The body needs nutrients to enable it to function normally. These nutrients which we get from plants keep us nourished and healthy. These nutrients work to produce cells, build and repair tissues of the body, provide us with energy and protect us from diseases. We can never survive without these essential substances that are our main sources of nourishment.

Here are the most essential nutrients that your body needs for energy and health:

1. Proteins

Proteins are your body’s most plentiful substances aside from water. Your body needs them for growth, development and repair of worn out tissues.

Natural food sources of protein include eggs, fish, meat, milk, and poultry. It can also be obtained from beans, bread, cereals, and peas.

2. Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are your body’s main provider of energy, and they are present in about 50 percent of the calorie intake of westerners and up to 75 percent of the calories contained in foods eaten by Asians and Africans. Carbohydrates-rich foods such as corn, rice, wheat and potatoes are the main sources of protein that provide nourishment and energy to most of the peoples in the world.

3. Fats and Oils

The body uses fats and oils for energy and health. Certain vitamins become available because of the presence of fats which are part of all body cells. They also work to regulate body temperature and prolong a person’s resistance to hunger because they remain longer in the stomach.

It is however important to note that excess fats, especially those of animal origin, can raise cholesterol levels in the blood. Excess cholesterol can accumulate in the arterial walls and narrows them. This could trigger stroke or heart attack.

4. Minerals

Minerals are nutrients that we obtain from foods and they are essential for good health. They are a part of our cells, tissues and fluids and they are needed in certain body processes such as digestion, metabolism and production of energy from food.

Some of the most important functions of minerals include the production of red blood cells, the supply of strength and energy, and to maintain the health of bones, teeth, nails and muscles.

Some of the most important minerals that the body needs include iron, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, iodine, and sodium.

5. Vitamins

Vitamins are organic components in food that we need for growth, energy and health. These vitamins include vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin K and the B vitamins that work to provide us with energy and good mood.

The body needs all the known vitamins for optimum health, and each vitamin plays a specific role to keep us healthy and protected.

6. Water

Water comprises more than 60 percent of our body. Water is life indeed because it is necessary to keep the body cells hydrated to keep it alive. The body uses it to carry nutrients and it plays a major role in the body’s chemical processes, including cleansing and the elimination of toxic wastes. It also works to regulate body temperature.