The six elements of nutrition are carbohydrates, fat, protein, vitamins, minerals and water. People require different amounts of each group for proper health based off of their age, sex, height and weight.
Carbohydrates are the body's main source of energy. It is recommended that carbohydrates make up 45 to 65 percent of the daily caloric intake. Fruits, vegetables and whole grains are the best source of carbohydrates because they are high in fiber. Fiber helps prevent obesity and regulates digestion.
Fat is a vital nutrient. Large amounts of saturated fat in the diet can lead to heart disease and diabetes, but some fats insulate organs and improve neuron function. These fats can be found in fish, nuts and seeds. Protein is required for healthy cell function and muscle maintenance. Meat, poultry, fish, eggs and beans are all good sources of protein.
Vitamins are necessary for the body to grow and develop. There are 13 necessary vitamins. A diet that includes several servings of varied fruits and vegetables per day can help ensure that vitamin requirements are being met.
Like vitamins, major minerals including sodium, potassium, calcium, phosphorous and magnesium are critical for healthy development. The body is made primarily of water. At least 64 ounces of water is required daily for health.