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Food and Its Science
13Apr 2021

We are heterotrophs i.e. we cannot make our own food and need it from external source. And we definitely need food because it is our main source of energy. Earlier we used to eat food for survival but now it is more about taste, cuisine, nutrients and calories. So, it would not be wrong to say that our ancestors ate food to live whereas we live to eat food.

Did you know that eating a bowlful of curd every day not only keeps your stomach happy but also your brain happy? Recent study showed that those who do not eat yogurt or curd on daily basis are more prone to anxiety and mental problems.

Therefore, it is better to have sound knowledge about the food that we eat. Because it will help us to make good choices regarding food and this will in turn affect our overall physical as well as mental health.

In India, we usually eat food that comprises of rice, wheat, pulses or curries. Milk along with green leafy vegetables becomes the elixir for humans. Because these items are loaded with nutrients and are completely healthy food.

Food and Nutrients

Healthy food is all about the nutrients it has. The nourishing components of our food are called Nutrients. The basic difference between healthy food and bad food is that healthy food has the necessary nutrients required by our body whereas as the bad food has toxins that needs to be avoided by our body.

For instance, honey is rich in anti-oxidants. So, eating a little amount of honey on daily basis is good for health. But if you heat the honey or have it after mixing it with hot water, then it converts into toxin in your body which is harmful for your body.

Good food can also become bad food depending upon how it reacts with our body. Therefore, it becomes important to be aware about the food and nutrients it has.

Let’s know what nutrients our day-to-day food contains:

There are 5 main types of nutrients:

1.    Carbohydrates (or carbs)

2.    Proteins

3.    Fats

4.    Vitamins

5.    Minerals

Not all food contains all nutrients in balanced manner, some foods are rich in carbs and some in Protein. Whereas, some foods have the essential vitamins and minerals required for optimum function of our body organs.

We humans require all essential nutrients for our proper growth. We need Carbs, Protein and Fats in large amount, as they give us the energy to perform day to day functions.

Vitamins and minerals on the other hand are required in small amounts because they are not required to give us energy but to ensure that our body functions as it requires.

Thus, we should try to include food from diverse spectrum so that we get a balanced diet.

For example, eggs or sprouts and juice in breakfast, vegetables with chapati or rice in lunch, daal with chapati or rice in dinner, milk before sleeping and fruits in between as snacks would ensure that the quota for the nutrients is complete for the day.

Some food rich in carbohydrates are:

  • Chapati
  • Rice
  • Banana
  • Sweet Potato

Some food rich in protein are:

  • Eggs
  • Sprouts
  • Poultry
  • Fish and seafood
  • Milk and other dairy products

Some foods rich in fats are:

  • Dark chocolate
  • Nuts
  • Chia seeds
  • Cheese
  • Avocados

Food rich in Vitamin D are:

  • Milk
  • Salmon fish

Food rich in Vitamin B12 are:

  • Meat
  • Milk
  • Fish
  • Egg
  • Cheese

As we read that even cheese is required by our body, but in less quantity. To live a healthy and happy life we need to give a thought about our food as well. Sometimes we cannot neglect the urge to eat some yummy junk food like pizza. But it should be in moderate quantity so that our tummy or digestive system does not feel the burden.