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Components of Food

Major Nutrients of Food and Their Importance

We eat a variety of food items such as chapattis, pulses, different vegetables, meat, eggs, milk etc. We are often advised by our parents to eat various types of food items.

Can you tell why?

This is because each food item usually consists of one or more ingredients. Each ingredient contains some important component required by our body. These important components are known as nutrients.

Let us learn about the nutrients required by our body.

Major nutrients

Five major nutrients are present in the food we eat. These are carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals. In addition, our food also contains water and fibre, which are required by our body.

Do you know which food item is rich in which nutrient? Let us explore the sources of nutrients.

Sources of major nutrients:

  • Some important sources of carbohydrates are sugarcane, potato, wheat, papaya, rice, mango, maize etc.

  • Some important sources of proteins are meat, milk, pulses, eggs, nuts etc.

  • Some important sources of fats are oil, butter, ghee, cream, milk etc.

  • Some important sources of vitamins and minerals are vegetables, spices, and fruits.

Some Interesting Facts:

  • Food items can lose the vitamins present in them if cooked in copper vessels.

  • Frozen foods must be cooked without defrosting.

Video(s) by teachers

We know that our diet consists of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals, water, and roughage.

However, do we know what functions they perform in our body and why are they essential to our diet? Let us explore.

Importance of carbohydrates

You must have observed sports persons consuming fruit juices during matches. Can you tell why?

They do so because fruit juices are rich in carbohydrates and fluids, both of which refuel our system. They act as an instant source of energy.

Fruit juices are not only a rich source of fluids and carbohydrates but they also contain some vitamins and minerals, which are useful for the body.

Carbohydrate-rich food forms the main part of our diet. They provide energy for physical activities and proper body function. Thus, the food containing carbohydrates is referred to as energy giving food. Carbohydrates include sugars, starch, cellulose, etc.

  • Sugars: These are the simple forms of carbohydrates that are soluble in cold w…

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