Food And Nutrition: Food Element, And Nutritional Facts

How Much Nutritional Food Do We Need?

        For nutritional food, we have to relate our need to age. The individual metabolism and the level of physical activity that we undertake. For instance, a person who has a desk job, leads a sedentary life, with hardly and physical exercise, would need fewer calories than a laborer.

Similarly, a nursing mother’s caloric requirements are more. In cases of obesity, or a health problem, a doctor should be consulted regarding the daily diet. The second aspect is the kind of food we need. Here, we are talking of nutritional value.

Calories, without nutritional value, are of no benefit to health or good looks. A balanced diet is one, which contains a variety of food, so that the body is supplied with all the essential food elements.

Food Element

        The food elements that the body requires are proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, roughage and water are also absolutely essential nutrition. Information about the food element and their sources helps us to choose food that constitutes a balanced diet.

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PROTEINS:food
  • Proteins need for the building and repair of cells.
  • These are made up of amino acids, which are essential for healthy cells.
  • There are 20 Amino Acids that occur in a variety of combinations.
  • All of them are need to the body.

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AMINO ACIDS:
  • Some of the amino acids occur only in proteins that are derived from animal sources.
  • So, vegetarians can get these from milk and milk products.
  • A few facts should be borne in mind regarding the other animal sources of protein, like meat, liver, chicken, fish and eggs.
  • Meats contains a higher fat content as compared to fish or chicken.
  • Taking more red meat increases the cholesterol levels in the blood and can also contribute to weight gain.
  • Research indicate that the consumption of adequate quantities of vegetables and raw salads along with meat can help to counteract the harmful effects.
  • The non-animal sources of protein can be derived from lentils, legumes, nuts seeds and sprouts.

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SOYA BEAN: proteins
  • Soya beans are highly beneficial to both health and beauty.
  • They are rich in many essential nutrients, like proteins, vitamin, iron and phosphorous.
  • The carbohydrate content is low, while the fatty acids they contain are of a beneficial kind.
  • Soya also increases the hemoglobin content of the blood, adding a glow to the skin and improving the health of the skin and hair.
  • You can make your daily diet more nutritious by adding soya bean flour to wheat flour and ‘dal’.

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CARBOHYDRATES: 
  • The body requires carbohydrates for energy, as well as for the healthy functioning of the organ system of the body. They can find in starches and sugar.
  • The energy provide by the carbohydrates, that does not utilize by the body, and converted into fat. This is store in the body.
  • Sugars are available in cereals and grains, milk, sugarcane, beet root, fruits, and honey, although these sugars are of different types.
  • Fructose, available in fruits, is the best form of sugar. Cereals, potatoes, bananas are high in carbohydrates.
  • Confectionery items and white flour are also high in carbohydrates, but they lack nutrient and roughage.

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FATS:
  • Fats provide more energy than carbohydrates and proteins.
  • It can divide into saturated fats and polyunsaturated fats.
  • The fats that are derive from animal sources, like butter, ghee, full cream milk, cream, are saturated fats, while those that come from plants are polyunsaturated fats.
  • The requirement of fats by the body is low. If the diet contains excess fats, is not only leads to obesity, but also contributes to many health problems.
  • However, fats should not be totally eliminate from the diet, because they are necessary for certain important body process.

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VITAMINS: 
  • Vitamins are essential for good health, growth and important metabolic processes of the body.
  • A deficiency of Vitamins over a period of time leads to specific diseases.
  • Vitamins divide into two groups – the water soluble Vitamins, like Vitamin C and B-Complex and the fat-soluble Vitamins A, D, E, and K.
  • The B-Complex Vitamins consists of 12 Vitamins that form a complex.
  • Being water-soluble, Vitamin B Complex, like Vitamin C, is present in the water content of fruits and vegetables.
  • Ensure adequate supply of the B-Complex Vitamins and Vitamin C by taking raw fruits and vegetables daily.
MINERALS: food
  • Minerals are inorganic substances that are present in food and water.
  • They help to maintain and regulate body fluids. The body needs about 20 minerals in all.
  • Some minerals, like calcium, sodium and potassium are required in larger quantities.
  • A deficiency of iron, for example, causes anemia. Iron is necessary for the maintenance of hemoglobin in the red blood cells.
  • Some minerals require in very minute amounts. These are trace elements.
FIBRE OR ROUGHAGE: food
  • Fiber makes up the bulk of the waste matter that is excrete by the body. Hence, the lack of fibre can lead to consumption.
  • The proper elimination of waste is very essential in order to avoid a build-up of toxins and gases in the system.
  • Constipation and the accumulation of toxic wastes show up on the skin, in the form of sallow skin, congestion and various eruptive conditions.
  • A large part of a plant is consist of cellulose, which helps to form fibre, or roughage.
  • Therefore, the diet should include adequate quantities of raw fruits, raw and simply cooked vegetables and wholegrain cereals.
  • Refining and processing of cereals not only reduces nutritional value, but also removes fibre.
WATER:
  • 70% of the human body is consist of water.
  • Water is absolutely essential to life, it plays a very important role in body processes, like the transportation of nutrients, oxygen, biochemicals and waste matter.
  • Water gives blood its fluidity.
  • We lose water on a daily basis, through excretion. Therefore, it is essential to replenish this loss by drinking enough water.
  • Water helps to keep the system flushed and cleansed of toxins and wastes.
  • In the normal course, we should drink about 6 to 8 glasses of water daily.
  • Naturally, when the loss of water is greater as in summer, we drink more water.
Keep These Nutritional Facts In Mind:
  • Plan a balance diet.
  • Keep you age and level of physical activity in mind.
  • A part of the diet should consist of raw foods.
  • Eliminate fried foods.
  • Avoid refined and processed foods.

The essential nutrients are synergistic. They need each other for proper absorption and assimilation by the body. that is why it is essential to take a variety of foods from all the food groups.

 

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