Diet plays a vital role in the maintenance of good health and in prevention and cure of disease. The right kind of food is the most important single factor in promotion of health. Nutrition, which depends on food intake, is also of utmost importance in the cure of disease.
It is believed that at least 45 chemical components and elements are needed by human cells. These 45 substances, called essential nutrients must be present in adequate diet. List of these nutrients include oxygen & water.
The other 43 essential nutrients are classified into five main groups, namely.
Living things use carbohydrates as key sources of “Energy”.
In human carbohydrates forms cellulose structure.
Carbohydrates are made of simple sugars & complex carbohydrates starches.
They are presents in three forms Monosaccharide, Disaccharides & polysaccharides.
Its effect on body:
Carbohydrates forms cell wall.
Carbohydrates help in muscle growth.
Carbohydrates maintain glucose level in blood.
Carbohydrates prevent hypoglycemia during starvation
Daily requirements: 450 to 500 mg/day/gms.
1 gm of carbohydrates: 4.1 /gm kilo calories.
Sources of carbohydrates
Simple carbohydrates: sugars, cookies, candy, cakes & fruits.
Complex carbohydrates: Fibers, whole grains, pastas, breads, starches & vegetables.
They are great sources of stored energy, so we have it in the future.
They insulate the body to maintain normal body temperature & they cushion the internal organs for protection.
They produce hormones for the body called steroids.
They waterproof surfaces of humans, animals, plants & fruits.
High quality unrefined oils should be added to the diet.
They are rich in unsaturated fatty acids, vitamins C & F, and lecithin.
The average daily amount should not exceed two tablespoons.
It’s effect on body:
There are different types of steroid which are made of lipids.
Natural steroids: in body these natural steroids increases muscle bulk, growth of bone.
Anabolic steroids: they help in muscle growth.
Sex steroids : like testosterone & estrogen
They are found in adipose tissue & connective tissue.
Lipids also form the cell membrane.
Sources: oils, butter, cheese etc.
Proteins are a sequence of amino acids.
There are 20 amino acids: 9 essential amino acids & 11 non essential amino acids.
These amino acids link in specific sequences to forms strands of proteins.
One amino acid is joined to other by peptide bond.
It’s effect on body:
Formation of collagen: is the most abundant protein in humans & gives bone & skin their strength.
Keratin: provides structure to hair & nails.
Enzymes: are made up of protein that catalyze chemical reaction without being used up or destroyed in the process.
Proteins are used for: Digestion, releasing of energy from nutrients for fuel.
Proteins are necessary for growth of muscle & tissues.
Proteins are necessary for hormones: hormones are chemical messengers in the body, eg: Insulin, glucagon, anti-diuretic hormones.
Proteins help in immune functions: they form antibodies are made of blood proteins that attack against bacteria & viruses.
Proteins have the important role in maintain intracellular or extracellular (interstitial & intravascular) fluid.
Proteins also maintain acid base balances.
Daily requirements: 0.8 gms /kilo gram of body wt/day.
Athletes : 1.2 to 1.4 gms/kg/day.
Heavy weight trainers: 1.7 to 1.8 gms/kg/day.
Sources of proteins: Almonds, pinto beans, cheese,ham, egg, milk, whole wheat bread, lean hamburger, peanut butter, salmon, tofu, yoghurt & white rice.
In nutrition minerals are commonly referred to as mineral elements or inorganic nutrients.
Minerals are essential for regulating and building the trillions of living cells.
Minerals help to maintain the volume of water necessary to life processes in the body.
Each of these essential food minerals does a specific job in the body & some of them do extra work, in teams, to keep body cells healthy.
The minerals elements needed by body in substantial amount are calcium, phosphorous, iron, sulphur, magnesium, sodium, potassium & chloride.
In addition the body needs minute amounts of iodine, copper, cobalt, manganese, zinc, selenium, silicon, fluorine & some others.
Vitamins are potent organic compounds which are found in small concentration in foods.
They are like electric sparks which help to run human motors.
They perform specific vital functions in the body chemistry.
Aside from a few exceptions, they cannot be manufactured or synthesized by the organism.
Their absence or improper absorption results in specific deficiency disease.
It is not possible to sustain life without all these essential vitamins.
We can obtain them from theses foods or in dietary supplements.
Vitamins can be of immense help in fighting disease and speeding recovery.
Vitamins have a miraculous healing effect in wide range of common complaints & illness.
Vitamin therapy has distinct advantage over drug therapy.
Nutritional deficiencies in the food occur on account of various factors, including the intense processing and refining of foods, the time lag between the harvesting and consumption of vegetables and fruits, and the chemical fertilizers, fungicides, insecticides and sprays used for treating the soil.
The first principal of nutrition, one should insist upon whole meal flour and whole meal bread and avoid the white stuff.
Our diet should contain liberal quantities of:
Seeds ,nuts and grains
SEEDS, NUTS AND GRAINS
These are the most important & potent of all foods and contain all important nutrients needed for human growth.
They contain the germ, the reproductive power which is of vital importance for the lives of human beings.
They are excellent sprouts.
They are valuable in building health.
They are excellent natural sources of essential unsaturated fatty acids.
They are good sources o lecithin & vitamin B.
They are natural sources of vitamin c.
They are preserver of health & prevent premature ageing.
They are rich sources of minerals
They play an important role in the rejuvenation of cells.
Sources: Millets, wheat, oats, barley, brown rice, beans, peas, mung beans, alfalfa seeds & soya beans.
They are extremely rich sources of minerals, enzymes and vitamins
Faulty cooking and prolonged careless storage, destroys these valuable nutrients.
Vegetables should not be peeled unless the peel is tough and unpalatable.
Soaking of vegetables should also be avoided.
Vegetables are rich sources of minerals , enzymes & vitamins.
They have high energy valves.
They are good sources of vitamin B.
They excellent sources of roughage ( fibers).
They are good sources of iron.
They are good sources of vitamins c.
Sources of vegetables :
Green leafy vegetables.
Fruits are excellent sources of minerals, vitamins and enzymes.
They are easily digested and exercise a cleansing effect on blood and digestive tract.
They contain high alkaline properties, high percentage of water.
Apart from seasonable fresh fruits, dry fruits such as raisins, figs are also beneficial.
They are more beneficial when taken as separate meal, preferably for morning breakfast.
Some fruits make better combination with milk. It is desirable to take one kind of fruit at a time.
At least one pound of fruit should form part of the daily diet.
Sources of fruits :
Fruits & Nuts
Yellow fruits – papaya, mango are rich with vitamin A.
Citrus fruits – orange, lemon & amla ( Indian goose berry ) are rich in vitamin C.
Apples are natural laxatives.
Custard apple is rich sources of calcium.
Dry fruits are rich sources of iron.
Milk is an excellent food. It is considered as “Nature’s most nearly perfect food” .
The best way to take milk is in its soured form- yogurt and cottage cheese.
Soured milk is superior to sweet milk as it is in predigested form & easily assimilated.
Milk helps to maintain a healthy intestinal flora & prevents intestinal putrefaction & constipation.
A diet of the four basic foods groups, supplemented with special foods mentioned above will ensure a complete & adequate supply of vital nutrients needed for health, vitality and prevention of disease.
Dr Rupali .J. Bhanuse