noun, plural: nutrients
Food, or any nourishing substance assimilated by an organism, and required for growth, repair, and normal metabolism
All living things need nutrients to sustain life and growth. Plants derive nutrients from the physical environment (e.g. soil and atmosphere) whereas animals from the ingested food.
Nutrients may be grouped into macronutrients and micronutrients depending on the amount required.
Nutrients may also be essential or nonessential based on the source or the ability of the organism to produce them.
Word origin: Latin nūtrīre (to suckle)