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Chapter 2 – Components Of Food

The following Topics and Sub-Topics are covered in this chapter and are available on MSVgo:

Introduction

There are different food items eaten across the country. A meal for you may consist of dal, chapati and mashed potatoes. For someone else, it may be sambar, rice and lady’s finger. 

If you are travelling, yet another meal can be kidney beans and rice. So, have you ever wondered about why meals have such distribution and does our body require different types of food items? The different components of food in the right portions make a balanced diet that fulfils the nutritional requirements of our body.

Each dish is made of one or more nutrients which we receive from either plants or animals. The major components of food include proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins & minerals. 

Foods rich in protein include almonds, eggs, chicken, oats, cottage cheese, greek yoghurt, broccoli, quinoa and lentils. 

Food items rich in carbohydrates include bread, rice crackers, potatoes, corn and starchy vegetables.

Healthy fat foods include avocados, cheese, dark chocolate, fish, nuts and vegetable oils. 

Vitamins and Minerals need to be obtained from diverse food sources, including cereals, meat, fish, milk & dairy products, nuts, fruits & vegetables.

Protein works to provide the body’s building blocks and is present in every cell from the skin to hair. It is useful for healthy growth and maintenance of the body. They are made up of amino acids. Our body can make some amino acids on its own, but many other essential amino acids come via consuming food. It is through the food you eat that your body can create complete proteins from it. 

Carbohydrates work to fuel our body, especially the brain and the central nervous system to protect against diseases. They also provide the energy for completing the daily tasks. 

Fibre is a carbohydrate type that promotes digestive health and lowers the risk of diabetes and heart disease. 

Fats support vital functions of the body such as absorption of vitamins & minerals, building cells and movement of muscles. Though they are high in calories, yet those calories serve as an important energy source to the body. 

Vitamins work to prevent the occurrence of any disease and help you to stay healthy. Our body uses these micronutrients to function properly. Each vitamin plays a specific role and lowers the risk of life-threatening diseases. 

Similar to vitamins, minerals also support the body, including the building of strong teeth and bones as well as to regulate metabolism. 

You may go without food for days, but you won’t be able to last without water. It is crucial for every system in the body and improves brain function. Water works as a lubricant and shock absorber and also helps to flush out toxins and carry essential nutrients to the cells. Once we know what do various food nutrients do for our body we can make our own balanced diet plan.

Even though a person may be eating enough food, yet the food may lack some vital nutrients. If this need for nutrients is not met for a long time, it results in balanced diet deficiency diseases and can cause body disorders. 

Diseases which occur as a result of the lack of nutrients are known as deficiency diseases. For example, if a person isn’t able to fulfil the protein requirements, he/she may suffer from stunted growth, brittle hair and skin diseases. 

A list of disorders as a result of vitamin and minerals deficiency is as follows:

Vitamin A

Deficiency/ Disorder: Loss of vision

Symptoms: Loss of vision at night, Poor vision which may result in complete loss of vision

Vitamin B1

Deficiency/ Disorder: Beriberi

Symptoms: Little energy to work, weak muscles

Vitamin C

Deficiency/ Disorder: Scurvy

Symptoms: Bleeding gums and wounds which take time to heal

Vitamin D

Deficiency/ Disorder : Rickets

Symptoms: Tender bones which can be bent

Calcium 

Deficiency/ Disorder: Decay of bones and teeth 

Symptoms: Weak bones and tooth decay

Iodine

Deficiency/ Disorder: Goitre 

Symptoms: Swollen glands in the neck, mental disability 

Iron

Deficiency/ Disorder : Anaemia

Symptoms: Weakness in the body

To sum it up, we need a balanced diet rich in protein, carbohydrates, fat, vitamins, and minerals. A balanced portion of nutrients in the different components of food you consume provides for all your bodily needs and protects you from any balanced diet deficiency diseases. When we know for sure what different food items contain we can figure out what to eat and what to avoid for good health.

  • What are the 5 major components of food

The 5 major components of food are Protein, Carbohydrates, Fats, Vitamins & Minerals and Water.

  • What are the main food components? 

The food components which form a part of the well-balanced diet are carbohydrates, fats, protein, vitamins and minerals. These components detail whatever meal should have for optimal health. 

  • What are the components of food and their sources? 

Our body needs the energy to function. The components of food which provide food include carbohydrates, protein and fats. While the non-energy components include vitamins, minerals and water.

Carbohydrates are found in Whole grains, corn, cereals and bread.
Sources of Protein include meat & fish, dairy products such as milk and cheese and beans.
Fats are found in nuts & seeds, butter, cheese and vegetable oils.
When it comes to vitamins and minerals, no single food contains all the essential nutrients is sufficient. That is why it is essential to eat varied food items every day.

  • How many types of food components are there?

There are 5 different types of food components, the inclusion of which form a well-balanced diet. 

  • Is water a component of food? 

Water is an overlooked component of food and helps in the absorption of nutrients. Besides this, water helps to break down food and dissolve the nutrients in your food. 

  • What are the main functions of food?

The main functions of food are to provide our body with what is required to stay healthy, build new cells for growth, stay alive & active and prevent any infection.

For more on components of food, deficiency diseases, and nutrition check out the MSVgo app. Clear all your doubts and gain in-depth conceptual knowledge with over 6,000 videos and animations available on the app.

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