Food and Health

Food is necessary for life. When we have not had food for six or seven hours we feel very hungry and we have no strength or energy to do anything and we feel miserable. If we do not have food for a long time we can die of starvation. Our health and fitness of the body depends not only on the amount of food we eat, but also on the kind of food we eat. A big built person needs more food than a small built or anyone doing hard, active work will need more food than a clerk or someone doing a desk job. School girls and boys also need more food than their mother or older relatives because they are growing.

The body is like an engine that needs fuel to keep it going. The fuel needed is food, which is required for different purposes so that the body will be able to keep fit and strong. Food can therefore be divided into three classes according to their work.

The classes of food are:

1. Body building foods – for growth and to built new tissues and to repair worn out tissues.
2. Energy foods – to supply energy for work and play. Also to supply heat to keep warm.
3. Protective foods – to protect the body from sickness.

Foods are made up of food substances. There are seven food substances and each has its own function. Therefore, it is essential that when we plan a meal we include foods containing all the food substances required to keep us healthy.

Food Substances
1. Protein (Class: Body building energy)
Animal – meat, fish, prawns, chicken, eggs, milk, salt fish, cockles.
Vegetable – peanuts, bean curd and other soy bean products, bean sprouts, read peas, french beans, all kinds of peas and beans.

2. Carbohydrates (Class: Energy)
Starch – rice, bread, flour, noodles, potatoes, yams, tapioca, cakes, biscuits.
Sugar – Sugar, sweets, chocolates, syrups, ice cream, cakes, fruits, jams, jellies.

3. Fats (Class: Energy)
Butter, margarine, coconut oil, peanut oil, ghee, lard, cream, milk.

4. Vitamins (Class: Protective)
Egg, milk, margarine, limes, green vegetables, papaya, pineapple, carrots, tomatoes, yellow sweet potatoes, fresh fruit.

5. Minerals (Class: Body building protective)
All vegetables and fruits.
Liver, fish, egg, milk.

6. Water (Class: Body building protective)
All drinks and all foods which contain water.

7. Roughage (Class: Protective)
Fruits and vegetables, maize and other cereals.

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