Food is essential for the survival of living organisms. It provides us with energy to carry out daily activities and develop, grow and repair our body parts in case of any damage. Therefore understanding the importance of consuming the right kind of food becomes a necessity.
Furthermore, most of the food items available today are adulterated in many possible ways. The food that we consume comes from numerable sources and the variety is huge. You can think of the last meal you had, and list down sources from which your food was obtained. This helps us understand how food varies in its sources and components.
What Do Different Food Items Contain?
Each dish we eat is prepared using more than one ingredient containing different nutrients along with dietary fibres and water. Some nutrients in our food are fats, minerals, vitamins, proteins and carbohydrates.
- Carbohydrates are present in the form of starch and sugars in our food. The presence of carbs in our food can be tested using a dilute iodine solution, an indication of the presence of starch is shown by black-blue colouration.
- Presence of protein in food is tested using a solution of copper sulphate and caustic soda. If the solution turns violet, proteins are present.
- Presence of fat in food is indicated when food wrapped in paper turns oily after releasing its moisture content.
Also Read: Balanced diet
What Do Various Nutrients Do For Our Body?
- Nutrients play a vital role in determining the health of our body. These nutrients are used up during the process of nutrition by each cell in our body to carry out their basic functionality.
- Fats provide more energy to our body as compared to carbohydrates.
- Proteins are bodybuilding foods.
- Vitamins help our body to fight against diseases and also helps to keep our eyes, gums, bones in a healthy shape. There are different kinds of vitamins such as Vitamin A, B complex, C, D. E, K etc. Vitamin C protects our body against diseases.
|Sources of different Vitamins|
|Vitamin A||Carrot, Mango, Papaya|
|Vitamin C||Tomato, Guava, Lemon, Orange|
|Vitamin B||Rice, wheat|
|Vitamin D||Liver, fish, milk, butter|
- Roughage, also known as dietary fibres, is obtained from plants such as fruits, whole grains etc. They do not provide nutrients but add bulk to our food and are essential to our body as they aid in digestion.
- Water helps absorb nutrients from food and aids in getting rid of wastes in the form of sweat and urine
Components of Food (Tabular Representation)
|Carbohydrates||These are digested and broken down into glucose and provide energy to the body|
|Fats||Store energy, protects and insulates the important organs|
|Proteins||Help in metabolism, act as enzymes, and hormones|
|Vitamins||These help in maintaining healthy bones, boost the immune system, heal wounds, repair and damage of cells and converting food into energy|
|Iodine||Formation of thyroid hormone|
|Calcium||Helps in the proper functioning of the nervous system and maintain healthy bones|
|Phosphorus||Helps to maintain acid-base balance in the body|
|Sodium||Controls the blood pressure|
|Iron||Facilitates the formation of haemoglobin|
|Fibres||They help in food absorption and prevents constipation|
|Water||They help in absorbing nutrients from the food and release waste from the body in the form of urine and sweat.|
Also Read: Food Variety
A diet, which contains the right amount of nutrients, roughage and water is called a balanced diet. Eating a balanced diet can never lead us to obesity. Consuming the right food is as important as having knowledge of the nutrient content of your food.
Deficiency diseases occur in our body due to lack of nutrient supply over a long period of time. Listed below are a few deficiencies caused as a result of lack of nutrients.
|Name of Nutrient||Disorder caused||Symptoms|
|Vitamin C||Scurvy||Takes a long time to heal, bleeding gums|
|Calcium||Tooth decay and bone||Tooth infections, Weak bones|
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