Chemistry - Nutrients and nutrition
Nutrients and nutrition
A nutrient is any element or compound essential to the life and growth of
plants or animals, either in its own right or when transformed by chemical
In plants, nutrients include numerous mineral elements such as (Ca, K) as
well as nitrogen, carbon dioxide and water.
In animals (including humans) the primary nutrients are the proteins, fats
and carbohydrates obtained from plants either directly (through eating
fruits and vegetables) or indirectly (through eating dairy products and
animal flesh), supplemented by vitamins and minerals. All told, there are
43 basic nutrients.
The word nutrition refers to the effect nutrients have on living organisms
and the biochemical mechanisms involved in bringing this about.
In plant nutrition, the essential requirements are:
* CO2 and H2O from which the plant forms carbohydrates by photosynthesis
* Nitrogen - which is essential for the synthesis of protein by the plant
* Phosphorus, calcium, potassium and a number of trace elements known as
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