If we didn't eat, we couldn't keep our bodies alive, we couldn't grow, we wouldn't have energy, and various parts of our bodies couldn't function as they must.
Modern scientists have been able to find out which substances in food our bodies need, and how much of these substances we need to be healthy. In other words, it isn't enough to just eat; we must take in enough of each type of food substance for a specific purpose.
Protein foods such as milk, eggs, cheese, meat and fish contain large quantities of the kind of material the body needs to build cells. The body cannot make new cells without protein.
Carbohydrates are foods which have a large quantity of starch or sugar, such as potatoes, flour, rice and sugar. They are important to the body because they keep it warm and give it energy. Almost all foods also have some fat, and fat is the most concentrated energy-giving food body uses.
But the body needs more than protein, carbohydrates and fats. It must also have certain substances known as minerals. There are eighteen such necessary minerals. As you know, some of them, such as calcium and phosphorus, are needed by the bones and teeth to grow strong and healthy. Iron helps the cells to work properly. With copper, the body grows and makes hemoglobin. Iodine helps the body work, too.
So, now we have proteins, carbohydrates, fats and minerals that are all necessary to the body for it to function and grow. Is that all?-No. Science has discovered that vitamins also are necessary to control certain processes in the body. They are absolutely essential to health. Each vitamin serves the body in a special way, and no one vitamin can replace another. All of them together promote growth and keep people feeling well and strong.
By the way, water can be considered a food, too, and serves the body in a number of ways. From all this, you can see that eating isn't just a matter of satisfying hunger or pleasing appetite. A good, balanced diet is vital to health.
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