Nature is colorful and bountiful. It has everything we need. It tells us that we need not look outside or create anything artificial. All our needs can be satisfied by nature. We only need to respect it some more.
Nutrition is essential to life. We derive nutrition from food. It also provides immunity to fight against diseases. This aspect of food is important and hence it is crucial that we try to keep as much nutrients as possible in the food we consume either by way of growing or by way of cooking.
Nutrients have been grouped into several categories. Again, food items also can be grouped according to the nutrient they contain.
The most common dietary nutrients we come across in daily life are protein, carbohydrate, fat, fibre, cholesterol, calcium, iron, sodium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, folate, vitamin (which is of several types, A,C, B12, D, E, K), energy.
Several of these nutrients have been broken down to their different types based on their components. For example, fat is of saturated and unsaturated type.
Other nutrients are found in miniscule amount in our food but are essential. Thiamin, niacin, lycopene, beta-carotene, DHA, EPA, riboflavin, etc are some such.
Western diet consists of a lot of wheat-based products. Some of these are made from whole wheat and others from refined all purpose flour. A lot of produce is also consumed “natural”. Green leafy vegetables are used in salad and not cooked. However, every culture has its list of junk or processed food that it can’t do without. There are the burgers, pizzas, croissants, and muffins that people invented and continue to eat.
Breakfast in the US constitutes of oatmeal, cereals like cornflakes, muesli and milk. Milk both fatty and non-fat varieties are available.
Lunch may comprise of a salad or something cooked like steaks, pasta, or others. Quinoa, bulgur, couscous, rice, spaghetti are eaten during lunch. Snacks can be biscuits or other baked goods like rusk toasts, wheat crackers, granola bars, cookies, etc. There are other varieties of baked items like cakes which are extremely popular.
Pies, pudding, pastry, doughnut, are some food items made at home and also bought from stores.
Vegetables like artichoke, asparagus, beans, bok-choy, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, celery, corn, eggplant, edamame, kale, lettuce, mushrooms, bell pepper, potato, spinach, squash, Swiss chard, tomatoes, turnip, peas, lima beans, zucchini, are some vegetables commonly eaten.
Yogurt, milk and cheese are diary items consumed on a regular basis. Coffee is an important part of the Western diet. Coffee contains caffeine that if taken in moderation does a lot of good to humans.
Fruits and a few vegetables can be eaten raw. They are best that way. Others need to be cooked – baked, roasted, boiled, fried or broiled before being eaten.
The healthiest food items on the earth are those that contain the maximum nutrients, are eaten raw and contain no unwanted impurities that contaminate it.