The food that you eat everyday has many nutrients in it. Even the color of the fruits and vegetables is determined by the major nutrients they contain!
A balanced diet comprises of a mix diversity of foods containing appropriate amount of nutrients,fiber, water content and antioxidants. It helps you remain in good health and prevents diabetes, cancer, obesity and heart problems.
The major components of food are fats, proteins, carbohydrates, mineral, vitamins and water and roughage. Fats, carbohydrates and Proteins are macro-nutrients needed in large amounts by the body, while vitamins and minerals are micronutrients needed by the body in small amounts.
Major Components of balanced diet are:
Dietary fats are essential for the body. They can not be produced within the body and therefore should be included in the diet. Fats help lubricate joints, provide energy for the daily metabolic activities and help in brain development, blood clotting and form a protective cushion for the organs. Foods rich in fats include milk, cheese, butter, cream, ghee, vegetable oils, and fish liver oils.
Proteins are the building blocks of life. Every cell in the body consists of Amino acids! The body uses proteins to build and repair tissues, synthesize enzymes and hormones.They are a major component of muscles, cartilage, skin, blood, nails and hair. Protein can animal proteins or plant proteins.Foods rich in proteins include lean meat, fish, eggs, milk, cheese, nuts, beans, peas, etc.
Carbohydrates are the energy providers for the body. They include sugar, starch and cellulose. Carbohydrates also help in preventing diseases and controlling weight if consumed properly. There are good carbohydrates and bad carbohydrates. Healthy carbohydrates are present in whole grains, legumes, low fat dairy products and fiber rich fruits and vegetables. Foods rich in carbohydrates are wheat, jowar, bajra, potato and bananas.
Vitamins are chemical compositions which help in maintaining a healthy body. Vitamins are fat soluble and water soluble. Vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat soluble and can be stored in the body. Vitamin B complexes and Vitamin C are water soluble forms. They cannot be stored for a long period of time in the body. Different Vitamns have different benefits for the body and are contained specifically by various food items. The various source of this vitamin are : meat, liver milk & eggs etc.
The metals, nonmetals and their salts are called minerals. Some minerals important for the body are Iron, Iodine, Calcium, Sodium, and Potassium. Calcium helps build bones and teeth. Iron carries oxygen to all parts of the body. Magnesium keeps nerves and muscles strong. Potassium keeps the fluids balanced in blood and tissue. Iodine is required for the proper functioning of the thyroid gland. Sodium is required to carry nerve impulses in the body and control fluids.
6. Water and Roughage
Water provides the medium for transportation of substances in the body. It helps in absorption of nutrients, keeps the skin moist, maintains a constant body temperature and keeps body soft. Major water comes in our body through drinking water, tea, coffee, milk etc.
Though roughage is not a food, it is an important part of balanced diet, but it is important for the normal working of the digestive system. Dietary fibers provide bulk roughage to remove the undigested waste during defecation. The sources of roughage in our food are salad, vegetables & fruits with skin and high fiber contents.