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Food and Its Digestion

Updated on March 21, 2015

Food

We eat different types of food every day. Food gives us energy to work, play and live. Can you think of running for a whole period without eating anything ? You feel tired when you do not have energy in your body.

We have 'hunger center' in our brain which keeps on sending messages to our stomach and intestine when the nutrition level is low in our blood. When stomach gets the signal, it starts rumbling and we feel hungry. Only eating food is not enough. what we eat is more important to be healthy.

Food contains various substances called nutrients, which are needed by our body for various purposes. The main nutrients needed by our body are:

  • Carbohydrates.
  • Proteins.
  • Vitamins.
  • Fats.
  • Minerals.


Food

Food
Food | Source

Proteins

Proteins are needed for the growth and development of our body. They also repair the damaged cells and help in the maintenance of body. They are called body-building foods. small children need more protein-rich food because they are growing all the time.

The source of proteins are : Egg, fish, meat, pulses and milk.


Proteins

Proteins
Proteins | Source
Proteins
Proteins | Source

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are the main source of energy. That is why they are also called energy-giving foods. they keep our body warm and give us energy to do various functions. people who do more physical work like labourers need more carbohydrates than a person who sits in the office.

The sources of carbohydrates are : bread, rice, wheat, sugar, potato, jam, honey, etc. They are rich sources of carbohydrates. All carbohydrates are sweet in taste.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates | Source

Fats

fats also give energy and heat to our body. They give more energy than carbohydrates. But too much of fat is not good for health. It causes obesity.

A person eating too much of fat can suffer from obesity very quickly.

Sources of fats are: Ghee, butter, oil, cream, cheese, etc.

Fats

Fats
Fats | Source

Vitamins and minerals

Vitamins and minerals are needed in a small quantity. They protect our body from diseases and keep us healthy and strong. They are called protective foods. They help us to have good vision, healthy gums and glowing skin.

sources: Green leafy vegetables, fruits, milk, fish, etc., are a rich source of vitamins and minerals.

main minerals needed by our body are calcium, iron, sodium and potassium. Calcium is needed for healthy teeth and strong bones. iron helps in the formation of blood.


Vitamins and minerals

Vitamins and minerals
Vitamins and minerals | Source

Roughage

Roughage helps in the easy bowel movement and keeps constipation away. It is the fibrous material present in cereals, fruits and vegetables. It cannot be digested.

Source: Fruits and vegetables are a good source of roughage.


Roughage

Roughage
Roughage | Source

Water

Water is also an important part of our food. It helps

  • in the digestion of food.
  • to excrete wastes from the body.
  • to maintain body temperature.

We must drink 8-10 glasses of water every day.


Water

Water
Water | Source

Balanced Diet

Food which contains all the nutrients - carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins and minerals in a proper amount is called a balanced diet.

You should be careful while eating if you want to be healthy and strong. Do not eat too much of sweets, cold drinks and junk food like pizza, burger, etc. they do not give energy. They can make you fat and lazy.


Balanced diet

Balanced diet
Balanced diet | Source
Idli
Idli | Source
Rice bowl
Rice bowl | Source
Cake
Cake | Source

Raw and cooked food

We eat different types of food items in our breakfast, lunch and dinner. Some food items can be eaten raw. Fruits and salads are eaten raw.

We must wash fruits and vegetables properly before eating to remove dust particles, chemicals and germs from them.

It is said that we should not wash vegetables after cutting. Can you guess why ?

Yes, it is true that if the vegetables are washed after cutting, many nutrients can be washed with water.

Different methods of cooking food are:

  1. Boiling : it means to cook in water. Rice , potato and pulses can be boiled.
  2. Roasting : It means to cook over direct fire. Chicken, brinjal, potato can be roasted.
  3. Frying : It means to cook in boiling oil. Potato, puri, pakora and tikki are fried.
  4. Steaming : It means to cook with the help of steam heat or in an oven. Rice, idli, dhokla and momos are made by steaming.
  5. Baking : Biscuits, bread and cake are baked.

Cooking makes the food tastier and easier to digest. It also kills the germs present in the food.


Points to remember while cooking

  • Do not throw the water in which vegetables are boiled. It can be used for kneading the flour.
  • Do not overcook the food as it can destroy the nutritive value of the food.
  • Always cover the food while cooking. It helps to preserve the nutrients in the food.


Digestion of food

The food which we eat is broken down into simpler substance which can be absorbed by the body to release energy. This process is called digestion. The process of digestion starts in the mouth and ends at anus where the undigested food is thrown out of the body.

The digestion of food starts in the mouth. The teeth chew the food and saliva gets mixed with the food.

  • This food then enters the stomach through the food pipe.
  • In stomach, digestive juices get mixed with the food and break down the food into smaller and smaller particles.
  • The food then reaches the small intestine.
  • In small intestine, more digestive juices get mixed with the food. The digested food is absorbed by the small intestine and undigested food is passed to large intestine.
  • Undigested food comes out as feces through anus. The waste water comes out in the form of urine and waste.


Digestion of food
Digestion of food | Source

Good eating habits

You must follow these good eating habits while eating.

  1. Always wash your hands before and after eating food.
  2. Always eat healthy and fresh food.
  3. Eat slowly and chew the food properly. Don't stuff your mouth with food.
  4. Do not talk or laugh while eating. You may get choked.
  5. Eat healthy food at proper time.
  6. Rinse your mouth after eating, so that food particles do not stick in between the teeth.



Why do we feel thirsty ?

We lose water from our body through perspiration and urination.

When the water balance in our body is disturbed or reduced, then the 'thirst center' in the brain gets activated, and we feel thirsty.

Remember

  • Food gives us energy to work and also keeps our body healthy.
  • Food contains various substances called nutrients which are needed for the growth and development of our body. They are : Carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals and proteins.
  • A balanced diet contains all the nutrients in proper amount.
  • Boiling, steaming, roasting and frying are different ways of cooking the food.
  • Digestion of food breaks down the food into simpler substances and releases energy.
  • We must follow good eating habits to be healthy and active.

Food digestion

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