We often talk about essential nutrients. About 50 nutrients are known that are necessary for human life processes: proteins (amino acids), fats, carbohydrates (starch and sugars) and a large number of vitamins and minerals.
These nutrients play an important role in many physiological functions, such as building and repairing the body, supplying energy and regulating all processes that take place in the body.
The body cannot make these substances itself, or to an insufficient extent, which is why they are called essential (indispensable) nutrients. This applies, for example, to vitamin D. Other necessary components in food are dietary fibers and water. In addition, there are other food substances that are not necessary in themselves, but they do play a role in health. These so-called bioactive substances are not yet counted as nutrients. Examples of these bioactive sustances are phytosterols (plant sterols). They have been shown to reduce the absorption of cholesterol by the gut and thus the cholesterol level in the blood.
Proteins, fats and carbohydrates are sometimes referred to as macronutrients. The body needs quite a lot of it: the amounts of proteins, fats and carbohydrates are therefore measured in grams. These nutrients are the fuel for the body that cannot function without this energy. Proteins are also necessary for building and maintaining the muscles, organs, nervous system, hormones, enzymes and the blood.
Vitamins, minerals and trace elements are also called micronutrients. They do not provide energy but are needed to release the energy from the macronutrients and the amino acids from protein. They are also important for the proper functioning of many processes in the body. The amounts are indicated in milligrams (mg) or micrograms (mcg).
In order for us to function properly and have the right energy to meet our goals, well balanced nutrition - containing the required nutrients - is important, combined with sound sleep, moving enough, conscious breathing and reflection to safeguard the conscious activation of all health domains.