Energy and Food
Everything that is alive needs food. Those who do not eat meat or fish are called vegetarian. Those who eat meat or fish or both are called non vegetarian. Food that we eat either comes from plants or animals.
Why we need food?
We cannot survive without food as it gives energy for proper functioning of our body. Our body needs energy all the time even when we are sleeping. Many organs function continuously either we are working or relaxing. Food helps in prevention and cure of disease.
Food contains nutrients that nourish our body. Different foods we eat daily have different types of nutrients in different quantities. These nutrients are carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, fats, minerals. No single food contains all the nutrients in the desired quantities so; we need to eat balance diet for proper functioning of body. A diet that have proper proportions of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals, and water necessary to keep good health is called balanced diet.
Kinds of nutrients
Carbohydrates are one of the main types of nutrients. It provide energy for the body, mainly for the brain and the nervous system. We need energy for all activities we do walk, dance, write, jump, walk etc. It include sugars found naturally in foods such as fruits (apples, banana and grapes), vegetables (potato and pumpkin), milk, milk products, whole grain breads and cereals (wheat, maize and rice), starchy vegetables, legumes and refined sugar.
Like carbohydrates, fats also provide energy for the body. They act as reserve of energy when carbohydrates are not available. It helps the body to absorb certain vitamins that are fat soluble. It helps to keep body warm by maintaining proper body temperature. Food rich in fats include oil, butter, nuts, coconut, ghee, cheese, cream etc.
It is important for the maintenance and repair of the body. Children require more protein for their growth. Protein is needed for good hair, skin, eyes, muscles and other organs of the body. It is important element of blood (hemoglobin present in blood is a protein) and help in transportation of oxygen throughout the body. Protein rich foods include meat, fish, cheese, beans, lentils, yogurt, nuts, and seeds.
Vitamin helps to form and maintain healthy teeth, bones and skin. It also helps form red blood cells and maintains the nervous system. It helps to fight against infection and diseases. Food rich in vitamins are broccoli, papaya, almonds, sunflower oil, spinach, carrot, pumpkin, orange, beans etc.
The body needs many minerals such as calcium, iron, sodium, potassium and many others. We need all minerals in to stay healthy in desired quantity. Our body needs calcium to maintain healthy bones and teeth. Calcium we get from milk, milk products etc. Iron is also a mineral which helps in the formation of blood. Iron rich food includes red meats, dried fruits, green leafy vegetables.
Water and fiber
Dietary fiber or roughage is the indigestible portion of food derived from plants. Fiber is obtained from fruits, vegetables and the outer covering of cereals and pulses. Water and fiber help to clean the digestive system by removing waste from the body. Water helps to regulate the body temperature.
Note: Milk is considered as a complete food as it contains almost all nutrients that a body needs.
Energy need of the body depends on age, gender, body size and composition. The people performing physical activity like players, athletes require more energy.
Why to avoid junk food?
They may cause digestive problem.
It lacks essential nutrients such as vitamins, proteins, minerals.
How to keep our body healthy?
We should exercise regularly.
We should eat healthy and balanced diet.
We should drink at least 6-8 glass of water daily.
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