Something that affects people more than anything else every day is the food that is eaten. Some foods taste better than other food, and food can be healthy or unhealthy. One thing all foods have in common is that it belongs to one of the five major food groups.
Food groups are special collections of food that can be placed into one of five categories. They are officially called the Five Food Groups. Each of the five food groups shares the same nutritional properties. The five food groups are as follows: Fruits, Vegetables, Grains, Proteins, and Dairy.
No matter where or what a person eats, nearly all foods can be placed into one of the special groups. A healthy diet includes a certain number of servings from each food group every day. By eating from the five food groups, a person will most likely receive all the nutrients their body needs for good health.
The first food group, fruit, includes fresh, canned, dried, or frozen apples, pears, oranges, grapefruit, grapes, apricots, cherries, peaches, nectarines, plums, bananas, pineapples, melons, grapes, raisins and others. The fruit food group is a source of Vitamin C which helps control infections, builds healthy bones, teeth, blood vessels, and decreases the risk of illnesses. It also offers potassium for a healthy heart and muscles. Finally, these foods help a person feel fuller, so they do not overeat.
The second food group is vegetables and includes broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, lettuce, potatoes, carrots, corn, onions, zucchini, celery, peas, string beans, green beans, pumpkins, tomatoes, mushrooms, turnips, spinach and many more. The more colorful they are, the more vitamins and minerals they will contain such as Vitamin A for healthy eyes, white blood cells, and skin. Vegetables also help reduce the risk of cancer.
The third food group, grain, is the bread and cereal group and includes wheat, rye, white, and whole grain bread, plus tortillas and pitas. In addition, oatmeal, rice, pasta, noodles, muffins, popcorn, cornbread, and pretzels are a part of the grains' food group. These foods provide fiber for protection against heart disease and encourage healthy bathroom use, and Vitamin B helps with the nervous system, release of energy, production of blood, and assists in preventing sicknesses.
The fourth food group is proteins and is sometimes called the meat and fish group because it includes meats such as chicken, turkey, and duck, ham, plus fish, lobster, clams, shrimp, and tuna. Also eggs, nuts like cashews, almonds, sunflower seeds and all the different types of beans, as well as peanut butter are part of this large food group. Protein helps with the formation of bones, muscles, blood, and other tissues. Many other vitamins and nutrients are found in this food group such as Vitamin E, iron, zinc, and several others, which help in healing the body and producing energy.
The final food group is dairy and contains different kinds of milk, reduced fat-milk being the healthiest, plus powdered milk, and soy. Also includes different types of yogurt, some ice creams, and many types of cheese such as mozzarella, cheddar, and Swiss, as well as pudding. These foods provide calcium, a mineral good for strong teeth and bones, plus Vitamin D which helps the body absorb the calcium, reduces the risk for certain illness such as heart disease and cancer, plus supports your muscles so they work correctly.
There are many foods to choose from each group. Most people need a variety of foods from each food group and there are suggested recommendations depending on a person's age and needs.
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