Food Nutrients: These are useful substances available in the food we eat. The nutrients are what the body absorbs and uses for growth, strength and healthy development of the body. There are six nutrients required by the body, namely: carbohydrate, protein, fats and oil, vitamin, minerals and water.
Carbohydrate: It gives energy to the body for daily work and activities. Sources of carbohydrates include: maize, rice, yams, potatoes, cassava, bread, sugar, etc.
Functions of carbohydrate
- It supplies energy
- It aids growth
- It strengthens muscle fibres
Protein: It builds our body and helps in the development and growth of the body. It also helps the body to replace old cells with new cells. Sources of protein include: meat, fish, beans, milk and eggs.
Functions of Protein
- It aids growth and development of tissue cells from birth until growth stops
- It helps the body to replace old cells
- It maintains blood pressure and prevents unnecessary leakage in to the tissue fluids
Fats and Oils: Fats and oils provides plenty of energy even more than carbohydrates. They produce heat to keep the body warm. They protect our internal organs from cold and injury. Some of the sources of fats and oils include: fats from animal meat, oil from plants like groundnuts, palm oil, butter, cheese, etc.
Functions of Fats and Oils
- They supply energy to the body
- They supply heat to the body
- They maintain skin moisture
- They are used for sight development
Vitamins: Vitamins helps our body system to function properly. It also protects us from infections and diseases. Just like protein, vitamins aid the replacement of old cells with new ones.
Some of the sources of vitamin include: fruits like oranges, grapes, bananas, pineapple, apple, plantain, tomatoes; nuts like peanuts, palm kernel nuts, coconuts, cashew nut; vegetables like okro, spinach, lettuce, cabbage, green pepper, garden eggs, carrots, etc.
Functions of Vitamin
- It is used for proper functioning of the nervous and digestive system
- It promotes healthy growth
- It helps in healing wounds
- It protects the body against diseases
- It helps us to see clearly
Minerals: Minerals helps to make the blood rich. It makes the bones and teeth strong. It also regulates the internal activities in the body. Sources of minerals are iodized table salt, fish, milk, eggs, nuts, liver, kidney, etc.
Functions of Minerals
- It helps in formation of heamoglobin
- It makes the bones and teeth strong
- It regulates internal activities in the body
Water: Our body is made up of plenty of water. It maintains the fluid balance in the body and aids in food digestion. Water also helps in excreting wastes from the body. Sources of water include drinking water, juice and other fluids.
Functions of Water
- It maintains the body fluid balance
- It aids the digestion of food
- It helps in excreting waste from the body