What is food?
Everyone knows that. You wouldn’t be here if you didn’t. For me, it’s very simple: food is fish. I just love fish (especially eating them!). I wonder what your favourite food is? Let me guess… hamburgers? Ice cream? Candy bars? Well that’s probably more likely than raw carrots or garlic.
So anyway, what exactly is food? Let’s look at what it’s made of.
Food (which really includes many types of drinks too — like milk shakes and cola — but not water) is made up of nutrients. These are the things which give you energy or help build up your body as you grow.
Maybe you already know what the most important Big Three nutrients are:
Almost all the food you eat has some of the Big Three in it. But there are other things too which you need to eat in much smaller amounts. They are vitamins and minerals. You need small amounts of both.
I’m sure you know about vitamins. There are quite a few and most of them have letters: vitamins A, B, C, D and E.
And minerals? One is salt. Other important ones are calcium and iron.
Anything else? Well yes. Scientists have discovered that all kinds of other things in fresh fruit and vegetables are very useful in helping stay healthy. This is part of the reason why it’s a good idea for people to eat lots of these foods. They contain useful things like flavonoids as well as lots of vitamins. They also have stuff in them that people can’t digest very well called fibre (so do cereals like oats) which turn out to be useful too because they help prevent nasty diseases like cancer.