Food – The Base Of The Diet
Food is any material eaten for the purpose of providing nutrition to the organisms. In a human body, food is generally of animal, plant or microbial source, and comprises necessary nutrients, including vitamins, proteins, carbohydrates, sugars, or other micronutrients. The diet of humans is largely dependent on the type of lifestyle they lead, their food habits, their level of physical activity, and their dietary needs. Since the food chain in nature is constantly fluctuating, it is impossible to say that any particular food has a universal significance.
The major food groups are: Protein, vegetables, fruit, grains, dairy products, legumes and nuts. Every food provides some of the following five basic nutrients; protein (which includes protein bound through amino acids and peptides), iron, calcium, phosphorus and potassium, with a little extra for good health. Nuts, beans, whole grain breads, nuts, seeds, vegetables, whole-grains and lentils are included in a wide range of healthy diets. Nuts and pulses, like olive oil, are rich in antioxidants, vitamin E, and fibre. Moreover, nuts and pulses contain a variety of vitamins and minerals, as well as some fat-soluble fibres, iron and other trace elements that help lower blood cholesterol.
A healthy diet should provide a combination of a healthy balance of macronutrients – those substances that are required in large quantities – and a reasonable amount of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates contribute to fuel for the body, but they also supply B vitamins, potassium, sulphur compounds, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus and potassium to the diet. As well as all these substances, food that has been cooked and is stored can provide all the other macro-nutrients listed above. That’s why bread, pasta and rice are included in a healthy diet.