Food sources refer to all forms of food that provide energy, proteins and essential nutrients for animals and plants alike. Examples include cereal grains, fruits and vegetables, dairy products, legumes, nuts, seeds, meat and fish – all sources for energy production.
Proteins are vital for good health, helping build muscles and tendons, repairing damaged tissues, transporting oxygen and nutrients into cells, clotting blood, and producing antibodies that fight infection. A balanced diet that includes plenty of lean (low-fat) proteins will keep you strong and healthy.
Meat, poultry, eggs, and fish are the primary sources of protein for most people. Plant-based proteins like beans, nuts and seeds may provide additional protein but tend to have lower saturated fat and cholesterol levels than animal-based foods. Furthermore, these items often have high amounts of salt and added sugar so it is important to choose them wisely when making your meals.
Dairy products are an important source of protein and calcium for most people. Milk, cheese, and yoghurt are all great choices to add extra protein into your diet as well as being packed full of iron, vitamin D, and potassium.
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Grain products, particularly whole grains, are an excellent source of protein. These are more nutritious than refined grains which have been refined to remove fiber and other essential nutrients. Examples of whole grains include whole wheat flour, whole oats, brown rice, barley, bulgur, quinoa and amaranth.
Vegetables and fruit are excellent sources of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients – compounds that protect your body against disease. To reap these benefits to full extent, consume at least five servings of produce daily.
Vegetables, particularly dark green vegetables like broccoli, peppers, Brussels sprouts and leafy greens, are low in calories and packed with nutrient-rich fiber. Studies have even suggested these nutrients may help prevent heart disease and cancer as well as enhance overall wellbeing.
Vegetables are an excellent source of calcium, necessary for stronger bones and teeth. Furthermore, they contain vitamin C which aids in proper immune function as well as healing processes.
Grains are an excellent source of protein and a great option for those seeking to reduce their saturated fat and cholesterol intake. Furthermore, they provide essential minerals like iron, vitamin B6, folate and magnesium.
Cereal grains are one of the world’s most important foods, providing a significant portion of calories consumed by many large populations. They’re the main component in breads, cakes, cookies, crackers, pastas and some breakfast cereals. Common types include wheat, rye, corn barley and oats.
Legumes, also known as plant seeds and pods, are an important food source for many. Peas, lima beans, peanuts and lentils are legumes grown for their edible seeds or seed pods.