Food is any material consumed in order to provide nutrition to an organism for the duration of its lifetime. Generally speaking, food is any material composed of living material that is consumed by an organism to obtain food and eventually snares life. Food generally consists of plant, animal, or fungi origin, and possesses necessary nutrients, including protein, vitamins, carbohydrates, or minerals for the survival of organisms. The word ‘food’ can refer to any nutrient rich substance obtained from plant or animal sources or both. Plants, animals and fungi can also be animals or insects.
Plants consist of the tissues that derive from the stems, leaves, roots and seeds; whereas animals consist of the tissues that derive from the blood, liver, spleen and kidneys; whereas fungi include those that derive from the bones, lungs, gut and gallbladder. Plants and animals together can constitute a diet; whereas fungi and bacteria together cannot. Therefore, there are certain definite guidelines that have to be followed by people while they feed on these resources and see that the constituents of the diet form the major constituent of their body weight and anatomy.
Food that provides a balanced diet to an individual should consist of foods having low Glycemic Index (GI), low fat content, and sufficient amount of dietary fiber. Low GI foods are easily digestible and do not raise the blood glucose level very high. These low carbohydrate foods help prevent rapid spike in the level of sugar in the blood. Similarly, foods having low fat content and adequate amount of dietary fiber help prevent the formation of obesity.
Foods having plenty of Vitamin A and Vitamin C in them constitute the major source of obtaining healthy skin. In addition, other nutrients required for maintaining the good health of the immune system are minerals like potassium, magnesium, iodine and calcium. Foods with fruits and vegetables are recommended in the diet as these contain most nutrients that are required for a healthy immune system. Similarly, foods containing certain B vitamins like niacin, thiamine, riboflavin, and pantothenic acid constitute the important source of nutrition for maintaining good health and immunity.
Food intake should always be reduced to less than 30 grams per day as the excessive intake of sugar reduces the bioavailability of nutrients like iron, calcium and magnesium in the body. Therefore, it is essential to keep sugar consumption under control in order to remain fit and healthy. The intake of sugary foods should be limited as much as possible. For those who like to consume sugary foods, they can take the help of any supplement that contains these nutrients. In case one does not take the help of any supplement, then a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is more than enough to maintain good health and immunity. Fruit and vegetable intake helps in reducing the risk of developing chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart diseases, osteoporosis and other disorders related to aging.
A healthy diet includes all the food types in balanced quantities in order to increase the metabolic rate of the body and at the same time, maintain the nutritional balance in the body. Most importantly, it should be comprised of all the nutrients that are required for the human body in order to remain healthy and fit. It is quite true that a healthy diet consists of different foods from every source but when taken in combination with proper exercises and healthy lifestyle, it offers a complete solution for staying healthy.