The word “food” itself is defined as the consumption of material composed of matter intended to be used for eating by humans or other organisms. Food is generally of animal, plant or fungi origin, and usually includes essential nutrients, like proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, or mineral ions. The nourishment supplied by food is distributed throughout the body in quantities and concentrations according to a specific process known as nutrition. Nutrient deficiency can result from a number of causes, including excessive intake of non-nutritious food products, diseases affecting the immune system, excessive fat intake, undernourishment, or consumption of food that is of poor quality or quantity.
Since the early times, human beings have been aware of their body’s dependence on food and have striven to ensure the best of nutrition in their lives. Ancient civilizations from around the world used herbs, plants and spices as nutritional sources. Plants, like corn and wheat, were widely grown, and animals, like milk products, were raised for consumption. Even today, most people take recourse to natural and nutritional foods, especially meats and dairy products, for protein and long-term sustained nutrition.
It is very important to eat a well-balanced diet, consisting of a wide range of various food types and varieties to obtain a complete balance in terms of nutrition. Meals should be chosen taking into consideration the individual’s lifestyle, physical conditions, habits, food preferences, and level of physical activity. A proper combination of food with right amounts of dietary fiber and a sufficient amount of water are essential to maintain health and prevent deficiencies. It is advisable to follow a balanced diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, cereals, legumes, whole grains, lean meat, low-fat dairy products, nuts, and seeds to get good levels of all nutrients in your food. Moreover, to keep high levels of energy and maintain a healthy body weight, it is necessary to include a good amount of exercise.