Our diet contains substances known as proximal principles, essential for maintenance of life and health.
Fats are in oils, ghee and butter. Carbohydrates are in sugars, starches, etc. Unsaturated fats are good from the health point of view, and are advised for heart-patients. Saturated fats create cholesterol in the arteries, which can block them, leading to heart problems.
Carbohydrates, Proteins and Vitamins are body builders. Found in eggs, meat, pulses beans, milk and cheese. Water and Vitamins are necessary for health.
A balanced diet is one which contains all the necessary proximal principles in the right proportion required for the maintenance of health. We cannot get all these in a single article of food. To get these in right proportion, we have to mix certain articles in our diet and thus we require a `mixed diet’ or a balanced diet. Vitamins are found naturally in certain foods and the absence of any of these leads to one or the other of the ‘deficiency disease’ which may even cause death. Vitamins are both water soluble and fat soluble.
Vitamin A: It is a general health-giving vitamin and it increases resistance to infection and tones up the whole system. It ensures good appetite, promotes growth and makes for long life. Its deficiency causes night blindness, disorders of skin, stomach growth and respiratory diseases. Found in milk, butter, egg yolk, ghee, carrot, tomatoes, fresh leafy and yellow vegetables, fresh fruits and cod liver oil.
Vitamin B: Present in cereals, peas and beans. Protects the body from nerve diseases such as beri-beri, pellagra, and it cures pernicious anaemia, degeneration of sex glands and enlargement of liver and adrenals.
Vitamin C: Ensures healthy teeth, bones, and protects the body against scurvy. Present in fresh vegetables, orange, lemon, lettuce, tomato, cabbage, turnip.
Vitamin D: Present in milk, butter, ghee, cod liver oil, yolk of eggs, and it is also produced under the skin by rays of the sun. Promotes bone formation and prevents rickets.
Vitamins E: It has vital influence on organs of reproduction. Its absence causes sterility. It is present in germinating wheat.
Vitamin K: Found in fish, oats, wheat. It helps in proper clotting of blood in case of injuries.