What Are the Six Basic Nutrients?


Quick Answer

The six nutrient groups that are needed for daily performance and healthy living are carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals and water. Ensuring a body has each of these every day guarantees optimum health.

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Full Answer

Carbohydrates provide sugar for a quick energy boost. Processed foods generally have a high amount of carbohydrates in them. To promote the best health, people need to eat unprocessed carbohydrates such as whole grains, fresh fruit, vegetables, beans and peas. Proteins provide a slow, steady form of energy. Protein is found in all meats and dairy foods, but the best sources are fish, tofu, beans and black eyed peas.

In the fats group, nuts, seeds and olives are relatively healthy options. Ocean fish and salmon have been shown to lower cholesterol. Vitamins have been proven to be necessary to maintain health, but getting too much can be just as bad as too little. Minerals help avoid serious health conditions such as anemia, bone disease and depression. There are few minerals in processed foods, and supplements are helpful for maintaining a healthy level.

Water is a major necessity for maintaining a healthy system, both internally and externally. Water naturally cleans the system, helps with weight control, energy and digestion. The average adult should have at least a half of a gallon of water each day.

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