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A Brief Guide to Nutrition and Health


A Brief Guide to Nutrition and Health

Food is any material eaten to provide nutrition to the organisms. Generally food is of plant, animal, or fungi origin, and includes necessary nutrients, including proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, or other minerals. Many types of food are available at many different times of the day, especially in case of emergency, and are generally stored in pockets called plaques in the flesh, on bones, or in organs. Food can also be digested quickly by animals and transferred to plants through wind, water, spores, or other means.

A food supply can be depleted within a very short time if it is not nutritious, though humans have developed methods to compensate for scarcity of food by eating more expensive food. Over a period of time, most living things become dependent on food, and without it they die. This process of dependence is part of the reason that food must be properly stored before being eaten.

The major components of food are carbohydrates, proteins, minerals, vitamins, and fats. These, together, form the food pyramid, which helps determine which nutrient needs must be supplied to maintain health. With increasing complexity in the life processes of living things, the proportions of the nutrients in food vary. Thus, even a diet high in protein may have relatively low carbohydrates if most of the carbohydrates are in the form of starches or sugars. A properly balanced combination of the three main food groups, with a little added supplementation, is necessary for optimal nutrition. Diets that are based entirely on one or two of these food groups may provide all the necessary nutrients, but only a well-balanced diet can provide the optimum nutrition required for a long and healthy life.

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