Food is any material consumed in order to provide nutrition to the organisms. Food is generally of animal, plant or fungi origin, and has various necessary nutrients, including vitamins, proteins, carbohydrates, or minerals. The diet of humans includes food in the form of cereals, fruits, vegetables, legumes, pulses, nuts, seeds and oil. In fact, humans consume food even when not hungry because certain types of food are used for medicinal purposes, such as honey and wine.
An important nutrient that must be included in your daily diet is carbohydrates. Carbohydrates provide a source of energy or stored energy for most living organisms. They are also made up of starches, which provide the body with many nutrients. Some of the carbohydrates found in foods are in the form of starch and can be broken down into simple sugars that are used by the body as energy. One of the main benefits of dietary fibre is that it helps to lower blood glucose levels and hence maintains healthy glucose levels within the body, and it also plays an important role in ensuring that the immune system stays healthy.
Many of the nutrients that are found in food can be obtained from plant sources, although certain food types tend to be more rich in certain nutrients than others. For example, vegetables are a good source of vitamin A, which is an antioxidant, and beta carotene, an antioxidant that can help to fight cancer. Legumes are a good food source of protein, B vitamins, zinc and copper, all of which are important to good health. However, wheat and refined carbohydrate sources such as pasta and white rice are high in refined sugars that can lead to weight gain and other health problems. Some plant-based foods contain fibre, which can also be beneficial for your health, although studies have shown that some plant foods may actually lower the risk of certain types of cancers.
It’s well known that eating a balance of whole grains, dairy products, fruits, vegetables, lean meats and other protein sources is the most effective way to meet the recommended daily allowance of vitamins and nutrients. For those who are not meeting this requirement, there are several options available for supplementation. Although some supplements are considered to be true food supplements, others may actually have only minor of effect on one’s nutritional needs. It’s important to understand the difference between the two. You should not rely solely on food supplementation as your only form of dietary intake and also consider other forms of activity and exercise to improve your overall health.
There are many misconceptions about what makes foods rich in nutrients, and the key to getting enough nutrients from food is eating a balanced diet and incorporating a variety of nutrients into the daily regimen. The first step is learning which nutrients are important and need to be included in the daily diet. The nutrient B vitamins can be found in foods such as: leafy green vegetables, whole grains, nuts, beans, lentils, seeds, soybeans and dark chocolate. Calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, sodium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium are additional examples of nutrients that can be found in foods. It is also important to remember that all foods contain some fat, whether they are natural fats obtained from cooking processes.
The above discussion shows how different foods contribute to our well being, but it also shows that eating a healthy balanced diet is an important part of our overall health. When preparing a meal consider which nutrients are important to you, which foods you enjoy and make sure that these foods are combined in the right proportions to provide the amounts of the nutrients you are looking for. If you find that you are having trouble making food choices that meet these requirements, consider taking a supplement. Taking a supplement will give you the benefit of including the nutrients your body needs in a balanced and appropriate manner.