The Nutrient Value Of Your Food And How To Improve Its Value
The food chain refers to the arrangement of living organisms that feed off other organisms. Animals, plants, fungi, microorganisms and humans are part of the food chain. Food is any material eaten to give nutrition to an organism. Basically, food is a living thing that is taken in by an organism to be used as a source of energy, which is then excreted or discarded. Food is also of animal, plant or fungi origin, and has key nutrients, like proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, or minerals, which are needed in order for an organism to grow and thrive.
There are two major types of food: plant and animal. Plant food consists of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, roots and nuts. Animal food includes milk, meat, eggs and poultry. Plants get their fibre from the plants they are eaten by, while animals get their fibre from their flesh. Therefore, plant foods generally contain more soluble fibre, whereas animal foods generally contain more fibrous elements, which makes them high in fibre.
The four food groups are then separated into two further food groups. The first is the vegetable group, consisting of cucumbers, beans, potatoes, broccoli, carrots, squash, eggplant and green leafy vegetables. The second is the fruit group, which consists of apples, bananas, grapes, peaches, apricots, watermelon, mangoes and lemons. Both of these food groups should be eaten in small to moderate quantities.
Under the vitamin C family, there are five basic food groups: orange, sweet potato, red pepper, tomatoes and eggplant. The main vitamin C requirements are normally fulfilled through orange and sweet potato products. Green leafy vegetables are also good sources of vitamin C. Vitamin C deficiency is rare and most often occurs when food is eaten at very large portions. Therefore, it is advised to eat a variety of different food groups containing vitamin C in order to maintain adequate levels of this nutrient. However, vitamin C is best absorbed by citrus fruit and though it fruits are often recommended as a source of this important nutrient.
Animal foods also contain some sources of protein, which are mainly found in fish, red meats and poultry. Lean meat is preferable for protein sources because it contains more nutrients than its fatty counterparts. Foods that are rich in protein include eggs, nuts and beans. However, it is advisable to choose lean meat for consumption reasons. Nuts and beans are excellent sources of proteins, but they can also contain excessive fat content, which may counteract the positive effects of the nutrient.
Fats and oils are both important nutrients and play important roles in digestion, elimination and maintenance of health. It is important to balance the amount of these two elements in the diet and it is never healthy to over-fry or cook with excessive oils. The average person should try to eat up to five servings of grains, beans, fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds every day. Meats are mainly consumed in meats and poultry, whereas oils are mostly found in fats and spreads.