In order for a human to maintain good health, there are a number of key dietary requirements which must be met.
A Healthy Diet is a diet that does not contain excessive quantities of fat, sugar or salt, and that provides enough vitamins & minerals for the body to function at peak efficiency.
Amino acids are required to enable protein synthesis. Humans are able to synthesise 10 of the 20 amino acids. The others, referred to as essential amino acids, must be obtained from the diet. As meat and dairy products are often important sources of these amino acids, special care must be taken by vegetarians and vegans to ensure this requirement is properly met. Beans, pulses, dairy products and eggs are all excellent, vegetarian friendly, sources of these compounds.
Essential fatty acids are required for numerous metabolic processes, including the synthesis of prostaglandin.
Minerals, various inorganic compounds required to accomplish a multitude of processes. These include calcium, copper, potassium and zinc.
Vitamins are organic compounds which are unable to be synthesised by mammals. These are most commonly required to act as cofactors in various enzymatic reactions.
Sufficient energy to fuel the organisms metabolic processes.