The nutrients are substances used by an organism to survive, grow, and reproduce. Different types of organisms need different essential nutrients. According to Its needs of animals divide nutrients into macronutrients and micronutrients. Macronutrients are commonly used in a relatively large amount. Carbohydrates, proteins, fats, etc are examples of macronutrients. Micronutrients are commonly used in a relatively smaller amount. Different types of vitamins, minerals are the main examples of micronutrients.


In the sense of essentiality of human beings types of macronutrients and their function is a relatively simple task than micronutrients so only micronutrients are being described here.


Different types of vitamins and minerals are essential micronutrients for human which are mentioned below:


Vitamins are very important organic essential micronutrients of our food. Essential nutrients can not be synthesized in organisms, therefore, must be obtained through the diet. Which an organism needs in small quantities for the proper functioning of its metabolism. On the basis of solubility, vitamins can be divide into two groups-

1. Fat-soluble vitamins

Vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble vitamins. These can be stored in fat tissue and the liver for a long time.

2. Water-soluble vitamins

Vitamins B-complex and C are water-soluble vitamins. These can not be stored for a long time because excess amount of its with the urine these excrete from the body.

Functions, dietary effects, chemical names,s and food sources of these vitamins are mentioned in this chart.

Water-soluble vitamins:

Vitamins Main Function Main Sources
B1 (Thiamin) • Helps release energy from carbohydrates
• It needed for the proper working of the heart, digestive and nervous systems
• Important for growth
• Yeast extracts
• Wheatgerm and wheat bran
• Nuts and seeds
• Fortified bread and breakfast cereals
• Wholemeal flour and cereals
B2 (Riboflavin • Important for growth and repair of tissues, especially the skin and eyes
• Helps release energy from foo
• Important for growth and repair of tissues, especially the skin and eyes
• Helps release energy from foo
B3 (Niacin) • Helps to release energy from food
• Important for growth
• Helps control cholesterol levels
• Important for the nervous system and digestive health
• Lean meat
• Yeast
• Bran
• Peanuts
• Eggs
• Vegetables
• Milk
B5(Pantothenic acid) • Helps process carbohydrate, fat, and protein for energy
• Involved in the formation of fatty acids and cholesterol
• Yeast extracts
• Fish
• Lean meat
• Legumes
• Nuts
• Eggs
• Green leafy vegetables
B6 (Pyridoxine) • Helps process protein and carbohydrate
• Assists in making red blood cells
• Important for brain function and immune system health
• Lean meat and poultry
• Fish
• Yeast extracts
• Soybeans
• Nuts
• Wholegrains
• Green leafy vegetables
B12 (Cyano-cobalamin) • Works with folate to produce new blood and nerve cells and DNA
• Helps process carbohydrate and fat
• Found only in animal products (lean meat, seafood, eggs, and milk)
• Fortified soy products
Biotin • Helps process fat and protein
• Important for growth and nerve cell function
• Egg yolk
• Oats
• Wholegrains
• Mushrooms
• Nuts
Folate (Folic acid) • Produces red blood cells and DNA
• Keeps the nervous system healthy
• Important in early pregnancy to prevent neural tube defects
• Yeast
• Green leafy vegetables
• Wholegrains
• Peas
• Nuts
C (Ascorbic acid) . Needed for healthy gums, bones, teeth, skin and increase the immunity of the whole body Citrus fruits, vegetables, pineapple, mango, capsicum, spinach.

Fat-soluble vitamins:

A (Retinol) • Essential for eyesight, especially night vision
• Keeps the skin in the mouth, respiratory tract, and urinary tract moist
• Builds immunity
• Full cream dairy products
• Butter and table margarine
• Egg yolk
• Orange, yellow and green fruits and vegetables (carrots, spinach, apricots, mango, pumpkin, broccoli)
D (Cholecalciferol) • Works with calcium and phosphorus to make strong, healthy bones and teeth • Sunlight (about 10 minutes every day)
• Cod liver oil and oily fish (herring, salmon, tuna, and sardines)
• Eggs
E (Tocopherol) • This antioxidant may play a role in preventing cancer and heart disease • Wheatgerm
• Nuts and seeds
• Eggs
• Wholegrains
• Fish
• Fruit and vegetables
K (Phylloquinone or Napthoquinone) • Essential for blood clotting • Green vegetables
• Broccoli and cauliflower
• Eggs
• Cheese
• Wholemeal flour and bread

Mineral Salts:

There are some minerals that are found in food and essential micronutrients for a healthy life. Like iron is required for blood formation, calcium for bones, iodine for thyroxine hormones, phosphorous for teeth and bones, sodium and potassium for electrolyte and water balance in the body, etc.


Minerals Main Sources Functions
Calcium Milk and Milk Product Builds and Maintains bone structure, Gives vitality, Heal wounds, Regulates Heartbeats, etc.
Zinc Whole grains, Seafood, Meats, & Eggs Involves in Digestion and Metabolism, Aids in Healing.
Phosphorous Grains, Vegetables, Poultry, & Eggs Bones and Nerve building, and Nourishes brains.
Fluoride Fluorinated water, Marine fish, etc. Stimulates Bone Formation, and Reserves Dental caries.
Iodine Seafood, & Iodized Salts Metabolism normalizes, Prevents Goitre, and Normalizes glands and cells’ action.
Iron Green Vegetables, Grains, & Meats Hemoglobin Formation and increase resistance to stress and diseases
Magnesium Nuts, Green Vegetables, and Whole Grains New cell promotor in the body, Balancing of acid and alkaline, etc.
Chromium Corn Oil, Whole Grains, and Cereals Glucose metabolism, and Increase effectiveness of Insulin.
Copper Nuts, Organ Meats, and Oysters Helps in iron absorption, Synthesis of Hemoglobin, Metabolism of Ascorbic acids, etc
Manganese Fruits, Nuts, and Vegetables Controlling nervous system, enzyme activation, Sex hormone production, etc.
Molybdenum Nuts, Legumes, Whole grains Function as a cofactor of a limited number of enzymes.
Potassium Fruits, Green Vegetables, and Lean Meats Healer in the body, Fluid balancing, control activity of heart muscles, etc.
Selenium Grains, Seafood, and Organ Meats Protect body tissues against oxidative damage from radiation and normal metabolic processing.
Sodium Vegetables, Whole grains, Salts, Alfalfa, Meat, etc. Help in Digestion, Water balancing in the body, Purifies the blood, etc.
Chlorine Milk, Salts, Coconuts, Fish, Cheese, etc. Cleanser in the Body, Purify blood, maintain freshness


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