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An Introduction to Food


An Introduction to Food

Food is any material consumed for the benefit of an organism to provide it with nutritional support. Food is generally of animal, plant or fungi origin, and includes all necessary nutrients, including proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, or mineral ions. The human body also requires the food substances produced by these organisms for energy, to be used for tissue repair, to build and maintain the tissues, and for the proper functioning of the immune, digestive, excretory, reproductive and excretory systems.

Plants produce food substances by means of their stems, leaves, roots, flowers and fruits, while animals eat meat, eggs and organs of animals. Fungi too produce spores, which are often utilized to produce food, although some of them may not be suitable for food production. Food consists of about 70% protein, most of which is found in protein-rich foods such as meat, fish, milk and poultry. Fatty foods make up a small percentage of the total caloric intake, although fatty acids help in digestion and aid in the maintenance of the health of the gastrointestinal tract, the heart, the brain and the entire body.

Fruits and vegetables consist of organic compounds having different chemical compositions. Milk, butter, cheese, yoghurt and butter are examples of some of the organic compounds present in milk. Some of the common ingredients in milk, such as casein, lecithin, calcium, albumin, lactose and albumen, are all naturally occurring elements. A wide range of foods, both animal and plant in nature, can be used for food preparation. Food can be frozen, dried, smoked, boiled, fried and broiled.