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7 Essential Nutrition in human beings and their function

Explain Nutrition in human beings

Food provides them energy to perform different function. Intake of food by an organism, its absorption and utilization in the body is called nutrition.

Nutrition in human beings

Human beings are Omnivores. Their food comes from plants source as well as animal sources. We get cereals (wheat, maize, rice), pulses (urad, moong, gram), fruits (mango, guava, papaya), vegetables (potato, tomato, carrots) oils (groundnut, mustard, coconut, etc.) from plants. We also get eggs, meat, milk, etc from animals.


Main nutrition for human beings

There are 7 essential nutrition in human beings are:

  1. Carbohydrates
  2. Fats
  3. Protein
  4. Vitamin
  5. Minerals
  6. Dietary fibres
  7. Water

Nutrition in human beings


  1. Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are made up of carbon (C), hydrogen (H), and oxygen (O). Examples of carbohydrates are sugars, glucose, starches, and cellulose.

Important fact about Carbohydrates

  • Formula of carbohydrates = (CH2O)n
  • Energy in 1 gram carbohydrate = 4.2 calorie
  • Unit of carbohydrates = Saccharide
  • Carbohydrate is energy molecules.
  • Between two saccharide unit, Glycosidic Bond is formed.


Sources of Carbohydrate:

Grains like wheat, rice, millets, maize, sugarcane, potato, sweet potato, beet root.

Function of carbohydrates

Carbohydrates provide energy to the body. Carbohydrates are broken down into sugars mainly glucose and oxidized to get energy.


  1. Fats

Fat is made up of fatty acid and glycerol. It is hydrophobic nature (not soluble in water). It is also called lipids. 9.3 calorie energy in 1 gram fat/lipid.

Sources of Fats

Milk, butter, ghee, cheese, cream, fish liver oil, vegetable oils (mustard, coconut, groundnut, sunflower, etc.)

Function of Fats

Fats provide energy to the body. Extra food is stored by the human body in the form of fats in the liver and under the skin. Human body needs fats to dissolve and use fat soluble vitamin like vitamin A and vitamin D.


  1. Proteins

Proteins made of nitrogen containing compounds known as amino acids. It is amphoteric molecules.

  • Protein is energy molecule.
  • Protein is called building block of life.
  • It is wound healing energy molecules.
  • Energy in 1 gram protein = 4.5 Calorie
  • Human body is made up of 10-20 percent protein.
  • A human body required total 22 types of protein.
  • Collagen protein is most abundance protein in human body.


Example of Proteins: Thrombin, pro- thrombin, globin, globulin, fibrin, fibrinogen, keratin, ossine, Actyn (or myosin), collagen, Casein, Albumin protein, Carotene protein, Luecopene protein, etc.

  • Keratin protein is present in hair/nail.
  • Ossine protein is present in bone.
  • Actyn or Myosine protein is present in muscles.
  • Collagen protein is present in skin.
  • Casein protein is present in milk.
  • Albumin protein is present in egg.
  • Carotene protein is present in carrot.
  • Leucopene protein is present in tomato.


   4. Vitamins

Vitamins are required in small quantities but they are essential for proper functioning of our body.

  • Vitamin is discovered by Hopkins.
  • Name of vitamin is given by Funk.

Types of Vitamin

  1. Water soluble Vitamin: Vitamin B Complex and Vitamin C are water soluble vitamin.
  2. Fat soluble Vitamin: Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin E and Vitamin K are called fat soluble vitamin.


Vitamin A

It is also called Antinfection vitamin. Chemical name of vitamin A is Retinol.

Sources of vitamin A: Carrot, beetroot, Green vegetables, Spinach, mango, butter, milk, fish-liver oil, egg, etc.

Function of vitamin A: It helps in good vision and healthy skin. It also helps in the growth of teeth.

Deficiency disease of vitamin A: Night blindness, Xeropthalmia


Vitamin B Complex

Vitamin B complex is a group of eight vitamins – B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, B12.

Sources of Vitamin B complex: Meat, Fish, cheese, yeast, green leafy vegetables, curd, etc.

Function of Vitamin B Complex: It helps in proper functioning of nerves and muscles.


Vitamin C

Vitamin C is only obtained from the plant. It is necessary for the development of connective tissue.

  • Chemical name of vitamin C = Ascorbic acid
  • It is also called heat sensitive vitamin
  • It is also called wound healing vitamins.
  • Vitamin C is also called antioxidant vitamin

Sources of vitamin C: Lemon, orange, grapes, amla, cabbage, guava, mango, kiwi, papaya, strawberries, etc.

Function of Vitamin C: It helps to stay healthy by improving the immune system. It is an antioxidant and helps in iron absorption and keeps gums healthy.

Deficiency disease of vitamin C: Scurvy (also called Sailor’s disease)


Vitamin D

Vitamin D is also called sun shine vitamin or poor vitamin. It is necessary for absorption of calcium and phosphorous. Our skin can synthesize vitamin D when exposed to the Sun.

  • Chemical name of vitamin D = Calciferol
  • Vitamin D is called hormone
  • It is also called rapidly forming vitamin
  • Production of vitamin D in skin through Sunlight.

Sources of vitamin D: Milk, egg, Sunlight, Cod liver oil, ghee, non-veg, etc.

Function of Vitamin D: It helps the body to absorb calcium and thus makes bones and teeth strong.

Deficiency disease of Vitamin D: Rickets (when child bone weak) and Ostomalesia (when adult bone weak).


Vitamin E

Vitamin E is called Beauty vitamin. It is fat soluble vitamin. Chemical name of vitamin C is tocopherol.

Sources of vitamin E: Melon, water melon, green leafy vegetables, egg yolk, soybean oil, sunflower oil, nuts, etc.

Function of vitamin E: It delays the process of ageing.

Deficiency disease of vitamin E: Early Ageing, Fertility decrease


Vitamin K

Chemical name of vitamin K is Phylloquannine. It is fat soluble vitamin.

Sources of vitamin K: Leafy green vegetables like spinach, cabbage, etc, milk, paneer. It also produced by bacteria present in the intestinal tract.

Function of Vitamin K: It helps in proper blood clotting whenever there is an injury.

Deficiency disease of vitamin K = No blood clotting


  5. Minerals

Minerals are required in small quantities but they are essential for proper functioning of our body. The main important minerals are:

  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Phosphorous
  • iodine
  • Sodium
  • Potassium




Sources of calcium: Meat, eggs, fish, milk, pulses, vegetables, etc.

Functions of calcium: It helps to make bones and teeth strong. It is also helps in proper functioning of muscles.



Sources of iron: Green leafy vegetables like spinach, soybean, liver, seeds, beans, chickpeas, etc.

Functions of Iron: Iron required to form haemoglobin in red blood cells of our body. More haemoglobin means more oxygen supply and thus, more energy. Due to blood loss during menstruation, iron requirement in girls is more as compared to boys.



Source of phosphorous: Meat, eggs, fish, milk, vegetables, pulses, etc.

Function of phosphorous: It help to make bones and teeth strong. It also helps in production of ATP in the cells.



Sources of iodine: Potato and other vegetables, strawbarries, beans, yogurt, ionized salt, etc.

Function of iodine: It is required for the production of thyroxin, hormone secreted by the thyroid glands. This hormone controls our body metabolism.



Sources of sodium: Bread, table salt, soy sauce, cheese, milk, vegetables, etc.

Function of sodium: It needs for proper fluid balance, nerve transmission and muscle contraction.



Sources of potassium: Oranges, beans, bananas, sweet potato, milk, beet root, etc.

Function of potassium: It helps to build proteins and muscles, controls acid-base balance and electrical activity of muscles.


Process of Nutrition in human beings

The process of nutrition involves five steps:

  • Ingestion
  • Digestion
  • Absorption
  • Assimilation
  • Egestion


Ingestion: Ingestion is the process of taking food inside the body. The food taken by man is masticated by the teeth before swallowing.

Digestion: Digestion is the process of conversion of large, complex and insoluble organic molecules into simpler, smaller and soluble molecules.

Absorption: Absorption is the process of mixing of digested food in the body fluid. All the digested food in our body is absorbed in the ileum. The food is absorbed by diffusion, osmosis or by active participation of the cells of the intestine.

Assimilation: It is the process of utilization of absorbed food for various body functions. The absorbed nutrients are utilized to resynthesize complex molecules like carbohydrates, proteins and fats inside the cells.

Egestion: It is the process of eliminating of undigested food formed in the cells, or in the lumen of large intestine through the anus.


Some Important Biology Link 

  1. The Human Brain
  2. Digestive System
  3. Parts of a Plants
  4. What is a Cell in Biology?
  5. What are Harmful effects of Microorganisms?
  6. Respiratory System in humans


  I hope you like this article nutrition in human beings.

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