Nutrition – Bringing Healthy Food To Communities
Food is any material taken from nature to supply nutrition to the organisms. In the simplest terms food is a substance made up of any animal, plant or fungus-based substance, which contains necessary nutrients, including proteins, vitamins, carbohydrates, and minerals. In the human body, food is constantly being consumed either through digestion or absorption, from the mouth to the intestines, lungs, blood stream and other locations. Human beings also obtain some quantities of food from the outer world, through breathing air and absorbing it through the skin.
The major groups of food include carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins and minerals, which are known as macronutrients. Carbohydrates are the main source of energy for the body. The amount of carbohydrates in a food is determined by their chemical and biological properties. Some carbohydrates are used immediately by the body for immediate use, while others may be stored for future use. Most carbohydrates are broken down into two types-simple and complex and high levels of complex carbohydrates result in weight gain, because they take longer to be absorbed by the body.
A wide range of diseases can affect anyone at any age, so people must be cautious about the types of foods they choose and how much of each they consume. People need an optimum level of macronutrients in order to function normally, to maintain their immune system, to maintain a healthy weight and to deal with stress. A diet rich in complex carbohydrates results in a slow but steady increase in the level of glucose in the bloodstream, which is essential to energy production. Complex foods are also good sources of fiber, protein, minerals and vitamins.
Fats, on the other hand, is a substance that makes up the majority of the calories humans consume. The typical American diet contains over eight grams of fat per serving, and almost half of that is saturated fat. Saturated fats have been linked to increases in LDL cholesterol, the substance that raises blood pressure and clogs the arteries. Other fats that are not as dangerous are unsaturated fats, but these account for less than 10% of the average diet.
Vitamins and minerals are food elements that improve the body’s ability to heal itself. While a vitamin can be absorbed by the body from food, only some vitamins are manufactured in the body and must be consumed in specific foods. Fruits, vegetables and certain foods such as beans contain the majority of vitamins and minerals that the body needs to remain healthy.
Some people living in unhealthy climates and areas are becoming food deserts. These are places where it is difficult or impossible to get regular nutrition. In many areas of the country and around the world, there is simply no access to healthy foods. As people living in these areas become more desperate for alternative means of nourishment, they are turning to restaurants for help. Unfortunately, these restaurants are often operated by fast food chains which can offer limited or no healthful foods and at high costs.
In response to this problem, the government has established programs in order to provide food assistance to those who live in these areas. Community food projects are places where volunteers help to prepare and cook nutritious meals for those in the area who are in need. Because of their dedication and commitment to serving their communities, these organizations have helped to make healthy food deserts’ a thing of the past.
By working together, community food groups can help to increase access to nutritious foods. By providing a source of locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables, these groups can expand their market and increase profits. By preparing healthy meals, these groups are able to eliminate costs associated with buying in and out of their community. By using the talents and knowledge of volunteers, they are also helping to educate the public about the importance of proper nutrition. By encouraging others to participate in these projects, they can contribute to an area’s or community’s economic well-being.