Jan 24, 2023
Our body needs different kinds of food for various special purposes and to fulfil our nutritional requirements. Various components of food fulfill our body’s diverse needs which is why it becomes imperative to study them in detail during your UPSC CSE preparation.
Nutrients are the substances in food that our bodies process to enable it to function. Major nutrients in our food are named as carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals. Food also contains dietary fibres and water.
|Carbohydrates(Starch & Sugars)||Apply 2-3 drops of dilute iodine solution on Food.A blue-black colour indicates that it contains starch.|
|Proteins||Food is taken in powdered or paste form.Add two drops of a solution of copper sulphate and ten drops of a solution of caustic soda.Shake well and let the test tube stand for a few minutes.A violet colour indicates the presence of proteins.|
|Fats||Wrap a small quantity of Food in a piece of paper and crush it.Hold the paper against the light. Let the paper dry for a while to remove water.An oily patch on paper shows that the food item contains fat.|
|Carbohydrates||Mainly provide Energy.||Potato, Sugarcane, Mango, Wheat, Rice, Bajra, Maize|
|Fats||Provide Energy (more than Carbohydrates)||Plant products: Groundnut, Nuts, TilAnimal Products: Eggs, Fish, Meat, Ghee, Milk|
|Proteins||Bodybuilding foods||Plant products: Tuar Dal, Gram, Peas, SoybeanAnimal Products: Eggs, Fish, Meat, Milk, Paneer|
|Vitamins||Help in protecting our body against diseases. Vitamins also help in keeping our eyes, bones, teeth, and gums healthy.|
|Vitamin A||Keeps our skin and eyes healthy.||Papaya, Carrot, Mango, Milk, Fish Oil|
|Vitamin B-complex||Eight B-vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, B12) play important roles in cell metabolism and the synthesis of red blood cells||Wheat, Rice, Liver|
|Vitamin C||Helps the body to fight against many diseases.||Lemon, Amla, Tomato, Orange, Green Chili|
|Vitamin D||Helps our body to use calcium for bones and teeth.||Eggs, Fish, Liver, Milk, our body also prepares Vitamin D in the presence of sunlight.|
|Minerals||Needed by our body in small amounts. Each one is essential for the proper growth of the body and to maintain good health.||Iodine: Ginger, SeafoodPhosphorus: Banana, MilkIron: Spinach, AppleCalcium: Milk, Eggs|
|Dietary fibers(Roughage)||Helps our body to get rid of undigested food.Does not provide any nutrients to our body.||Mainly provided by Plant products.Whole grains and pulses, potatoes, fresh fruits, and vegetables|
|Water||Helps our body to absorb nutrients from food, throwing out some wastes from the body as urine and sweat.||Liquids we drink - such as water, milk, and tea; water added to cooked foods|
For growth and maintenance of good health, our diet should have all the nutrients that our body needs, in the right quantities along with a good amount of roughage and water. Such a diet is called a balanced diet.
Food should also be cooked properly so that its nutrients are not lost:
Deficiency of one or more nutrients in our food for a long time may cause certain diseases or disorders.
|Vitamin/ Mineral||Deficiency disease/disorder||Symptoms|
|Vitamin A||Loss of vision||Poor vision, loss of vision in darkness (night), sometimes complete loss of vision.|
|Vitamin B1||Beriberi||Weak muscles and little energy to work.|
|Vitamin C||Scurvy||Bleeding gums, wounds take longer time to heal.|
|Vitamin D||Rickets||Bones become soft and bent.|
|Calcium||Bone & tooth decay||Weak bones, tooth decay.|
|Iodine||Goiter||Glands in the neck appear swollen, mental disability in children.|
Thus, our meals must have a balance of the different nutrients required by our body to keep us healthy.
Food can be broadly classified into six main components:
In summary, food is composed of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water. These components are essential for maintaining good health and providing the body with the energy it needs to function properly.
According to the generally accepted nutritional science, there are six main components of food: carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water. These components are essential for maintaining good health and providing the body with the energy it needs to function properly.
Food components refer to the various nutrients and substances found in food that serve specific functions in the body. These include carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water. Carbohydrates provide energy, proteins are essential for growth and repair of tissues, fats serve as a source of energy and aid in absorption of certain vitamins, vitamins and minerals are necessary for various bodily functions and maintaining good health, and water is essential for proper hydration and bodily function. Additionally, some foods contain non-nutrient compounds like phytochemicals, fibers, which have health benefits.
To test the presence of nutrients in food, various laboratory methods can be used. These include proximate analysis, which measures the levels of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and fibers in a sample of food. Another method is mineral analysis, which measures the levels of minerals such as iron, calcium, and zinc. Vitamin analysis can also be used to measure the levels of vitamins such as vitamin C and vitamin A. Additionally, biological assays can be used to measure the biological activity of nutrients such as enzymes, hormones, and other bioactive compounds.
Various chemicals can be used to test for the presence of nutrients in food, depending on the specific nutrient being analyzed.
For example, to test for the presence of carbohydrates, the Benedict's reagent or Tollens' reagent can be used. Benedict's reagent specifically tests for the presence of reducing sugars and Tollens' reagent specifically tests for the presence of non-reducing sugars.
To test for the presence of proteins, the Biuret reagent can be used. This reagent reacts with peptide bonds in proteins, resulting in a color change.
To test for the presence of lipids, the Sudan III or IV can be used. These reagents reacts with the triglycerides in the lipids and causes a color change.
To test for the presence of minerals such as iron, the solution of 1,10-phenanthroline can be used. This reagent reacts with iron ions and causes a color change.
It should be noted that these are just a few examples and there are other chemicals and methodologies used to test for the presence of other food nutrient.
Nutrients in food play a vital role in maintaining overall health and well-being. They provide energy, promote growth and development, and support the body's cellular and metabolic processes.
Carbohydrates, for example, are the body's primary source of energy. They are broken down into glucose, which is used to fuel the body's cells and organs.
Proteins are essential for the growth and repair of tissues and the production of hormones and enzymes. They also play a role in maintaining a healthy immune system.
Fats provide a concentrated source of energy and are necessary for the absorption of certain vitamins and minerals. They also serve as a cushion for organs and help regulate body temperature.
Vitamins and minerals are micronutrients that are required in smaller amounts than macronutrients like carbohydrates, proteins and fats. They play a key role in maintaining the body's metabolism and various bodily functions, including maintaining healthy bones and teeth, promoting proper nerve function, and supporting the immune system.
Overall, nutrients in food are essential for maintaining overall health and well-being, and a balanced diet that includes a variety of nutrient-rich foods is important for providing the body with the necessary nutrients it needs to function properly.
The main sources of food nutrients are carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water. Carbohydrates provide energy, proteins are necessary for growth and repair of body tissues, fats provide insulation and energy storage, vitamins and minerals are essential for various bodily functions, and water is necessary for digestion and overall health.
The components of food nutrients are carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals. Each of these components plays a vital role in maintaining overall health and preventing disease.
Carbohydrates provide energy and are found in foods such as grains, fruits, and vegetables. A deficiency in carbohydrates can cause fatigue and weakness.
Proteins are necessary for growth and repair of body tissues and are found in foods such as meat, dairy, and legumes. A deficiency in protein can cause muscle wasting and weakness.
Fats provide insulation and energy storage and are found in foods such as oils, nuts, and avocados. A deficiency in fat can cause dry skin and hair, and a decreased ability to fight off infections.
Vitamins and minerals are essential for various bodily functions and are found in a variety of foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. A deficiency in vitamins and minerals can cause a wide range of health problems, including scurvy (vitamin C deficiency), rickets (vitamin D deficiency), and anemia (iron deficiency).
Overall, a diet lacking in a variety of nutrient-dense foods can lead to nutrient deficiencies and various diseases. It is important to have a balanced diet that includes a wide variety of nutrient-dense foods in order to maintain overall health.
According to the UPSC syllabus, the five nutrient deficiency diseases are:
It is important to note that these are just a few examples of nutrient deficiency diseases and many other diseases can be caused by a lack of certain nutrients. It is essential to have a balanced diet that includes a wide variety of nutrient-dense foods in order to prevent nutrient deficiencies and the diseases they may cause.
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