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Question

What are protective foods? Give examples.


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Solution

Protective foods:

  1. Food items rich in vitamins and minerals are called protective foods.
  2. Vitamins and minerals are micronutrients required in small quantities; however, they are essential for maintaining a healthy body.
  3. Vegetables, especially green leafy vegetables and fruits, should be consumed to obtain these essential micronutrients.

Examples of Protective Foods:

  1. Fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K are found in animal fats, dairy products, oily fish, etc.
  2. Water-soluble vitamins such as vitamin C, folic acid, and B vitamins are found in fruits, vegetables, grains, and dairy foods.
  3. Minerals such as calcium, iron, etc., are found in cereals, fish, nuts, dairy products, meat, etc.

Functions of some vitamins and minerals:

  1. Vitamin D, together with calcium, maintain strong and healthy bones and prevents diseases like rickets and osteoporosis.
  2. Vitamin A improves vision and immunity and keeps the reproductive system healthy. A deficiency can cause infertility, night blindness, and skin inflammation.
  3. Vitamin B1 is necessary for the functioning of the nervous system. A deficiency leads to beriberi which affects the peripheral nervous system.
  4. Vitamin C is crucial for iron absorption, collagen synthesis, and healing wounds. A deficiency can cause scurvy, dental problems, and anemia.
  5. Potassium is essential for the proper functioning of the heart, muscles, and nervous system. A deficiency can cause muscle cramps, palpitations, and numbness.
  6. Iron is required to make hemoglobin, which carries oxygen to different body parts. A deficiency can cause anemia.

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