healthy foods

It is said that food is the staff of life. This means that food is needed to sustain life, and that is one of the main reasons for eating healthy foods. Other reasons are that food provides the energy that the body needs to be more alert. Eating right helps in the prevention of diseases like diabetes and cancer.

The body is made up of millions of cells, some of which die at times, and are replaced by new ones. Eating the right kind of food supplies the body with the nutrients it needs to create the new cells that replace the dead ones. It also helps to clear the body of toxins, so that it can function properly daily.

It is important to know the foods that are healthy and therefore good for consumption. These are from the protein, dairy, fruit, vegetable, and grains groups. The protein group consists of foods like meats, poultry, eggs, beans and peas, nuts and seeds, and seafood. Meals should be planned around selections from each type, and they should be varied. A valuable tip is to consume only the lean parts of meats.

The dairy group consists of fluid milk products and those made from milk, and these should be fat-free or low-fat. They are, milk, cheese, milk-based desserts, yogurt, and calcium-fortified soy milk as a soy beverage. The important nutrient in this group is calcium. Foods that are made from milk, but which have little or no calcium, like cream, cream cheese, and butter, are not part of the group.

Members of the fruit group consist of fruits or pure fruit juice. Fruits can be consumed in diced, whole, or pureed form, canned, fresh, dried or frozen. Examples include apples, apricots, bananas, berries, nectarines, mixed fruits, melons and cherries. Fruits may be varied, and should always form part of the meal.

Vegetable group members are all vegetables or genuine vegetable juice. Vegetables may be eaten raw or cooked, frozen, fresh, dried, or canned, mashed, diced, or whole. There are five vegetable subgroups, namely, dark green, starchy, red and orange, beans and peas, and other vegetables. Examples are spinach, broccoli, corn, green bananas, carrots, tomatoes, soy beans, lentils, avocado, onions, and tomato juice. Vegetables should be varied.

Members of the grains group are wheat, oats, rice, cornmeal, or barley products. Grain products include bread, oatmeal, pasta, breakfast cereals, grits, and tortillas. The two subgroups of grains are whole and refined grains. Whole grains, like brown rice, oatmeal, and whole-wheat flour, have the bran, germ, and endosperm of the kernel. Refined grains, like white flour, white bread, and white rice, have had the bran and germ removed. Some refined grains are enriched with some B vitamins and iron, which are added back after processing is completed. At least half of the grains consumed should be whole.

There are many good reasons for eating healthy foods. The main reason is that the body needs to build and rebuild cells, which can only happen if it receives the proper nutrients. These are supplied by the different food groups, which should be eaten daily.