Explain how the body uses carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, vitamins, minerals, and water.

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The items listed in the question are better known as the 6 essential nutrients. Essential nutrients are compounds that the human body does not make or is not capable of making in quantities large enough to be sufficient. The 6 essential nutrients come from food, and they are critically important for growth, disease prevention, and overall good health.

While there are many different essential nutrients, they can be divided into two separate categories. Macronutrients are essential nutrients that have to be ingested in large amounts because they are primary building blocks of the body. Protein, carbohydrates, and fat are the macronutrients. They do different things, but in general, they provide the body with energy.

If you need specific uses of each macronutrient, then the following will give a brief overview. Protein can be a body fuel, but proteins are also what hormones and antibodies are made out of. Carbohydrates are the body's primary fuel source. Lipids (fats) help with vitamin absorption, muscle movement, and blood clotting.

Vitamins and minerals should be consumed in small doses and are considered micronutrients. Vitamins help with overall health and do things like fight off disease. Minerals serve a similar support role and do things like help build strong bones and teeth.

Lastly is water. While a human could survive for weeks without proteins, carbs, fats, vitamins, and minerals, that same human would likely die after a few days without water. Water is critical to survival. It's a body lubricant. It flushes the body of toxins and helps carry nutrients to cells. Water and hydration has also been linked to improved brain function and mood.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on January 15, 2020
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