Food is any substance absorbed into the body to provide the necessary nutrition for organisms. The human body requires a number of substances in order to grow and develop properly, including vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. It is also important for the body to absorb the energy it needs from the food, which is why the stomach has a layer of mucus that prevents it from absorbing food directly. Food is classified as being both soluble and insoluble, with most food passing through each class separately. In a healthy individual, a good balance of these two types of substances is maintained in the intestines.
Most modern diets tend to be too high in carbohydrates, fat, and other nutrients that the body can’t absorb and use. This results in an excess of toxins, which are then absorbed into the bloodstream and potentially cause disease. A balanced diet containing foods rich in fiber, water, potassium, trace minerals, vitamins B and C, and omega-3 fatty acids help to keep the intestines and entire body functioning properly. By eating large amounts of fiber-rich vegetables and fruits, and drinking lots of fluids, the immune system stays healthy and can efficiently absorb and use nutrients. Foods that contain antioxidants, such as grapes and blueberries, and other foods that reduce free radical damage, such as cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, tomatoes, onions, and garlic also help to keep the immune system healthy and strong.
Oils, fats, and carbohydrates are categorized according to their ability to provide fuel and other benefits to the body; one classification is considered the primary food source of those nutrients. Although fats are considered to be fats by many people, there are actually essential fatty acids, which the body needs in small amounts. Therefore, oils and fats are essential sources of those beneficial nutrients. Fats, however, are not the only things that provide fuel and other benefits to the body; carbohydrates also play an important role in digestion and absorption of other food sources’ nutrients.