Food is one of the basic needs of human beings. It is necessary for the normal functioning of the body and for healthy growth. Every day we eat a variety of foods. These foods are classified into different groups according to their compo sition. They have different nutritional values and they are equally essential for our health. Our body needs carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, enzymes, vitamins and minerals for healthy growth. However, our body cannot produce these nutrients. Therefore, the food is the only source for these nutrients in sufficient quantity. If we do not get these nutrients in sufficient quantity, then we can suffer a number of health problems.
Five basic food groups
The food we eat is available either from a source plant or animal source. It is generally classified as vegetarians and non-vegetarians. The food we receive from the plant source is considered a vegetarian food, while foods derived from animal sources is called a non-vegetarian food. The five basic food groups include fruits and vegetables, starchy foods, dairy products, foods containing fat and sugar and meat group. So let’s learn more about each food group.
Vegetables and fruits: Mother Nature provided a variety of vegetables such as spinach, potatoes, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, turnips, etc., and fruits such as oranges, mangoes, grapes, lemon, peach, apricot, fresh vegetables are an important part of so a healthy diet. They provide many vitamins, minerals, fiber and enzymes are known to offer a number of health benefits. Green leafy vegetables are rich in iron, which is an important constituent of blood. Since vegetables are low in sugar and fat, they are included in dieting. Generally, vegetables contain high amounts of fiber. Therefore, they are good for the health of the digestive system. Most vegetables consist of phytochemicals that help prevent chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and certain types of cancers. Consumption of vegetables in their raw form or in juice form is more preferable, so that you can get all of their health benefits. The fruits are a rich source of vitamins, minerals, fiber and carbohydrates. They contain a high amount of antioxidants, which protect the body from potentially harmful substances. Citrus fruits such as lemons, grapes and oranges are rich in vitamin C. Fruits such as apricots, cantaloupe, nectarines and peaches are a rich source of vitamin A. you can eat the whole fruit or juice form.
Starch: Starch grains such as corn, bread, pasta, corn bread and potatoes are an essential part of a healthy diet. They contain simple or complex carbohydrates, which are an important source of energy. Starches have been voted fuel for the body, providing energy. More fiber-rich foods in this category are whole grain foods such as brown rice, whole wheat bread, oatmeal or grits.
Dairy: Dairy products are milk, cheese, cream, butter and yogurt. They are an excellent source of calcium and protein. Dairy products are also rich in vitamin A, B and D. Calcium is important for bone health. Vitamin D is needed to build and maintain healthy bones. Most dairy products are high in fat, which helps to strengthen the body and provide energy.
Eggs, meat and fish: They are the most important source of protein, zinc, iron and vitamin B. These nutrients are necessary for the growth and repair of the body. Eggs are a rich source of iron and protein. Meat is an important source of vitamin B12. Fish is also an important source of protein. Some fatty fish like salmon, sardines, herring and mackerel contain high levels of omega-3 essential fatty acids.
Foods containing fat and sugar: They are powerful sources of energy for our body. Fats such as butter, cheese, salad dressings, and oils are high in calories. Sweets such as desserts, syrups, jellies, jams, sweets and soft drinks contain high amounts of sugar. Most foods in this category are not made of vitamins and minerals. That is why they are known as food “empty calories”. They can be consumed in sufficient quantity in the context of a healthy diet. If we consume in excess, it causes obesity. Unsaturated fats found in vegetable oils, seeds, nuts, olive oil, fatty fish and avocados are beneficial to health as they lower cholesterol.
By balancing these five food groups in your daily diet, you can maintain the normal functioning of the body and a healthy lifestyle.