The word food refers to any material consumed by an organism to give it nutritional support to enable it to grow and thrive. Basically, food is composed of any organic material, and usually contains necessary nutrients, including proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, or other nutrients. It is the primary source of nourishment for the body. Our body needs food to grow, survive and function normally. The amount of food required varies from individual to individual.
To meet the body’s needs for carbohydrates, vitamins and other nutrients, it stores these nutrients in the form of carbohydrates, vitamins and other minerals, which are called the macro-nutrients. Carbohydrates are foods that are complex, including complex sugars, starches, and glucose; whereas vitamins and other minerals are simpler substances, such as simple carbohydrates, simple sugars and starches. When carbohydrates and other macro-nutrients are consumed, they are broken down into energy in the form of calories, which are then transported to the body’s cells to enable them to use them.
When our diet contains too much carbohydrates and other nutrient-poor foods, we become overweight, obese, and suffer many other health problems. Therefore, it is important to eat a well-balanced diet, consisting of the right proportions of all the nutrient-rich foods. We must eat a variety of foods – fruits, vegetables, whole grains, cereals, beans, pulses, nuts, seeds and oil. The right kind of dietary fibre helps the body to absorb the nutrients properly.
One of the main food groups is that of carbohydrates. These include breads, pasta, rice, cereal, potatoes and other cooked grains, cereals, and other legumes. The other main group of food is that of fats. These include dairy products like butter and cheese, margarine, peanuts, fish, nuts, and others. A good variety of foods rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients will also be helpful for strengthening the immune system, fighting diseases, improving mental function, reducing the risk of heart disease and cancer, and improving the appearance of your skin.
Fats are digested more slowly by the body than carbohydrates, which leads to weight loss, as the body attempts to break these foods down. Foods rich in vitamin E and other vitamin E-like compounds are particularly beneficial. Foods containing different kinds of polyphenols or phytochemicals are also beneficial. These include flavonoids, tocopherols, polyphenols, quercetin, rutein, resveratrol and other polyphenols. Flavonoids, in particular, seem to improve cholesterol levels.
However, the benefits of following this dietary fibre-rich diet will only benefit you if you combine them with a sensible amount of physical activity. There is no point in reaching your recommended daily intake of nutrients by eating large portions of fast food. Nor should you overindulge on sweets. It is more important to include both fruits and vegetables in your meals, and to make sure that they are cooked and served at proper temperatures. By combining a varied diet, a regular exercise routine, and this dietary fibre, you can help your body to process food faster, use less energy to digest it, burn up fat more efficiently and achieve a healthier body weight.