Everyone knows that we need food in order to survive, and the big bonus is that eating is such a pleasurable pastime. But, as with anything so enjoyable, it is very easy to get carried away, which is why, in this age of fast food and plenty of it, it is so important to stick to a balanced diet. This does not mean that diets should be boring and unadventurous, simply that what we do eat should be healthy, energy-giving and nourishing. Lets know why proteins, fats, carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins and fibre are essential for health.
The body’s needs
From a fairly simple range of foods the body can derive all he raw materials it needs to keep strong and healthy.
And, although the foods we normally eat are very varied and often far from simple, the body can break these foods down, sort them out and distribute the resulting compounds to the areas of the body where they are needed.
What is not needed becomes waste. The one thing the body cannot do, however, is to cover for us if we are not getting enough of a certain type of nutrient.
Food containing Proteins and it’s benefits to health
Proteins form an essential part of all plant and animal cells, and are required for growth and tissue repair. Proteins from animal foods, such as meat, cheese, eggs and fish, are of a higher value then vegetable proteins, such as beans and peas.
Benefits of fats and some foods containing fat
Fats provide the body with heat and energy, and prevent the skin from drying. They also promote growth by making calcium available to the body tissues. Not eating enough fats can cause a vitamin deficiency and, as a result, skin disorders.
However, an excess of fats causes indigestion and increased weight, so certain foods high in fats, such as cooking oils, butters, eggs, nuts, chocolate, pork products and oily fish, such as herrings, sardines and whitebait, should be eaten in moderation.
What are carbohydrates foods and their benefits
Carbohydrates also provide heat and energy but little else in the way of other nutrients, and, taken in excess, can cause a rapid increase in body weight. Cellulose carbohydrates which are found in many fruits and vegetables have little or no energy value but provide fiber which is essential for good digestion. The carbohydrates to avoid are those found in refined sugars, flours, breads and cereals.
Minerals in food and Health Benefits of minerals
Minerals are present in bones, teeth, nails, all body cells and body fluids, and account for about five per cent of the weight of the human body. Minerals are needed for growth and development, the repair of tissue and for muscle function.
A balanced diet will contain most of the minerals the body needs, such as copper, cobalt, fluorine and potassium; under normal circumstances, the only two mineral which may be lacking are iron and calcium.
Iron is a vital component of healthy red blood cells and can be found in liver, kidney, egg yolks, watercress, prunes, wheat germ, plums, cabbage and cauliflower. Calcium is needed for healthy bones and teeth, and good sources are milk, cheese, yogurts, eggs, veal, carrots, radishes, asparagus, potatoes and sardines.
Why are vitamins essential to good health
Not only are vitamins essential for general good health, growth and development, but they are also essential for vitality and beauty. Vitamins promote a clear, glowing complexion, healthy, glossy hair, strong teeth and sparkling eyes.
If you eat a varied, sensible diet it is very unlikely that you will suffer from any vitamin deficiency, so it is not really necessary to top up your daily intake of food with vitamin pills. However, during old age, sickness, pregnancy or when you are on a strict diet, deficiencies may occur. In these cases a doctor will prescribe the right vitamin supplement. The main vitamins and their functions are as follows:
What does Vitamin A do
Vitamins A is found in apricots, broccoli, butter, eggs, liver, kidney, all green vegetable, carrots, milk and cheese. It keeps the eyes healthy, the complexion clear and helps the repair of body tissue.
A deficiency of this vitamin will cause skin to become dry and age prematurely. Eyes will be prone to infections and will be less able to adjust to darkness.
What does vitamin B do
Vitamin B is a complex of thirteen separate vitamins which can be found in green leafy vegetables, whole grain products and offal. This complex is particularly good for the skin, hair and the nervous system. A deficiency will result in dry skin, constipation, indigestion and tiredness.
Vitamin C Benefits and Foods
Vitamin C is found in fresh fruit and vegetables, orange juice, potatoes, lemons and watercress. It is essential for good general health, the formation of skin, bones and teeth. A deficiency will lead to general ill-health, low resistance to infections, sore gums and slow-healing wounds.
Sources of Vitamin D and Benefits
Vitamin D is found in cod liver oil, sardines, herrings, eggs, butter, milk and cheese. The sun also helps us to acquire this vitamin as its ultraviolet rays converge this vitamin as its ultraviolet rays convert ergo sterol, a substance naturally present in the skin, into Vitamin D, and this can have the effect of clearing a blemished skin. A deficiency can cause rickets.
Fibre are essential for health and High Fibre Foods
In the past, dietary fiber, or roughage as it is more commonly known, was not considered important because it is not digested. But doctors and dieticians have now realized that fiber makes an important contribution to the healthy functioning of the body, preventing constipation and generally aiding the digestion.
Dietary fibre comes menially from two sources the cellulose and pectin from fruit and vegetables, and the bran lawyers of cereals and wheat supply necessary fibre, as do potatoes in their jackets, raw vegetables, whole meal breads, nuts, prunes and brown rice. So make sure these foods are a regular party of your diet.
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