There are five nutrients that are essential for health and life.

1. Proteins

  • Found in milk, eggs, meat, poultry, fish, nuts, pulses
  • The body uses proteins to repair damaged tissue
  • Remember to trim the fat off meat – too much fat is not good for you

2. Carbohydrates

  • Found in bread, cereal, rice, pasta, fruit and potatoes
  • They are the easiest form of energy to digest
  • If they are high in fibre, they help with your bowel function and lower your cholesterol

3. Fats

  • Found in butter, margarine, olive oil, vegetable oil, nuts
  • They are mainly a source of energy and vitamins A D E and K

4. Minerals

  • Found in liver, eggs, meat, fish and dried fruits such as raisins
  • Milk and cheese are rich in calcium (and vitamin D)
  • Calcium and vitamin D help with healthy bones and teeth. Iron is important for your blood
  • Calcium is especially important for people who are on high amounts of steroid treatment

5. Vitamins

  • A – improves eyesight and helps fight infections – it’s found in butter and many dark green vegetables
  • B – necessary for normal nerve function, good digestion, good appetite and healthy skin – found in wholegrain breads and cereals, meat, fish and dairy products
  • C – good for fighting infection. The best sources are citrus fruits (oranges, grapefruit), strawberries and broccoli
  • D – helps with healthy bones and teeth. Found in milk and cheese
  • E – found in whole grain cereals
  • K – regulates blood clotting – found in cauliflower, kale, spinach, Brussels sprouts, soya beans, meat and green tea