How Nutrients Work
Nutrients from food are absorbed by the body as it passes through the digestive system:
Nutrients are essential for cell growth, maintenance and repair.
Nutrients provide energy to enable your body to function
Nutrients, along with fiber and water, are essential to your
Although nutrients can work alone, each depends upon the others to be the most effective. The
main nutrients are the macronutrients,
– and the micronutrients, vitamins and minerals.
What Macronutrients Do
Macronutrients Are Essential for Good Health:
They assist in breaking down carbohydrates and fats, which
provide energy to the body.
They assist in the absorption of protein, which provides
the building blocks necessary for cell growth and repair.
What Micronutrients Do
Vitamins and minerals do not in themselves provide energy, but macronutrients depend on them
to regulate the release of energy from food.
Vitamins are organic substances.
They activate enzymes, which are proteins that act as
catalysts to speed up biological reactions that take place in your body.
Your body produces a certain amount of vitamins
but all other vitamins come from your diet or supplementation.
Minerals are inorganic substances that originate from rocks and ores and enter the food chain
through the soil.
We get minerals either by eating plants grown on mineral-rich
soil or by eating animals that have fed on these plants.
and phosphorus are the major constituents
Sodium and potassium control your body's water balance.
Other minerals (chromium,
are needed for various chemical processes to take place in the body.
Omega Fatty Acids
also referred to as phytochemicals, are compounds that act as a natural defense system in plants,
and that also have a beneficial effect on human health.