Nutrients & Minerals

A nutrient is a substance that provides nourishment which is essential for growth and life.  An essential nutrient is a nutrient the body cannot synthesize on its own and has to be obtained through a dietary source. A nonessential nutrient is a nutrient that the body can synthesize or absorb from outside dietary sources.                 Nutrients include macronutrients (such as chemical elements, carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and the minerals calcium, potassium, sodium, magnesium, and chloride) and micronutrients (such as trace minerals like salts, copper, and iron and vitamins). An essential nutrient includes water, amino acids, fatty acids, vitamins, and other trace minerals.  A nonessential nutrient can be defined as a substance that is important to the body, such as fiber, which can serve to maintain intestinal health, and nonessential amino acids.

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