What Are the Nutrients in Food?

Food is any material consumed to give nourishment to an organisms. Food is normally of animal, plant or fungi origin, and has necessary nutrients, including proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, or other minerals, that are required for growth and development. The nourishment provided by food helps to keep the cells healthy and growing properly. An absence of food can cause a deficiency in some or all of the nutrients, or can cause the organism to die.


Many types of food provide both protein and nutrients, and therefore, healthy individuals consume a variety of foods in order to meet their daily needs. Meat, fish, eggs, milk and dairy products, nuts, pulses, fruits, vegetables, and legumes all provide protein and other nutrients. Health specialists suggest that a varied diet is the best way to ensure a long life and strong immunity. However, individuals may not be able to eat all the foods on a normal plate, and therefore, supplements are available to help provide essential nutrition to those who would not otherwise eat a great deal.

Milk products are a staple of many people’s diets, but they are not the only foods that should be included in the diet. Pulses and grains, which consist of similar proteins that are found in nuts, vegetables, fruits, beans, and meats, can also be included in a balanced diet. When combined with the right food, supplements can be used to supplement the food that an individual eats. Individuals who are diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder, or who have a deficiency in one or more nutrients, should discuss the need for supplements with their doctor. Although most food sources contain all of the essential nutrients that an individual needs, sometimes it is necessary to supplement the food with additional vitamins or minerals to be sure that the body is receiving the proper amount of nutrition.