A nutrient is a substance needed by organisms to stay alive and healthy. A healthy human diet involves seven different kinds of nutrient:

Some foods are particularly rich in certain nutrients. The table shows why we need each nutrient, and some good sources of each one:

NutrientUse in the bodyGood sources
CarbohydrateTo provide energyCereals, bread, pasta, rice and potatoes
ProteinFor growth and repairFish, meat, eggs, beans, pulses and dairy products
Lipids (fats and oils)To provide energy. Also to store energy in the body and insulate it against the cold.Butter, oil and nuts
MineralsNeeded in small amounts to maintain healthSalt, milk (for calcium) and liver (for iron)
VitaminsNeeded in small amounts to maintain healthFruit, vegetables, dairy foods
Dietary fibreTo provide roughage to help to keep the food moving through the gutVegetables, bran
WaterNeeded for cells and body fluidsWater, fruit juice, milk