Nutrients - What are they and why do you need them?

 

Absorption of nutrients

It is widely known that healthy eating habits are important for your health. After all, you take in nutrients via your food that are essential for your body. The absorption of nutrients takes place in the digestive system (in your intestines). 

Different types of nutrients

Nutrients can be sub-divided into different categories, namely: proteins (amino acids), fats, carbohydrates (starch and sugars) and a large number of vitamins and minerals. Other important ingredients in your diet are fibre and water. 

Macro and micro

Proteins, fats and carbohydrates are also called macronutrients. Your body needs many of these because these substances function as fuel for your body. In addition, they are also necessary for the development and maintenance of your muscles, hormones, organs, enzymes and your blood. 

Vitamins and minerals are also referred to as micronutrients. Vitamins [link to page with overview of all vitamins] and minerals [link to page with overview of all minerals] do not provide energy, but are necessary for many processes in your body.

Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA)

The Health Council of the Netherlands has established recommendations for virtually all vitamins and minerals in respect of the amounts that healthy individuals require daily. These recommendations are known as the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA). Some people have a greater requirement, because they do not take in and/or absorb all nutrients.