Our bodies need nutrients which are derived from the type of foods we eat. Generally speaking, there are five nutrients derivable from foods. These nutrients are carbohydrates, proteins, fats and oils, minerals and vitamins.
Carbohydrates are made up of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. They are oxidized to yield energy in the body. This energy is made available for our life activities. Carbohydrates are also important in milk formation in nursing mothers. They are also components of important body organs such as the brain and cartilage. A greater proportion of what we eat consist of carbohydrates. It is obtainable from products made from yams, cassava, Irish potato and sweet potatoes. Also included are products obtained from grains such as rice, maize, wheat etc.
Proteins are essential in replacing worn-out cells and in producing new ones. Pregnant mothers need adequate quantity of proteins for healthy development of the fetus. They are essential for hormones and enzymes secretion.Proteins are obtained from eggs, milk, meat, fish, groundnuts, beans, peas and soybeans
The fats and oils are needed for energy production. They make the body to be glossy and they are solvents for vitamins A,D,E and K. The fats and oils are obtainable from animal fats, palm oil, ground nut oil and cotton seed oil. The vitamins help the body in fighting diseases. Vitamins are important for proper functioning of body organs. They are obtained from fruits and vegetables.
Minerals give strength to the body skeleton. Some mineral elements help in maintaining the acid-base balance of the body fluid. Iron is a component of hemoglobin. Minerals are obtained from bones, fish, common salt, etc.
When these nutrients are obtained in adequate quantities, the body functions very well and diseases are kept away.