Some people say we eat to live but I believe it is not by merely eating that we live; but by taking all the groups of food. What this means is that the kind of food we take has equally an important role in our bodies.
It is, therefore, my intention to discuss in brief the groups of food and their nutritional values as classified by health experts as carbohydrates, dairy products, fruits, oils, proteins, and vegetables.
Carbohydrates: these are mainly found from food made from grains such as maize, rice, and tubers like cassava as well as sweet potatoes, among others. They provide us with glucose which eventually give us energy.
Dairy products: these are fresh milk, yorgie, butter, cheese, and many more. And their nutritional values are, but not limited to, calcium and vitamin D which are essential for the development of our bones and teeth. Dairy products are also a source of protein.
Fruits like bananas, grapes, mangoes, pineapples, contain folate, potassium and vitamin C. And a person who eats sufficient fruits is rarely anaemic.
Oils which are found in form of liquid like kukoma cooking oil, or as lipids such as stock margarine contain vitamin A.
Proteins are like the building bricks of muscles and bones. They are also important for the formation of blood. Source food materials include lean red meat, fish, eggs among others; and they are very essential for all metabolic activities in the human bodies. Proteins provide us with vitamin B, iron, magnesium, and zinc.
Vegetables like pumpkin leaves, eggplants, cabbage, amaranth leaves (bonongwe) and many more contain fibre which helps reduce levels of cholesterol hence the risk of heart failure is reduced as well. Secondly, the green pigment called chlorophyll contained in the leaves when eaten is converted into blood.
Finally we have to be careful when preparing our food so that we don’t fall sick, for without healthy life we can’t be reliable citizens.