Types of Food and Their Benefits
The human body uses food to nourish itself, to protect its tissues from damage, to build muscles and bones, and to maintain the balance of chemicals in the body. Food is any material consumed in the diet to provide nutrition to an organism. Food is usually of animal, plant or fungi origin, and consists of necessary nutrients, including proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, or minerals for the growth and maintenance of an organism. A wide variety of food is available in today’s market. While animal products are consumed for their protein content and dietary value, plants are used for their vitamins, carbohydrates and fiber content.
The major categories of food include vegetable, fruit, legume, grain and nuts. Vegetable sources of protein are beans, nuts, lentils, broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower. Fruit is the source of many vitamins and other antioxidants, including Vitamin A, C, E and K2. Legumes, grains and nuts are rich in vitamins B, D, Folic Acid, Iron, Carotenoid, Selenium and Other Vitamins. Milk is another source of calcium and other minerals.
Foods which are deficient in certain vitamins or nutrients are considered nutritionally dead food and should be avoided. Examples of these are dairy products, which are low in fat, sodium and potassium. Some foods are so well-known for their healthful properties, that they are used in alternative forms, like supplements and foods that adding vitamins and minerals to the diet. One example is flax seed oil, which is claimed by some to help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Milk is a good alternative to milk for those who do not like its taste, or who have lactose intolerance. However, the use of supplements and other alternate sources of nutrition must be done cautiously, since some are more effective than others.