Nutritional Needs of People

To illustrate the way food helps to build our society, consider a few examples. Food is considered food when it is consumed for the purpose of sustaining life. Humans are animals that depend upon food to survive, but even plants need food to flourish and grow.


Plants, including rice, wheat, beans, corn and the like, are examples of what food is made of. Plants are classified as food depending upon their types and how they are grown. So, if you are interested in learning more about food, there are three main categories: animal food, plant food and dietary food. Animal food refers to meat, dairy products, eggs and other animals, and dietary food is food that is eaten only by humans. (Dietary food contains all the food that humans eat, therefore it is also included in this category.)

Although many people are familiar with fruits and vegetables, these are actually only one type of food. Fruits and vegetables are part of the large group of macro-nutrients known as nutrient-dense Foods. This means that when you eat food rich in these nutrients, you receive many health benefits. Animal food can be thought of as sources of protein and fat.

Animal food provides the body with proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Many people are familiar with the notion that eating meat provides the body with proteins and fats. In fact, most individuals derive their energy from proteins. The other two types of food provide carbohydrates and fibers. However, unlike meat, which is the only food that provides a calorie, carbohydrates are not digested, and instead are stored as weight gain or used as energy.

By eating nutrient-rich foods, we give our bodies the tools necessary to heal from illness and perform at our best, regardless of our current state of physical fitness. When choosing a food source, it is important to include foods that provide antioxidants, vitamins and minerals in your diet. Antioxidants, like vitamin C, E and beta carotene, neutralize free radicals that can cause damage to our immune system.

Amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein, are also vital to good nutrition. Not all protein sources are created equal; for example, soy products do not contain complete proteins. Complete proteins are needed to repair muscles after exercise. Without adequate supply of complete proteins, the muscles recover from their workout but do not heal. Studies have shown that a diet deficient in protein can decrease resistance to disease and create weak bones.