Food is any material consumed to supply nutrition to an organism. In the simplest terms, food is that which is consumed to sustain life. Food is normally of animal, plant or fungi origin, and usually contains necessary nutrients, including protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, or other minerals. It is a primary requirement of the body to absorb the nutrients present in food. Although humans need dietary nutrition to survive, they can obtain all the nutrients required by the body through natural food sources, which include animal products like meat, fish, milk and eggs.
The first step towards good nutrition is to eat enough food to keep up with energy requirements. In this way, energy levels are maintained even as the activity level declines. Activity levels decrease because of the feeling of hunger that most people experience when they are not receiving enough food to satisfy their daily energy requirements. Thus, a major concern for many people is whether they are getting enough food to maintain health, and to stay healthy. This is why activities such as exercise and weight training are encouraged for people to remain active, and to eat the right amount of food to maintain energy levels.
The second step towards a healthy diet is to choose foods that are nutritionally balanced. Nutritional balance refers to the food’s ability to provide the nutrients required by the body to stay healthy. When choosing foods to eat, you should pay attention to the following: nutrients needed to reduce risk of diseases; to maintain normal weight; and to keep the skin and hair healthy. Foods that fall under these categories include vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes such as beans, lentils, which are rich in fiber, complex carbohydrates, zinc, iron and other nutrients.
Thirdly, you should consume foods that contain sufficient quantities of nutrients and which are free of allergens and toxins. For example, it is important to avoid foods that are made with refined white flour, as well as those with high levels of simple sugars. Simple sugars can increase insulin levels, which in turn increase the risk of diabetes and heart disease. Furthermore, refined and processed carbohydrates have been found to inhibit the release of the insulin that leads to glucose utilization, and in fact, high amounts of simple sugars can contribute to fatty deposits on the body, which result in plaque formation around blood vessels, leading to heart disease.
Fourthly, foods that are rich in vitamins B, C, and E are essential for maintaining health. Vitamin E is effective in reducing the development of atherosclerotic plaques on the artery walls, reducing cholesterol levels, and lowering blood pressure. Foods that are rich in vitamin E include oily fish such as tuna, nuts, avocados, flaxseed oil, nuts, wheat germ oil, and sunflower seeds.
Fifthly, it is important to eat foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids, particularly fatty acids found in salmon, herring, wild Alaskan salmon, sardines, walnuts, and other seafood. These types of fats are beneficial in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, lowering blood pressure, and reducing the risks of developing type 2 diabetes. While these nutrients may sound like they are difficult to eat, the good news is that there are many ready-made nutrient bars available that contain a wide range of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that are healthy for you to eat. Furthermore, these convenient snack foods can be enjoyed during any time, providing you with the nutrients you need without having to wait for a good meal.