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Food: As per the above saying in the Bible, when a person has eaten to a full stomach, the most likeable food will be loathsome, and for a hungry stomach, the most unpalatable food will taste good! Every one of us would have gone through a situation like this………..

When you are full, you will refuse honey, but when you are hungry, even bitter food tastes sweet. Proverbs 27:7

It is the most essential requirement for the sustenance of human life. Hence, all over human history, man’s predominant motivation has been to search and seek food. Throughout history, food has acted as a catalyst for societal transformation, organization, competition, development, conflict and expansion.

The society’s political, economic and religious structure was based solely on food production and distribution. The development of irrigation and food surplus storage led to political centralization. Food became a medium of payment and taxation. Feasts became a means to demonstrate status and garner influence. Throughout ancient history before the invention of money, food was wealth and, control of food was power.

Even in religious practices, the choicest cut of the meats and the first harvest were given to the Gods! Food also connects people as we see, in places of celebrations where food is served!

So much for the accolades for food…

What is food???

It is any palatable substance that gives us energy and nutrients to grow and develop, to be healthy and active, to move, work, play think and learn. Nutrition is the process by which an individual procures his nourishment, the supply of nutrients required by his body and cells to stay alive.

Good nutrition is an important part of leading a healthy lifestyle. Combined with physical activity, our diet can help us reach and maintain a healthy weight, reduce our risk of chronic diseases and promote our overall good health.

In a world where any information is obtained by saying “GOOGLE IT”, the information available on the net is mindboggling but, how many of us really know the essential facts of food???

As a bird’s eye view of nutrition, let us first look at the basic five types of nutrients – which are Carbohydrates, Proteins, Fats, Vitamins and Minerals. However, fibre and water, which do not form a part of the five nutrients are an essential part of good health. Of these, the first three are required in higher quantities when compared to the next two. For an individual who is active and healthy without any known health disorders, a diet of about 1800 to 2200 kcal of food can be taken which depends on the lifestyle of the individual. The energy obtained by food is measured in calories. The calorie need will vary for individuals according to the type of activity they are involved in,  through the day- for example, sedentary activity( where the person is sitting most of the time), moderate activity ( where the person has physical work in terms of  standing or walking) and heavy work (high physical activity like masons, carpenters and the like).

                                                                                 ..…. will be continued

Article writer Dr S Manonmani Seenivasan

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