Food is any substance that contains energy or nutrients to sustain life and growth. It may be plant, animal, or fungi. It is absorbed by an organism and assimilated by its cells to supply energy, maintain life, and stimulate growth.
People’s diets vary greatly from one region to another. They may be based on local climates and growing conditions, or they might have been modified by trade, travel, and the development of new methods of agriculture. In addition, people’s diets are influenced by cultural beliefs about eating, which often include rituals around preparing and sharing food that serve both biological and social functions.
The science of food focuses on the chemical, microbiological, and physical characteristics of the foods that we eat. It also includes the production, processing, and preservation of foods.
Various methods are used to process and preserve food, such as drying, freezing, pasteurization, canning, irradiation, and extrusion. The knowledge of these processes is necessary to develop and produce safe, quality products for consumers.
A person’s diet should contain a variety of foods that provide the body with nutrients needed to function properly and maintain health. Some of these nutrients include carbohydrates, protein, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water.
Diets should also include plenty of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats. These are important sources of fiber, which can lower cholesterol levels and protect against heart disease.
For example, a small handful of walnuts can help lower your “bad” LDL cholesterol. Walnuts have healthy fats, omega-3s, plant sterols, and fiber.
They’re also a good source of iron, potassium, and zinc. A handful of slivered almonds can also help lower cholesterol and protect against inflammation in the arteries.
A wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can also provide the body with vitamins and minerals. Vegetables, for instance, are a good source of folic acid and Vitamin A, while whole grains like brown rice can contain manganese, magnesium, and copper.
These vitamins and minerals can help strengthen the body’s immune system, improve digestion, and fight heart disease. They’re also high in fiber, which can help keep the digestive tract moving and reduce the risk of constipation.
Having a daily breakfast can reduce the risk of snacking at other times of the day and make you feel more full so that you’re less likely to overeat later on in the day. A bowl of oatmeal or a bowl of wholemeal porridge with fresh fruit and low-fat milk is a tasty, nutritious option.
Overnight oats are another convenient way to get more whole grains in your diet, but they’re best when prepared the night before and stored in the refrigerator. The next morning, they’re ready to eat and offer the same great nutrition as traditional oats, but they’re more convenient for busy lifestyles.
Vegetables are an essential part of a healthy diet and contain fiber, calcium, and other minerals. They’re also a good source of antioxidants, which can protect against cancer and other diseases.