Essential nutrients: what they are, benefits and functions

The essential nutrients are those that our body can not synthesize but instead are necessary for the body to function well.

The essential nutrients, therefore we must look for it in the food so that later the organism fulfills the function of first decomposing them and then assimilating them.

These nutrients are necessary as we have said before for our body to function well, to obtain energy, to form tissues, repair damaged tissues, and other biochemical processes that our body performs.

What are the essential nutrients?

Proteins, carbohydrates, saturated fats, unsaturated fats and trans fats, water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins, minerals that are, macrominerals and trace elements and water.


They are essential for growth, for the formation of tissues, their synthesis and maintenance, for the formation of hemoglobin, hormones including insulin, for the maintenance of vitamins, help transport oxygen and carbon dioxide to through the blood.

Proteins are found in foods such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, milk, milk products, legumes, vegetables, vegetables, cereals.

Although proteins are essential as we have said before, an excess of them can also be harmful to the organism, as well as its lack.


They constitute the main energy source of our organism, since our cells are nourished, mainly the brain.

They are divided into several groups, depending on how many components are present in the formation of hydrates: monosaccharides, disaccharides, polysaccharides.

In the group of the monosaccharides We have the following foods: honey, and glucose from fruits, some vegetables too.

In the group of the disaccharides: lactose (milk), sugar or sucrose, maltose.

In the group of the polysaccharides: vegetables, vegetables, cereals, legumes, nuts, oranges, apples.

At the time of consumption carbohydrates or carbohydrates It is better to opt for slow absorption such as whole grains, legumes and vegetables or vegetables.


Also called lipids, they fulfill the following functions in our organism, such as maintaining body temperature, transporting vitamins and synthesizing them, synthesizing hormones, they are present in cell membranes, they act as an energy reserve.

Saturated fats: come from animals, meat, sausages, milk, dairy products, industrial bakery, butter, mayonnaise.

The consumption of saturated fats is advisable to reduce it, because its consumption in excess is harmful to our health.

Unsaturated fats: we find them in vegetables, nuts, avocado, fish, olive oil, olives, sunflower oil, white fish, blue fish, cereals, whole grains, sesame seeds, flax seeds.

Trans fats: they are the most dangerous for our health, they are unsaturated fats to which they undergo a process of transformation (hydrogenation) to convert them into saturated fats and are present in margarines, industrial pastries, cookies, chips, other salty snacks, junk food or fast food, soups and sauces prepared industrially, precooked foods, frozen pizzas, ice cream.

Some fatty acids are generated by our body minus the essential fatty acids Omega 3 and Omega 6 that we must obtain through food.


They are essential nutrients that our body needs to avoid that their lack end up producing serious diseases and are essential to perform many metabolic reactions.

The vitamins can not produce them the organism either, therefore we must procure them through the feeding.

There are a total of 13 vitamins and they are grouped into Water soluble and liposoluble.

Water-soluble vitamins: vitamins that are easily eliminated and therefore we must have them present daily in our diet, are the vitamins of group B, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B8, B9, B12, and vitamin C.

These vitamins are found mainly in foods such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes, whole grains, dried fruits, fish, meat, poultry, eggs, milk and dairy products, brewer's yeast, wheat germ.

Fat-soluble vitamins: these vitamins are stored in our body, they are vitamins A, D, E, and K, so their consumption must be done in reasonable quantities.

These vitamins can be found in, carrots, green leafy vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, seeds, wheat germ, egg yolk, brewer's yeast, avocado, cereals, olive oil, soybean oil.

In the case of vitamin D, is the vitamin that gives us the sun, and is synthesized naturally in the body when we are exposed to it.

Vitamin D is also present in some foods such as milk, yogurt, cereals, bread, and other foods fortified with vitamin D.


As happens with vitamins are necessary for the proper functioning of our body.

We must provide them in small amounts depending on what our body needs.

The minerals form two groups, they are the macro minerals and trace elements.

The macrominerals They are named because they are the minerals that our body demands more quantity are calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, sulfur, chlorine.

The trace elements are the ones that we need in less quantity, even so they are essential as iron, iodine, zinc, manganese, cobalt, fluorine,

Minerals can be obtained through these foods mainly: vegetables, legumes, cereals, seeds, algae, brewer's yeast, dried fruits such as dried apricots, seafood, fish, olives, eggs, meat, milk, nuts, sprouts.


An essential element for the life of all living beings, although in reality it is not an essential nutrient, it does several important functions in our organism, such as transporting nutrients to cells, regulating body temperature, facilitating the digestion of food , disposal of toxic elements, among others.

The foods rich in water are vegetables, fruits, vegetables.

In addition to consuming these foods is very important to stay well hydrated drinking at least 2 liters of water a day.

By carrying out a varied, healthy and balanced diet and hydrating ourselves well, we will ensure that we are contributing to our organism all the essential nutrients, in the quantities that should also be appropriate and necessary for its proper functioning. This article is published for informational purposes only. You can not and should not replace the consultation with a Nutritionist. We advise you to consult your trusted Nutritionist.

The ABCD’s of Vitamins (October 2022)