Getting enough nutrients from food is important for the maintenance and growth of your body. These include essential proteins, carbohydrates, and minerals. The human body needs these to maintain healthy tissues and provide energy for its activities. Eating a variety of foods is the best way to get all of the nutrients you need.
Some processed foods may be fortified with additional vitamins or minerals. For example, infant cereals are fortified with iron to prevent anemia. Also, many foods are fortified with antioxidants, which may help remove potentially harmful chemicals. Other fortified foods include milk, which is fortified with vitamin D to prevent rickets. However, these fortified products are not available for many busy households.
Processed foods can be good sources of protein and fiber. They also provide some essential micronutrients, but these foods are not always nutrient-dense. Some processed foods contain high levels of fat and calories. A low-fat diet is recommended for a healthier lifestyle.
There are many international certifications that use high-quality evaluation methods to make food safer. These include iTQi and Monde Selection. These certifications ensure that the food is prepared with the correct preparation techniques and meets certain health and safety standards. Some of these certifications also add a little back to the food to compensate for any nutrients lost during processing.
Grains are one of the most commonly grown foods. The most common grain products include bread, cornmeal, pasta, popcorn, and cereals. Aside from being cheap, these foods provide some protein and carbohydrates. Whole grains provide many B vitamins and fiber. Some refined grain products are also enriched and have a finer texture.
Vegetables are another important food group. Vegetables contain various colors and flavors, and are rich in vitamins and minerals. They are also low in carcinogens and anticarcinogens. They are a source of iron and dietary fiber. Several types of vegetables have antioxidants, which may reduce or prevent the formation of certain cancer-causing agents.
Meat and poultry have a lot of fat. The fat from these animals is beneficial for the internal organs. It is also a good source of protein and helps decrease inflammation. Legumes and nuts are also protein-rich foods. They are lower in saturated fat than animal meat. Grass-fed meat is more anti-inflammatory than corn-fed meat.
Fruit is another food group. Most people define fruit as a soft, edible part of a perennial plant. Botanists also classify fruit as a soft, edible part of any perennial plant that contains seeds. While most fruits are considered fruit, some of them are actually part of a different plant species. Most nuts are considered fruit.
The US Department of Agriculture defines processed foods as ones that have undergone changes to their natural state. This includes pasteurization, milling, blanching, freezing, and cooking. It can also include other additives, preservatives, and flavors.
Foods are also fortified with specific nutrients to prevent deficiencies in certain populations. For example, a fortified version of wheat flour is fortified with folic acid to prevent birth defects. Other fortified foods include calcium-fortified orange juice and milk. Some fortified foods include iodine, which can help prevent goiter.