15 September 2013

Nutrients in our body for Class 6

The foods that we eat contain some important components / substances that are needed by the body. These components which help in the growth and development of the body are called nutrients.
The major nutrients present in the food items are:
  1. Carbohydrates
  2. Proteins
  3. Vitamins and minerals
  4. Fats
  5. Dietary fibers and
  6. Water


Carbohydrates and fats provide energy to our body. And this energy is used for doing different kinds of work in our daily life. Hence foods that are rich in carbohydrates and fats are called energy-giving foods. All the cereals are rich in carbohydrates. For e.g. cereals like rice, wheat, bajra, maize and other foods like sweet potato, potato, sugarcane, papaya, mango etc are the rich sources of carbohydrates.

While various edible oils  like sunflower oil, mustard oil, coconut oil, groundnut oil, butter, ghee (melted butter), milk, cream etc are rich sources of fats. Nuts like almonds, groundnuts, sesame seeds etc are the plants sources that are rich in fats while foods like meat, fish, eggs etc are the animal sources that are rich in fats.


These are called the body-building foods as proteins help in the growth of the body. Proteins also help in the repairing the wear and tear of the body. All the pulses are rich sources of proteins. Foods like Toor daal, Bengal gram, beans, peas etc are the rich sources of plant proteins. While foods like fish, milk, eggs, meat and paneer (Indian cottage cheese) are the rich sources of animal proteins.

Vitamins & minerals

Vitamins and minerals help in protecting our body from various diseases, hence these are called the protective foods. Vitamins and minerals also keep maintaining the health of the body organs like eyes, bones, teeth, skin etc.

There are different kinds of vitamins known with different names. These are Vitamin A, Vitamin B-complex (which occurs in as a group of vitamins), Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E and Vitamin K. Our body needs required quantity of vitamins of all kinds.

Vitamin A helps in keeping your eyes healthy. Foods like milk, papaya, carrot, mango, pumpkin etc which are mostly yellow or orange in color are rich sources of Vitamin A. While Vitamin C helps the body to fight against diseases and thus develops immunity.  Foods like lemon, orange, tomato, Indian gooseberry (amla), guava etc are rich in Vitamin C.

Vitamin D helps in keeping the bones and teeth strong. Besides foods like egg, milk, butter etc that are rich in Vitamin D. Our body is capable of preparing Vitamin D in the presence of sunlight.

Minerals are also required by the body in small quantities and these help in maintaining the health of the body. Iron is one of the important mineral and most of the green leafy vegetables, green vegetables and fresh fruits are rich in iron. Calcium is yet another important mineral which helps in making the bones strong.  Eggs and milk are rich in calcium. Iodine and phosphorus are other minerals required by the body in small quantities.

Dietary fibers & water

Dietary fiber and water are the other two important nutrients required by our body. Dietary fibers are also known as roughage and these are mostly provided by the plant products like whole grains, pulses, potatoes, fresh fruits and vegetables. Though dietary fiber do not provide nutrients to the body, yet it is an important component of food as it provides bulk to it. These help in the easy bowel movement in our body and thus helps in getting rid of the undigested food.


Water is yet another very important nutrient and it helps our body in absorbing nutrients from the foods. Water also helps in removing the wastes from our body in the form of urine and sweat. Most of the water is obtained from the various liquids that we drink like juices, water etc.