Food is one of the basic necessities of a human being. Man needs food in order to survive. Without it, man will not be able to live longer. But too much of it also will cause the digestive organs to be overworked, eventually putting one’s life closer to grave.
The main components of food may be classified into six groups: carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals and water.
Carbohydrates are simple sugars, or substances that can be reduced to simple sugars by hydrolysis. Carbohydrate’s main function is to provide energy for the body. Some common foods high in carbohydrates are bread, cake, cookies, rice, potatoes and ordinary granulated sugar.
Proteins are primarily utilized in the building and repair of body tissues. They are also energy-providing. Eggs, fish, meat,milk, garbanzos, and soybeans are sources of food that are high in protein.
Of all the energy-giving substances, fats provide the most energy. Fats are not only energy-providing. They also serve as padding around the internal organs, insulation for the body, carriers of the fat-soluble vitamins and lubricants of the gastro-intestinal tract. Fats also improve the palatability of the diet. Some foods with a high fat content are peanut butter, avocado, margarine, egg yolk, nuts and coconut, as well as chocolates.
The vitamins are a group of potent organic compounds which occur in small quantities in foods, and are necessary for growth and for the regulation of the body processes.
Minerals are elements needed by our bodies. They make up less than five percent of the body weight but they are indespensable to the body functions. Minerals serve as components of the bones and the teet and they give rigidity to these hard tissues. They are components also of soft tissue like the muscles. Minerals make possible the normal rhythm of the heartbeat and they are essential for blood clotting. Minerals help control the contraction of muscles, the irritability of nerves, and the water balance of the body. Some of the minerals that are needed by the body are sulfur, magnesium and manganese, chlorine, sodium, calcium, phosphorus, iodine and iron.
Water ranks second to oxygen. Around 70 percent of our body weight is made of water. Water acts as a solvent for all the products of digestion. It is used as a building material, prevents friction between the moving parts of the body and it is the means by which food is carried to the cells and waste products are carried out. Water also helps regulate body temperature. Water passes out from the body by four avenues: the kidneys, skin, lungs, and gastrointestinal tract. BOLA TANGKAS