow urine indicates a lack of adequate hydration.

Types of Nutrients Rich Food

Food Rich in Protein

  • Lean meats – beef, lamb, veal, pork, kangaroo.

  • Poultry – chicken, duck, goose, emu, turkey, bush birds.

  • Seafood and fish – fish, lobster, oysters, prawns, crab, mussels, scallops, clams.

  • Eggs.

  • Dairy products – milk, cheese, yoghurt.

Iron-Rich foods

  • Red meat, pork and poultry.

  • Seafood.

  • Beans.

  • Dark green leafy vegetables, such as spinach.

  • Dried fruit, such as raisins and apricots.

  • Iron-fortified cereals, bread and pasta.

  • Peas.

Vitamin C Foods

  • Citrus fruit, such as orange juice and oranges.

  • Peppers.

  • Strawberries.

  • Blackcurrants.

  • Broccoli.

  • Brussels sprouts.

  • Potatoes.

Vitamin A Foods

  • Cheese.

  • Eggs.

  • Oily fish.

  • Fortified low-fat spreads.

  • Milk and yoghurt.

Zinc Rich Foods

Poultry, oysters and red meat are some good examples of sources of zinc. Baked beans, nuts and chickpeas.

Vitamin E Foods

  • Wheat germ oil.

  • Sunflower, safflower, and soybean oil.

  • Sunflower seeds.

  • Almonds.

  • Peanuts, peanut butter.

  • Beet greens, collard greens, spinach.

  • Pumpkin.

  • Red bell pepper.

Fat-soluble vitamins

  • Fish liver oil.

  • Beef liver.

  • Cheese, milk, and other dairy products.

  • Sources of beta carotene include

  • Sweet potato.

  • Kale, spinach, and other green, leafy vegetables.

  • Carrots.

  • Cantaloupe.

Functions of Nutrients

The following are some of the important functions of essential nutrients:

  • The body's primary source of energy is nutrients.

  • They aid in the formation and repair of body tissues.

  • Improves fat-soluble vitamin absorption.

  • Aids in the production of collagen.

  • Gives blood vessels, bones, and ligaments proper structure.

  • They also aid in the maintenance of the body's homeostasis.


Food is the most important source of energy for the human body. The nutrients that are present in the food are responsible for providing the body with energy. There are different types of food that are rich in different types of nutrients. Vitamins, minerals, iron, and sodium are the nutrients that we get from food. Nutrients help in providing energy to the body and also they aid in the process of repairing tissues.

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FAQs on Nutrients and Their Types

1. What are micronutrients? What are the seven micronutrients?

Micronutrients are one of the most important nutrient groups your body requires. Vitamins and minerals are among them. For the processes of energy production, immune function, blood clotting, vitamins are required. Meanwhile, minerals are essential for growth, bone health, fluid balance, and a variety of other processes.

2. What is the main function of each nutrient? Which is an important mineral nutrient?

Nutrients perform one or more of three basic functions in the body: they provide energy, contribute to body structure, and/or regulate chemical processes. These fundamental functions enable us to detect and respond to our surroundings, move, excrete waste, breathe, grow, and reproduce. Minerals are one of four types of essential nutrients, the others being vitamins, essential fatty acids, and essential amino acids. Calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and magnesium are the five major minerals found in the human body.

3. What are macronutrients?

The macronutrients are carbohydrates, fat, and protein. They help in making structures of the body.