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Essential Food Components by Pankaj Rattan

Essential Food Components by
Article Posted: 09/28/2013
Article Views: 142
Articles Written: 34
Word Count: 1046
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Essential Food Components

Our food has five major nutrients: Carbohydrates, Fats, Proteins, Vitamins and Minerals. In addition to these nutrients, water, and roughage (Dietary fiber) are also important parts of our food. Water and roughage do not have any food value, so they are not considered to be nutrients.

1. CARBOHYDRATES: Glucose, cane sugar (ordinary sugar), and starch are example of carbohydrates .Carbohydrates provides energy to our body. We eat very little of glucose or cane sugar everyday .The main carbohydrates that we eat in our food is starch and it comes from cereals from cereals like wheat and rice. Some of the common source of carbohydrates in our food are: Cereals (like wheat, rice maize, pearl millet), potatoes, sweet potato, sugar, jiggery (Gud) and honey. Fruit like banana, mango and papaya also contain carbohydrates.

2.FATS: Like carbohydrates , fats also provide energy to our body. In fact ,fats provide us twice as much energy as that provide by the same amount of carbohydrates .for example, a little butter (which is a fat ) provides us much more energy then a large slice of bread (which is a carbohydrates ). Butter ghee , groundnut oil , mustard oil , sunflower oil and coconut oil are the common fats used by us in everyday life .Fats are richest source of energy but they are more expensive then carbohydrates .Since both , fats as well as carbohydrates provided energy .therefore ,the foods containing fats and carbohydrates are called energy giving foods; Fats can be obtained from plants as well as animals. Some if the plant sources of fats are: Groundnut oil, Coconut oil, Soyabean oil, Groundnuts, Til and Nuts. And some of the animal sources of fats are: Butter, Ghee, Milk, Cream, Cheese (Paneer), Eggs and Meat.

3. PROTEIN: Proteins supply the materials to make new cells which build the body and make it grow. Proteins also give material which repairs the damaged body cells. Proteins are needed for the growth and repair of our body. In fact, foods containing proteins are known as body building foods. Children need more proteins than adults (in comparison to their body weight) because of the rapid growth of their body. The various foods which are rich in proteins are: Milk, Cheese (paneer), Pulses (Dal), Peas (Matar), Beans, Soyabean, groundnut, Fish, Meat, Chicken, Eggs.

4.VITAMINS: Vitamins are necessary for good eyesight; healthy teeth, gums and bones; proper digestio9n;normal growth; and good health. In fact, vitamins help in protecting our body against deseases.The vitamins are represented by the letters of the alphabet such as A,B,C,D,E and K. Some of vitamins are Vitamin A, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E and Vitamin K. The vitamins B1, B2, B6 and B12 taken together are known Vitamin B-Complex.

Vitamin A: Vitamin A is necessary for good eyesight, healthy skin and hair. The various sources of vitamin A are the foods such as: Milk, Butter, Carrot, Fish liver oil, Eggs, Green, vegetable, Mango and Papaya.

Vitamin B1: It is essential for growth, and proper functioning of the digestive system, heart, nerves and muscles. Vitamin B1 is present in good amount in the following foods: Milk, Eggs, Green, vegetable, meat, whole grains, cereals, Potatoes, Yeast etc.

Vitamin C: Vitamin C is necessary for keeping teeth, gums and joints healthy. Vitamin C also increases the resistance of our body to infection and helps to fight diseases. Vitamin C is present in Citrus fruit (such as Oranges, Lime and Lemon), Amla(Indian gooseberries), Tomato, Guava, and green vegetables. Actually almost all the fresh fruits and vegetables contain some vitamin C.

Vitamin D: Vitamin D is necessary for the normal growth of bones and teeth. Vitamin D is present in Milk, Fish, Egg, Butter, and Fish liver oil. Some vitamin D is also made in our body when the skin is exposed to sunlight. 5. MINERALS: Our body needs minerals for its proper functioning, normal growth, and good health.Mineral are needed by our body in small amounts. Some of the important mineral needed by our body are: Calcium, Phosphorus, Iron, Iodine, Sodium and Potassium Calcium and phosphorus Calcium is needed for making bones and teeth. Some of foods which are good source of calcium are: milk, cheese, eggs, green leafy vegetables, and fish. Phosphorus is needed for the formation of bones and teeth. Some of the sources of phosphorus in our food are: milk, pearl millet (bajra), banana, pulse (dal), and green leafy vegetables.

Lodine: Lodine is essential for the proper functioning of the thyroid gland which controls the growth of the body. The various sources of iodine in our food are: sea –food (like sea-fish), fruits, vegetables and lodised salt.

Iron: Iron is needed to make hemoglobin present in red blood cells (which carries oxygen from the longs to the body part).Some of the sources of iron in our food are :spinach (palak,saag), other green leafy vegetables ,apples egg, liver, cereals (like Bajra),Pulses and Groundnuts. 6. WATER: Water provides a liquid in which other substances can dissolve and move the body or eliminated from the body. Water is needed by our body: (1) To transport digested food to the body cell (2) To transport important chemicals such as hormones’ around the body (3) To get read of waste products from the body (4) To control and regulate the temperature of body 7. ROUGHAGE (DIETARY FIBREV): Roughage is the fibrous matter in food which cannot be digested. Roughage is mainly made of an indigestible carbohydrate called cellulose, which is present in plant cell walls. Roughage is also called dietary fiber (Dietary fiber means fiber which can be eaten). Roughage provides bulk to the food , keeps the food and waste matter (faces) moving along the intestines and helps to prevent constipation .some of the good sources of roughage (or dietary fiber) in our food are: fruits vegetables and whole meal flour products (such as whole meal chappati and whole meal bread).

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