CHAPTER 2 COMPONENTS OF FOOD
Do you know why your mother tells you to drink milk daily even though you may not like it? Well, it is because milk contains a lot of nutrients. What is a nutrient, you ask?
Okay, let’s try to understand what food is made up of.
You see, human body needs some important components to perform certain functions. These components are called Nutrients. A nutrient is a substance used by an organism to survive, grow, and reproduce.
The major nutrients are: Carbohydrate, Proteins, Fats, Vitamins and Minerals. We also need dietary fibres and water
Think about what you eat in a meal. A chapatti, dal and a vegetable is quite basic in a meal. The different food items form a balanced diet and add nutrients to your body.
A balanced diet is nothing but a proper combination of food that contains all the nutrients.
WHAT DO NUTRIENTS DO?
1. Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates provide us energy. Sources of carbohydrates are wheat, potato, sugarcane, rice, etc.
2. Fats: Fats also give us energy. However, fats give us more energy than carbohydrates. Sources of fats are milk, cream, butter, etc.
Note: Foods containing fats and carbohydrates are also called energy giving foods.
3. Proteins: Proteins are needed for the growth and repair of our body. Foods containing proteins are called body building foods. Sources of proteins are eggs, milk, paneer, etc.
4. Vitamins: Vitamins help in protecting our body from diseases. There are many types of vitamins such as Vitamin A, Vitamin B, Vitamin C, etc. Some sources of vitamins are fish oil and milk for vitamin A; orange and lemon for vitamin C; milk, butter and fish for vitamin D.
5. Minerals: Minerals are needed by our body in small quantities. They help in proper growth of the body and maintain good health. Sources of minerals are milk, spinach, eggs, etc.
6. Dietary fibres: Dietary fibres are also known as Roughage. They do not provide any nutrients but they help our body get rid of undigested food. Sources of roughage are whole grains, pulses, fresh fruits and vegetables.
7. Water: Water helps our body absorb nutrients from food.
For our proper growth and good health, our diet should have all the nutrients that our body needs. There should also be a good amount of roughage and water. A diet that contains a proper amount of all the nutrients is called a balanced diet.
A balanced diet can be different for different people depending on their age or the type of work that they do.
Food should also be cooked properly so that the nutrients are not lost.
Nutrition is important but the fact is that too much of a nutrient can cause problems. For e.g.: Too much fat can lead to obesity.
On the other hand, not enough of a nutrient can cause deficiency of that mineral.
Therefore, it is important to eat a balanced diet.
Sometimes the food we eat may lack a particular nutrient. If this continues over a long period of time, it may lead to a deficiency of that nutrient. Deficiency of one or more nutrients can cause disorders or diseases in our bodies. Such diseases are called deficiency diseases.
List of deficiency diseases: