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close this bookAmaranth to Zai Holes, Ideas for Growing Food under Difficult Conditions (ECHO; 1996; 397 pages)
View the documentOther ECHO publications
View the documentAbout this book
View the documentAcknowledgements
Open this folder and view contents1: Basics of agricultural development
Open this folder and view contents2: Vegetables and small fruits in the tropics
Open this folder and view contents3: Staple crops
Open this folder and view contents4: Multipurpose trees
Open this folder and view contents5: Farming systems and gardening techniques
Open this folder and view contents6: Soil health and plant nutrition
Open this folder and view contents7: Water resources
Open this folder and view contents8: Plant protection and pest control
Open this folder and view contents9: Domestic animals
Open this folder and view contents10: Food science
Open this folder and view contents11: Human health care
Open this folder and view contents12: Seeds and germplasm
Open this folder and view contents13: Energy and technologies
Open this folder and view contents14: From farm to market
Open this folder and view contents15: Training and missionary resources
Open this folder and view contents16: Oils
Open this folder and view contents17: Above-ground (urban) gardens
View the document18: What is ECHO?
View the documentAdditional ECHO publications
Open this folder and view contentsECHO development notes - issue 52
Open this folder and view contentsECHO development notes: issue 53
Open this folder and view contents28 additional technical notes about tropical agriculture
Open this folder and view contentsPrinciples of agroforestry
close this folderGood nutrition on the small farm
View the documentWhy Nutrition?
View the documentWhat is a balanced diet?
View the documentWhy the small farm?
View the documentNutrients in foods
View the documentRecommended daily allowances
View the documentFive natural food groups
View the documentBalancing the diet with the five food groups
View the documentWhen milk is missing
View the documentPotential Sources for Information on Nutrition
 

Nutrients in foods

The nutrients in food can be divided into major and minor classes. Major, as used here, only signifies that a nutrient is needed in large quantities. The major nutrients are water, carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.

Water makes up to 80% of the body's weight. Lack of water will kill in 4-5 days.

Carbohydrates are of three types: Sugars (easily digested), starches (more slowly digested) and fiber (not digested, but necessary). The first two sources are a source of energy. The third is important in elimination of body waste.

Fats are a very concentrated source of energy common in plant and animal foods. As a general rule, plant fats (except palm fats) are more healthy to the body than animal fats.

Proteins are necessary for the building of the body (growth) and for repair of the normal and injured body.

Minor nutrients are the vitamins and minerals, very essential to health. There are 13 essential vitamins, the fat soluble (A,D,E, and K) and the water soluble (C and the various B's). Minerals are needed in small amounts (calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, chlorine) and those needed in minute amounts (iron, iodine, zinc, and several others). To balance the diet (make the diet adequate) it is not necessary to know the uses of the individual vitamins or minerals. However it does require a wide variety of foods that contain them.

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