Food For Energy

Food is primarily needed to provide energy for daily activities. In a way, the human body is like a machine. A machine burns gasoline or coal for fuel - the human body burns food for fuel. A machine converts its fuel into other forms of energy - the human body converts its food into body energy.

The unit used for measuring the amount of energy in food is the CALORIE. All foods furnish calories, but in different amounts. Two heads of lettuce, one egg, three lumps of sugar, and one teaspoon of butter each furnish seventy-five calories, but they are entirely different from one another.

The three chief sources of energy are FATS, CARBOHYDRATES, and PROTEINS. Foods high in fat such as butter, cream, and salad dressings, contain more calories per unit of weight than foods largely composed of carbohydrates like sugar, breads, cereals, or proteins found in eggs, cheese, and meat. Lettuce is low in calories, but is made mostly of cellulose, a substance the body cannot use. Tomato juice is low in calories because it is mostly water, which has no food value.

Protein is one of the three sources of energy required for bodybuilding material. Protein comes from the Greek word 'to come first.' Without protein, no life or growth is possible. Children need more protein in proportion to their weight than adults because they are growing rapidly. Adults need protein for the maintenance of body tissues. Only in cases of pregnancy, lactation, and in the recovery from wasting diseases, do adults need protein for growth.

There are many kinds of proteins, some superior to others in nutritive value. Milk, cheese, eggs, meat and fish contain the best quality protein provided by nature.

And don't forget about your minerals. Minerals are very important for growth and energy. At least nineteen different minerals have been found in the human body in varying amounts. Only a few are given special attention anymore, though. Some of the most important minerals are calcium, phosphorus, iron, and iodine.

Calcium and phosphorus are needed in large amounts because they are necessary for strong bones and teeth (especially if you drink too many sodas). Calcium also plays a part in the regulation of the nervous system and muscular response. It helps maintain the rhythmic beat of the heart and is essential for normal blood clotting.

Some of the best sources for calcium are carrots, oranges, kale, beans, broccoli, and clams, but milk and milk products (cheese included) are the best reliable sources of calcium.

Iron is needed in the body in small amounts, but it is a very important part of every living cell as well as in the hemoglobin of the blood. Essential in the formation of hemoglobin, iron gives the blood its red color and is responsible for transporting oxygen to the cells. Most foods today contain such tiny amounts
of iron, it is difficult to get enough iron from foods. So, make an effort to eat iron-rich foods every day, especially for growing children, and for pregnant and lactating women.

Egg yolks, liver, kidney, heart and lean meats, oysters, shrimp and clams, green leafy vegetables, whole grain cereals, potatoes, molasses, apricots and prunes provide iron.

Iodine is a special mineral that is also overlooked in modern diets. I discovered this when I was recovering from my thyroid disease. Iodine aids the thyroid gland and assists in sugar metabolism. If you have a thyroid problem, diabetes, or are hypoglycemic, make sure to get enough iodine in your daily diet. Foods that provide iodine are natural salt, fish liver oils, sea and shell fish (fresh or canned), and fruits and vegetables grown in coastal soils.

The lack of iodine is a problem in 'the goiter belts,' regions shut off from the spray of the sea. These are regions that are located by mountain ranges or inland locations. A special effort must be made in these regions to supply sufficient iodine in the diet.

The other essential minerals needed for proper body function are typically furnished in the foods that supply calcium, iron, and protein. Yet another reason to eat whole foods, preferably raw!

Related:

* pH Balance Test Kit
* Alkaline - Acidic Foods
* What is perfect body pH?

Posted October 2004 | Permanent Link

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