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Basics of Good Nutrition

Most of us say that eating makes the body get rid of its fatigue or mainly because it is the only option to get away with the annoying growl of our tummies! What we do not know yet is that, apart from all these reasons, nutrition has a very significant role to play.

Nutrition has been defined as the ‘the science or practice of consuming and utilizing foods’. It presents our bodies with things which work to keep us healthy and functional. And through this act, it also manages to protect us from a number of diseases, bacteria and toxins

To comprehend the basics of good nutrition, we firstly need to understand the five main food groups which include carbohydrates, protein, fats, fibre, vitamins and minerals. Each one of these has its own aspect and they are usually found in a variety of food.

Carbohydrates:

There are two types of carbohydrates present in our food. Simple carbohydrates are found in refined sugars like bananas and milk. Complex carbohydrates consist of starch which is found in products like bread and pasta. Our body utilizes carbohydrates by firstly breaking them down into simple sugars so that it can be absorbed by our blood where it is used to generate energy.

Proteins:

Proteins comprise of long beads of amino acids. Poultry, dairy products, and lentils are the best suppliers of proteins which is very important for the sustenance of our bodies.

Fats:

There are three types of fats present in our food. Unsaturated fats are found in oils and fish and they are known to be good for our heart. Saturated fats are found in all dairy products save skim milk and its increase in our diet can cause heart diseases. Trans fats are found in margarine and snack foods and eating too much of it can also cause heart diseases.

Fibers:

There are two types of fibers present in our food. Insoluble fibres contain cellulose, hemi cellulose and lignin and are found in various food items like oats, lentils and maize. These keep a check on our stools and stop constipation. Soluble fibers contain gum and pectin and are found in all types of fruits and vegetables. This fibre is important in the sense that it prevents our cholesterol level and blood sugar level from increasing.

Vitamins:

Fat soluble vitamins like vitamin A, D, E and K are stored in the liver or the fat tissues. These stay in our system for a while until there is a need for them to be utilized whereas water soluble vitamins go through the blood stream and are not stored in our systems.

Minerals:

There are two kinds of minerals out there. Macro minerals are required in great amounts by our body while trace minerals, like the name suggests, are needed in small amounts. They help us to grow and stay healthy.