The 6 Essential Nutrients Your Body Needs (Types And Sources)

The Department of Nutrition for Health and Development at the World Health Organization (WHO) works in conjunction with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to continually review new research about human nutrient requirements and nutrient intakes. They have identified six essential nutrients that the human body needs.

You can learn more about these essential nutrients, their benefits, and the best dietary supplement products containing them here.

Six Essential Nutrients

Your body needs six essential nutrients to function properly. These nutrients aid in the repair, growth, and regulation of chemical processes in the body. This includes carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, minerals, fat, and water. A deficiency of any of these nutrients can cause a person to fall sick. Let’s have a look at them in detail


Carbohydrates (1)

Carbohydrates commonly referred to as ‘carbs’ are responsible for providing your body with energy and help the processes of cell and tissue building and repair. They break down into glucose which your body can make use of.  As per the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, just 45 to 65% of an adult’s daily calorie count should be from carbohydrate intake.

Carbohydrates are commonly found in bread, rice, oatmeal, pasta, vegetables, etc. They help support the immune system and the digestive function as well as the nervous system. Carbohydrates also help the brain function better.

Read Also: How Many Carbohydrates Do You Need: Carbs Requirement


Protein has a variety of uses for our bodies from helping in the growth of muscles, bones, and hair to the formation of antibodies and hormones and balancing fluids in the body. It also acts as fuel for the body to perform its daily tasks. Protein is usually found in meat, red meat, poultry, and seafood included. You can also find protein in dairy products, nuts, and even some grains. Although protein is healthy, one should limit the consumption of certain proteins like red meat and dairy as overconsumption of them can be harmful to the body.

Read Also: How Much Protein Do You Need


Vitamins offer countless benefits to one’s health without any serious side effects. They boost the immune system, strengthen bones and teeth, support blood regeneration and even aid calcium absorption. Vitamins are also extremely useful for maintaining healthy skin and hair. Some types of vitamins like Vitamin D have shown evidence of containing properties that delay or prevent cancer. Food rich in vitamins includes fruits and vegetables. A person suffering from deficiencies can take multivitamin supplements to get the necessary vitamin intake.

Essential Nutrients juice


There are two types of minerals that our body needs—major minerals and trace minerals. Major minerals include calcium, sodium, magnesium, etc. and they help the body balance water levels, strengthen bones and improve skin, hair, and nails.

Trace minerals include iron, zinc, fluoride, etc. and they’re useful in the regulation of oxygen through the body, improving blood pressure, and prevention of tooth decay.

Trace minerals are usually required in smaller amounts than major minerals by the body. Foods containing minerals include green vegetables, whole grains, red meat, seafood, egg yolks, dairy, iodized table salt, and more.

Fats (Lipids)

Contrary to popular belief that fatty food is bad for health, your body needs a certain amount of fat to stay healthy. Fats provide energy to the body and aids in cell growth, balancing blood sugar levels, the production of hormones, reducing the risk of heart disease, muscle movement, and more.

Fats are commonly found in foods like fish, vegetable oils, nuts, cheese, avocados, and dark chocolate. Consuming them in moderate amounts will provide the body with the nutrients it needs without harming it.


The final essential nutrient that your body needs not just to function properly but in order to ensure your survival is water. Water (H2O) is the most important essential nutrient that the human body needs. The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine have recommended 3.7 liters of fluid intake for men and 2.7 liters for women daily. 20% of the fluid comes from food, which means the rest of the 80% should come from drinking water.

Water has numerous health benefits for your body. These include the formation of saliva and mucus, regulation of body temperature, maintaining blood pressure, flushing of body waste, oxygen delivery, prevention of kidney disease, and improved skin among several others.

Maintaining a Healthy Diet

A healthy diet containing adequate amounts of all six essential nutrients is ideal for your body’s normal functioning. This ensures that your body is getting all the nutrients that it needs every day. A good way to ensure a balanced diet is by making a weekly food plan consisting of foods high in different kinds of nutrients allotted for different meals. You can use one of the many food calculators available online to deduce the number of various nutrients in any recipe and manage your food plan accordingly.

Fitness tracking apps can also help you calculate the amount of water intake you need daily and even assist you in keeping track of how many glasses you have consumed so far. Certain foods like red meat and dairy products are high in nutrients but they can also be detrimental to your health. You should limit their weekly intake or choose lean cuts that are relatively healthier for your body.

A consultation with a nutritionist can help you understand what your body needs better. They can provide you with assistance in coming up with a balanced diet to ensure a healthy body and mind. For people with digestive problems, health supplements are a useful alternative to food that can give you the essential nutrients your body needs without compromising your health.

You can shop top supplement online from companies like NutraA2Z. Supplements like Vitamin C Probiotic Drink provides you with your daily dose of vitamins.

Other Supplements such as collagen peptides, apple cider vinegar gummies, including Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, pomegranate juice, etc. are also good for your health.

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