Food is any material eaten to supply nutritional support to the organisms. In humans, food is foodstuffs eaten to maintain the body’s normal functions, to control weight, to satisfy hunger, to help with digestion and absorption, to carry out hormonal regulation and so on. Generally, food is categorized into three main categories: plant food; animal food; and fungal or dietary food. Plant food comprises all those substances that animals eat to survive, and that cannot be consumed by humans. Animal food refers to foodstuff intended for consumption by animals, and dietary food is foodstuff intended for consumption by people.
The basic function of the body is to metabolize food. This process involves breaking down a foodstuff into simpler compounds that can be used by other cells for energy and other purposes. It is therefore important that our cells get all the nutrients they need. One way of meeting this need is by eating foods that contain the nutrients we need, whether these are nutrients obtained from plant or animal sources. Food is the most important element of our nutrition, since it can alone provide our bodies with the nutrients it needs to survive.
What kinds of food are good for us? The three main food groups are carbohydrates, protein and fat. Carbohydrates include breads, cereals, pasta, potatoes and fruit juices, whereas proteins comprise meat, milk and eggs. Fat is the main source of energy in human diets. Therefore, foods that consist of fat are particularly important for nutrition.
The best food for nutrition is one that contains a large amount of carbohydrates but a small amount of protein or fat. Ideally, whole grain foods are the best choice for these kinds of food. Whole grains are easy to digest, have high amounts of carbohydrates but low amounts of protein and fat, and thus are recommended for overall health. Other good carbohydrates for the body include potatoes and brown rice.
Fats, on the other hand, should be consumed in limited amounts. The typical American diet contains too much fat and too little carbohydrate, which contribute to obesity, especially in children. The food that is considered to be the ideal source of fat is oil. The good news is that fat has a number of health benefits, such as maintaining the skin’s elasticity and lowering blood pressure. Other options for fat include nuts and some kinds of spreads, although oils are the best source of fat for cooking.
Eggs are another great food for those who want to eat food with high nutritional value, but who also want to keep their intake of cholesterol down. The cholesterol-lowering properties of eggs come from the fats they contain, specifically cholesterol. Aside from just adding flavor to the egg dish, eggs are excellent sources of vitamin E, an antioxidant that protects against cell damage. Other sources of vitamin E include soybeans and other legumes, chicken or turkey, carrots, spinach, and avocados.