Eating Healthy – Food Is Medicine to the Soul
Food is any material taken from nature to provide nourishment to an organisms. It includes all the food that can be eaten by a living being. The food we eat today has changed drastically from when our ancestors first walked the earth. Our diets include many preservatives, additives, artificial ingredients, synthetic vitamins and chemicals, foods made with fertilizers, hormones and antibiotics, etc.
Having a nutritious diet is the first step towards good health, but how do we know if we are getting enough food? Activity 1.1 Nutrition addresses this question by asking the question: Is my diet providing the proper nutrients to help me stay healthy? Food is categorized into several types, including: carbohydrates, protein, fruits and vegetables, dairy products, fats, and oils. The classification helps to make it easier to determine which nutrient should be included in what food type.
Carbohydrates are the most important source of energy and nutrients for most animals and plants. Milk, cheese, bread, pasta and cereals are carbohydrates. Fruits and vegetables are the richest sources of carbohydrates, with leafy green vegetables being the richest with vitamins. Whole grains are the other type of carbohydrate. These are complex carbohydrates which provide complex sugars and other nutrients important to healthy eating.
Proteins are the most important nutrients. Animal meat, poultry, fish, lentils, nuts, eggs and legumes are the richest sources of protein. Eggs are a good choice of protein. Beans, nuts, legumes and vegetables all contain some protein. Some grains are legumes; grains are a combination of different grains. Rice is another grain.
Vitamins, minerals and other nutrients can be found in plant foods. To meet daily needs, a diet must contain enough of these nutrients. However, inadequate dietary fibre can cause problems, resulting in constipation or stomach pain and other gastrointestinal problems. Foods rich in vitamins are those that are whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes and dairy products. The best dietary fibre to include are soluble fibre from beans and nuts, as well as wheat bran.
As far as food additives go, natural sweeteners, artificial flavours and colours are unnecessary and largely unhelpful. They can also contribute to toxins in the body. A balance of diet and lifestyle should be followed to make food nutritious and enjoyable. If this is not done, the result will be poor health that will limit the ability to do things on a day-to-day basis. By eating a varied, healthy, balanced and well-balanced diet, a person can enjoy life to its fullest.