Essential nutrients are compounds that the body can’t make or can’t make in sufficient quantity. According to the World Health Organization, these nutrients must come from food, and they’re vital for disease prevention, growth, and good health.
While there are many essential nutrients, they can be broken into two categories: macro-nutrients and micro-nutrients.
Macro-nutrients are eaten in large amounts and include the primary building blocks of your diet — protein, carbohydrates, and fat — which provide your body with energy.
Vitamins and minerals are micro-nutrients, and small doses go a long way. There are six main groups of essential micro-nutrients and macro-nutrients.