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Define Balanced Diet
The purpose of Minerals:
Minerals such as phosphorus, iodine, calcium, magnesium and iron are also an essential part of the food as they promote good health and growth of the body. These minerals exist in food naturally and should be preserved while cooking. Some sources of iodine are fish, green leafy vegetables, iodized salt, and bread. Deficiency of iodine causes a condition called ‘goiter’ resulting in swelling of glands present in the neck and mental disability of children. Calcium is important for the bone and tooth development of the body and is obtained from milk, egg and other dairy products.
Phosphorus is also essential for bone development and is found in green leafy vegetables, cabbage, bananas and whole wheat. Iron is important for the formation of red blood cells in our body and is found abundantly in green leafy vegetables like spinach. Deficiency of iron causes a condition called ‘anaemia’ resulting in weakness and fatigues.
The value of dietary fibers:
Dietary fibers also often called as roughage, is a necessary component of food, as it helps in excreting the undigested food from our body. Dietary fibers are mainly obtained from plant products such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and pulses do not have much of nutrient value, but are of essential value as it adds up to the bulk of food components.
Water: essential of life
Water, as previously mentioned, is the most important need for our body. Water helps to absorb the nutrients from the digested food in our body. Water also regulates the temperature of our body and also helps in cleaning and excreting toxins and other wastes from our body in the form of sweat and urine. Our main source of water is liquids, such as pure drinking water, tea, coffee, and milk. In addition to this, fruits and vegetables also contain water. It is recommended that one should drink 1-2 liters of water daily.
On daily basis, we follow a diet for the maintenance and growth of the body. This is achievable if our diet consists of all the nutrients in right quantities with voluminous roughage and water. Such a diet is called as a balanced diet and it should be practiced every day in our lives. The nutrients in our diet should not be too much or too less in quantity, as this might lead to deficiency diseases.
Preservation of nutrients:
It is possible that the nutrients present in fruits and vegetables are destroyed during the cooking process. Hence, to conserve the nutrients from leaching away, one should wash fruits and vegetables before cutting them and not after cutting them. Also, during cooking of vegetables, minimal water should be used rather than using excess water and throwing away once cooked.
It is very well-known fact that vitamin C is destroyed by heat. Hence, fruits and certain vegetables should be enjoyed raw. From this chapter, we learn that it is necessary to have proper distribution of various nutrients in our diet to maintain a healthy and a disease-free life.