The Nutrients: Types, Functions and Benefits

 The Nutrients: Types, Functions and Benefits

The Nutrients in Foods are B Vitamins, Calcium, Carbohydrates, Cholesterol, Fat, Fiber, Folic Acid, Incomplete Proteins, Iron, Niacin, Protein, Riboflavin, Saturated Fats, Sodium, Thiamine, Unsaturated Fats, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C. Carbohydrates are body’s primary energy and starch, sugar, and fiber. Starch is made from chains of small sugars. When these chains are broken down during digestion, we get energy.

The Nutrients Benefits

We get 4 calories from each gram of starch (or sugar). The body does not break down fiber during digestion and it facilitates digestion. Cereals, rice, bread, pasta, potatoes, bananas, and corn are good sources of starch and daily energy. They give important vitamins and minerals also. As carbohydrate-rich foods are usually low on calories, they help us keep a healthy weight.

Cells need proteins to grow and hair, skin, blood, organs, and muscles are made of proteins. The Nutrients and protein in food give us 4 calories in one gram. If we do not get enough calories from fat and carbohydrates we may use protein for energy. Proteins are made of amino acids and there are a few amino acids that the body cannot make and these are known as essential amino acids. Most foods that come from animals contain all of the essential amino acids. One gram of fat supplies 9 calories. Fat also is needed to carry and store essential fat-soluble vitamins, like vitamins A and D. A lot of fat is invisible fat in not common fat sources. traditional fats.

The nutrient which mainly gives energy to our body

It is important to develop a healthy eating habits with nutrients right from birth. Two subjects need special mention, salt, and saturated fats. Sodium is important for keeping a balance in pressure between the inside and outside of our cells and too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure and expose us more to heart attack or stroke. On eating too much-saturated fat, we get exposed more to heart disease. Reducing the number of saturated fats in diets may reduce the blood cholesterol level and reduce the chances of developing heart disease.


The three different kinds of carbohydrates are starch, sugar, and fiber.

Starch is from chains of small sugars. When the chains are broken down during digestion, you get energy. You get four calories from each gram of starch or sugar broken down.

  • Fiber does not break fiber down during digestion and gives mass, not energy. Cereals, wheat, rice, pasta, potatoes, bananas and corn are good sources of starch. They give us energy daily and starchy foods give you important vitamins and minerals also.
  • Fiber is a carbohydrate that is also called roughage or bulk. Fiber is the part of plant foods that the human body does not break down during digestion.
  • Foods that contain a lot of fiber may also contain other carbohydrates like starch or sugar. While you do not get calories from the fiber in these foods as it is undigested, you do get calories from the sugars and starches they contain.

Fiber helps in the smooth functioning of the digestive tract as it absorbs water. The undigested fiber creates bulk that muscles in the intestine can push waste out of the body. Eating enough fiber helps prevent constipation and may also reduce the risk of getting colon cancer. Some fibers can help lower blood cholesterol. Dried peas, beans like lentils, black-eyed peas, chickpeas, and kidney beans are the best sources of fiber in carbohydrates. The skins and seeds of fresh fruits and vegetables are good sources also. Whole-grain cereals and bread like oatmeal, brown rice, grits and whole-wheat bread are all naturally high in fiber. You will get more fiber when you eat whole fruits and vegetables with peels and seeds, a very healthy eating habit than you would when you eat foods like applesauce or instant mashed potatoes.


Proteins are large organic compounds that are made up of amino acids arranged in a chained formation. The proteins are joined together by peptide bonds, which are located between the carboxyl and the amino groups of adjacent amino acid residues. The amino acid moves around in the human body in a sequence. It is highlighted by a gene, which is encoded in the genetic code. Despite the genetic code stating 20th standard amino acids, the balance parts in the protein could be transformed chemically in post-translational modification, that is either before the protein can perform the necessary function in the cell, or alternatively as a type of control mechanism.

Proteins like other biological macromolecules like polysaccharides and nucleic acids, proteins still play the part of important mechanisms of the human body. Many proteins are enzymes that help in the speeding up of biochemical functions in the human body which are essential for the growth of energy in the body. Proteins also play a dual role in the body’s functioning. It acts both as structural and mechanical action.

A Protein, as we know is a single polypeptide, which is also referred to as monomeric. Proteins that are made of more than one polypeptide chain, are called oligomeric. On the basis of chemical composition, proteins are also divided into two types of parts; these are simple proteins and conjugated proteins. Simple Proteins are those types of proteins that are composed of only amino acids and conjugated proteins are those types of proteins that include both amino acids and also organic and inorganic groups. Examples of conjugated proteins are glycoproteins which have carbohydrates and lipoproteins which consist of lipids and nucleoproteins. All these also consist of nucleic acids.


Vitamins are required for the normal functioning of the body. There are two types of vitamins. Water-soluble vitamins are excreted through urine.

Vitamin C and vitamin B-complex are water-soluble.

The lists of water-soluble vitamins are given below:

  • Vitamin C
  • All types of Vitamin B

The fat-soluble vitamins are not expelled from the body. They are stored in the body. Fat-Soluble Vitamins:

Some examples of fat-soluble vitamins are as follows:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K
  • Antioxidant Vitamins:

The vitamins A, C, and E are antioxidants that protect the free radicals in the body. The antioxidants reduce oxidative stress. The vitamins with the properties of antioxidants help in keeping the diseases like diabetes and arteriosclerosis at bay.

Vitamin A prevents night blindness. Vitamin A also helps in the formation of red blood cells. Vitamin C improves the immunity of the body. Vitamin C also helps in the protection of the gums and teeth.

Vitamin E, a fat-soluble vitamin, helps in the proper functioning of the reproductive system. Vitamin E also helps in supplying oxygen to the muscles. Vitamin E, by virtue of its antioxidant property, helps in preventing the oxidation of low-density lipoprotein. The halt in the oxidation of low-density lipoproteins keeps cardiovascular diseases at bay. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that helps in the development of bones by enhancing the absorption of calcium and phosphorus from the intestine.

Water-Soluble Vitamins:

The water-soluble vitamin B complexes are equally important for the body. Some of the water-soluble vitamins are

  • Niacin(B3)
  • Thiamine(B1)
  • Riboflavin(B2)
  • Cyanocobalamine(B12)
  • Pantothenic acid(B5)
  • Pyridoxine(B6)
  • Biotin

Vitamin K helps in the clotting of blood. Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin. The deficiency of vitamins in the human body causes many diseases like scurvy, night blindness, pellagra, and beriberi. Various food items like fruits, vegetables, and seafood provide vitamins.

Read also: Balanced Diet: How To Balance Your Food Choices

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