Episode 1. Aspects of efficient nutrition – Apples & Berries
Food Culture

Episode 1. Aspects of efficient nutrition


Today I am starting an essential topic of Efficient Nutrition and the first episode of a series of essays devoted to the basic notions of Proteins, Carbohydrates and Fats which influence our everyday life activity.

Food as an external condition

Human body and the environment we live in are interdependent. One of the ambient conditions for the human survival is food. During a meal, food enters our body and influences all the vital processes within it, for example the functioning of the digestive mechanism. In order to keep the digestive mechanism running well, we need to understand what and how much of basic nutrients we consume. These basic nutrients are proteins, carbohydrates and fats. The need in these organic compounds depends on age, occupation, climate and many other factors.

Protein-rich foods

People need protein in order to grow and be healthy. However, the protein value of different foods is not the same. Full value protein is found in milk, eggs, meat, fish and some vegetables such as potatoes and cabbage.
Cultivated grains have different protein value, too. The most valuable grains in this respect are oats, rice and buckwheat. Millet, semolina and pearl barley contain less protein. In order to increase its nutritional value, the latter can be enhanced with other products. For example the value of millet could be enriched by adding meat, milk or some vegetables to the diet.

Foods rich in carbohydrates and fats

Carbohydrates and fats are main sources of energy and identify calories that measure the nutrition value of food. Moreover, they guard and protect the proteins. Proteins are less prone to being destroyed if there is sufficient amount of carbohydrates and fats in the body.
Fats can accumulate not only if plenty of fats are consumed, but also if carbohydrates are consumed excessively, in the amounts greater than needed. Fats in the human body are formed not only from the fats themselves, but also from carbohydrates and proteins.
Fats can be animal or vegetable. Animal fats are considered to be more valuable than vegetable fats because most of them contain special vitamins.
The most valuable fats for a human body are butter fats. These are natural fats found in milk, butter, cream, sour cream and other dairy products. Other fats such as margarine and vegetable oil are high value products because they have high calorie value and good assimilability to absorb and digest food and nutrients.
There are plenty of carbohydrates in the products made from plants: grains, vegetables and fruit. As for animal products, there is some amount of carbohydrates in milk in the form of milk sugar.
Carbohydrates can be found in products in a form of starch or different sugars. These substances occur in food naturally. Both types of carbohydrates assimilate in the human body very well. The difference between the two forms is that sugars dissolve in water and are quickly absorbed, while starch is split by digestive fluids into many parts and is absorbed in the blood slowly.
If a person feels extremely tired after mental or physical exertion, they need carbohydrates in the form of sugars. If a person feels alright, mainly starch is needed.
In addition to such nutrients as proteins, carbohydrates and fats, there are vitamins and mineral salts.

Vitamin deficiency

Vitamins are divided into groups according to their capability to dissolve in the water of fats: vitamin C and B group vitamins – dissolve in the water, vitamins A, D and E dissolve in fats that are called lipovitamins.
Vitamins are often called as extra nutrition factor. But it is not so because vitamins are important nutrition elements and everyone needs them as well as other substances that form a human body.
There are two types of vitamins deficiency a condition resulting from a deficiency of a particular vitamin.
They are avitaminosis and hypovitaminosis. If there is a complete absence of a particular vitamin it is called avitaminosis and it influences much the condition of the body. It is harder to identify hypovitaminosis because there is a particular vitamin in the human body but there is a deficiency of it.
All the vitamins in the human body are interdependent. A deficiency of one particular vitamin can have an effect on the use of other vitamins.

Vitamin C for natural development

Vitamin C or ascorbic acid is essential for healthy natural growth. Vitamin C increases endurance which is the ability to deal with unpleasant or difficult situations, experiences or activity over a long period of time. Vitamin C strengthens the ability to withstand infectious diseases and to endure the environmental conditions: low and high temperatures, low and high atmospheric pressure.
Vitamin C deficiency can cause some unhealthy conditions, when a person is not fit or well: quick tiredness and reduced muscle tone, drowsiness, inactive, vertigo, petulance as unreasonable bad temper over something unimportant.
Sources of vitamin C are numerous. It can be found in

  • fruit, the sweet and fleshy products of a tree or other plant;
  • berries, small roundish juicy fruit;
  • fresh vegetables, plants or parts of plants used as food.
  • especially potato, cabbage, radish – a swollen pungent-tasting edible root, especially a variety which is small, spherical and red and eaten raw with salad, turnip – a round root with white or cream flesh which is eaten as a vegetable and also has edible leaves, spring onion, spinach – a vegetable with large dark green leaves that you chop up and boil in water before eating and sorrel – a plant with arrow-shaped leaves that are used in salads and cooking for their acidic flavor.

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