The Effect of Food on Humans
''You are what you eat.'' The food we consume determines our
physical and psychological health. The muscles in the body, and the
blood flowing through the veins, are all supplied by the food that we
consume. These foods also have an effect on the way the brain
functions, and an effect on the body's performance. People might say
they are hungry and genuinely believe it when in fact they are feeling
sad. This is due to the lack of neuro- chemicals in the brain which
carry messages and control nerve impulses. When the right types of
food are eaten, the neuro- chemicals contained in the foods enhances
mental capabilities such as defusing stress. The serotonin, dopamine
and endorphin levels in the brain change. Dopamine is related with
alertness, used for fast reflexes, ''mental energy'' and assists
with problem solving. Serotonin helps to improve the mood and is a
regulating hormone. It is important that a well balanced diet is
consumed, eating an appropriate amount from each food group. Today's
diet has drifted a long way off the ideal intake and balance of
nutrients. Research will focus on a wide variety of diet related
issues and its effect on the bodily systems.
A healthy balanced diet should consist of:
* 60% CARBOHYDRATES- an important constituent of almost all foods
and an excellent source of energy food. If consumed before and
after a workout, the workout will be more effective. According to
The balance of good health sheet, a person should consume 6-14
measures of carbohydrates per day.
Sources include: bread, beans, pasta, rice, dried fruit etc.
* 25%FATS- Function of fats are:
i) Production of and storage of energy in the body
ii) Supports organs in the body eg. Kidneys and eyes.
iii) Transports fat soluble vitamins (A,D,E,K)
iv) Forms part of the nervous sheath and sebum in the sebaceous gland.
v) Used in the formation of cholesterol and steroid hormones.
Sources include: Milk, cheese, butter, eggs, meat, oily fish,
margarine, vegetable oils.
* 15% PROTEIN- involved in building and repairing tissues. Their
i) To provide energy and heat.
ii) To provide roughage in the diet
Too much excess protein can place undue stress on the kidneys and
* VITAMINS-are essential for health. Each vitamin has many functions
so they are listed in a table format later.
* MINERALS - inorganic compounds important for all bodily processes.
* WATER -6-8 glasses of water daily- water is a very important
constituent of the body as the body is made up of 40-60% water and
muscle is 70-72% of water by weight.
A well balanced diet supplies the recommended daily allowances (RDA's)
and nutrients that vitamin pills lack. Fibre is one of these...