The science of nutrition interprets the interaction of nutrients and other substances in food in relation to our growth, maintenance, reproduction, health and disease. A healthy diet includes preparation of food and storage methods that preserve nutrients. A diet poor in nutrients may have an injurious impact on one’s health causing a host of health disorders. So, it is important that we have a nutrient rich diet which is also known as a balanced diet. It comprises of seven essential components that are proteins, vitamins, carbohydrates, fats and lipids, roughage, minerals and water.
Nutrients are of two types – macro nutrients and micro nutrients. Macro nutrients are those which are required in large quantities while micro nutrients are those required in lesser amounts. Macronutrients comprise of carbohydrates, proteins, fats and water while micronutrients include vitamins, minerals and dietary fibres (roughage). When these two are combined together they give us seven nutrients essential for sustaining life and ensuring that every body part functions smoothly. Since the body does not manufacture them, we should get them from outside sources. Maintaining sufficient amounts of each is one of the keys to staying healthy. Listed below are the 7 essential nutrients and their functions.