What Types Of Food Are Considered As Essential For A Balanced Diet?
The word food brings to mind the four legs of the human anatomy: body, stomach, head and intestine. However, food is more than food! Food consists of any material consumed to supply nutrients to an organism’s tissues for growth, development and maintenance.
Basically, food is a primary source of energy for living things. It comprises all the material that is necessary for life and is made up of all the elements that make it up, including: carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins and minerals. The amount of these different components is determined by what is being eaten. A food is said to be complete when at least one of its components is digested and absorbed by the body for its use. A food is considered to be complete when all the nutrients required by an organism are absorbed and used by it.
There are many factors which affect the nutritional quality of food and hence its consumption. The most important factor that affects the quality of food is the carbohydrate content of it. Carbohydrates are the main source of energy for living things. Therefore, foods with high levels of carbohydrates help to increase blood sugar level.
Diets which consist mainly of simple carbohydrates are digested slowly by the body and so produce little energy. High-glycemic foods, on the other hand, break down in the body much faster and so produce far more energy. Complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, vegetables and fruits are slow to metabolize. These complex foods, in turn, supply energy to the body and so improve immunity. Fruits and vegetables are great sources of dietary fiber, which also plays a vital role in maintaining the health and strength of the immune system.
Foods which are rich in vitamin B and C are very useful in improving the immune system and in fighting against common cold. Vitamin B and C also provide energy to the body, apart from being vital nutrients for proper nutrition. Foods which have a reasonable amount of protein and minerals are good for fighting against common cold. Common examples include butter, eggs and cheese.
One must be careful about the food they eat since complex carbohydrates cannot be absorbed fully by the body. Hence proteins are the major source of amino acids which are required in the synthesis of proteins. Amino acids are found in some foods, such as liver, kidney, and egg, and can be adequately provided for through the complete proteins present in these food items. Some good sources of complete proteins include fish and poultry products.