Asked in Food & Cooking
What are the function of seven basic foods?
July 05, 2011 3:06AM
Carbohydrates provide essential nutrients for the function of the brain, central nervous system and muscles. They are the chief source of energy for all body functions. We must have carbs - our systems depend on carbs! But we need to understand which carbs we need and do not need. We do not need refined carbs: white sugar and white flour. These are the empty, low nutrient, high calorie carbs that can not feed the system, just cause chemical reactions in the system. The carbs we do need come from raw fruits (and some vegetables) and whole grains. Whole grains do not just mean whole wheat breads, this means cooked or sprouted grains eaten in the whole form.
Proteins are necessary for maintenance, building and repair of tissues. There are good proteins as well as not so good proteins. Commercially grown meats and milk products are raised with growth hormones, anti-biotics, and vaccinations that end up in the meat and milk themselves, and ultimately in the consumer. Meat also heats the body and is not the best source of protein to consume during warm weather and climates. Meat also contains high fat, cholesterol, and connective tissue that stresses the heart, arteries, and can promote obesity. Easier digestible proteins are the plant proteins such as legumes (beans and peas), raw nuts and seeds, and even whole grains. These are great sources of proteins and our diets should consist of more of these than the animal proteins. If so, we are leaner, and ultimately have a cleaner system.
We do need fats! We must have them for brain and spinal functions. Just like carbs and protein, there are good fats as well as not so good fats. Animal fat (lard, butter), hydrogenated fats (shortening, margarine, etc.), fried fats, and even regular heat extracted oils are not good fats. These are toxic to the body and go on us as "fat". Our best sources of fats come from olive oil, omega-3 oils (from flax seeds and fish), and from our nuts and seeds. These are healthy fats that work with and nourish the body, not against the body as do the former ones do.
Vitamins are the nutrients found in the foods we eat. They are the reason we do eat. It is not enough to just fill the stomach, we really should be eating to nourish the body. Our best sources of vitamins come from whole food sources, those found as close to nature as possible: raw fruits and vegetables, raw nuts and seeds, whole grains, beans, and sprouts. These foods in their raw state also provide natural enzymes that are necessary for proper digestion and assimilation of foods.
Minerals are also found in the foods we eat and are for the nourishment of the system. Our best sources of minerals come from vegetative sources as well. For instance, most believe that the best sources of calcium come from milk, and the best sources of iron come from meat. However, as milk is pasteurized, it changes the physical structure of the milk proteins and becomes difficult for the body to use and assimilate it. Better sources of calcium are our leafy greens, and seeds and nuts (sesame, sunflower, almonds, etc.). Better sources of iron are also the leafy greens (spinach, chard, lettuce greens, etc.) as well as raw nuts and seeds. Seaweeds are also great sources of minerals as well as natural high mineral brands of salt.
We must have fiber in the foods we eat. Fiber and carbs naturally grow together in our fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, etc. - we need to eat them together rather than in a refined state. Fiber is necessary for the cleansing of the walls of the small and large intestines. We need to eat the peelings of vegetables, and eat more whole grains (not just breads).
The last of the body's basic seven is water. The others come in the form of foods, yet water is extremely important in the body's daily needs. As the saying goes, "If it's not water, it's not water!" Milk, sodas, juice, teas, and all other drinks are not water. We need water - good pure distilled water is best - it's the natural cleanser for the body. A good daily water formula is to divide your body weight in half, and that is the amount in ounces of water you need minimally in one day. All other drinks are extras. Drink lots of pure water for your health!