6 Basic Essential Nutrients Your Body Needs

Today, there is so much information out there about nutrition that it can be hard sometimes to make sure one is getting the necessary nutrients the body needs on a daily basis. As a matter of fact, some sources list as much as 90 essential nutrients which hence makes it difficult to follow a balanced diet.

However, getting all the essential nutrients your body needs does not have to be complicated. By just being mindful of some specific nutrients, it can become very simple to eat a healthy diet full of nutrient-dense foods. All you need to do is to break them down into either essential or nonessential nutrients. This will help streamline your diet and thus makes it easier for you to achieve a better health.

So let’s see what essential nutrients really are, the types we have, why they are called essential and how you can get them to profit your body. Let’s look at the 6 basic essential nutrients your body needs now!

What Exactly Are Essential Nutrients?

Either you call it essential nutrients or ‘essential nutrition’ – as some people call it, they are compounds of great benefit to the body but the body either can’t make at all or can’t make in sufficient quantity. These nutrients are usually gotten from our foods and they are vital for us for preventing diseases, for growth, and good health.

Even though these essential nutrients can be many, they can easily be categorized into two; the micronutrients and the macronutrients. While micronutrients – carbohydrates, protein and fat – are required by the body in large quantity for providing energy, the micronutrients are only needed in very minute quantities and these include the vitamins and minerals.

What are the 6 basic essential nutrients your body needs now?

While there exist thousands of specific nutrients and each of them having its own unique function and importance to the body, there a few specific nutrients you should be specifically mindful of and find a way of incorporating into your diet on a daily basis. These include:

#1: Carbohydrate

Don’t let the low-carb craze get into your head! Even though carbohydrate is been named “unhealthy” or “body fat-promoting”, you should still know that carbohydrates are vital to the proper functioning of your body. Glucose, which is the primary source of energy fueling our body and brain is a product of the breakdown of carbohydrates.

Carbohydrates do not only provide your body with the energy it requires to carry out its daily activities and metabolism, it can also help stabilize blood sugar levels and also preserve muscle mass as it prevents the body from utilizing proteins for energy.

Complex carbs break down a little longer and so can help you feel full for a longer time and also keep the levels of your blood sugar regular. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, up to 45 to 65% of your total daily calorie intake should be carbohydrates.

Healthy sources of carbohydrates

Before you reach for that pasta or white bread, you need to also bear in mind that the type of carbohydrate you eat also matters. Not all carbs are made the same. While some are healthy, some may not. So, when choosing your carbs, opt for beans, whole grains, vegetables rich in fibre and fruits. Avoid refined grains, as well as products with added sugar.

  • Hooper, L., Abdelhamid, A., Moore, H. J., Douthwaite, W., Skeaff, C. M., Summerbell, C. D. (2012). Effect Of Reducing Total Fat Intake On Body Weight: Systematic Review And Meta-Analysis Of Randomised Controlled Trials And Cohort Studies. British Medical Journal. 2012; 345: e7666.
  • (2015 Sept). Healthy Diet. World Health Organization.
  • Sylvia, M. B., Thomas, J. V. (2015 Dec). Dietary Guidelines For Americans 2015-2020 Eighth Edition. Dietary Guidelines.
  • Harvard Medical School. (2018 Aug). The Truth About Fats: The Good, The Bad, And The In-Between. Harvard Health Publishing.

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