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The function of food


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The body uses food to perform one or more of four main functions: to supply energy, for growth and repair, for regulation and for protection.

Energy

Food supplies the fuel or energy needed to perform the many tasks of everyday living. We need energy to think, breathe, walk, sit, speak and even sleep. We get energy from carbohydrates, proteins and fats. It is important that we eat enough food to supply all our needs. If we don't, we will feel tired and listless. Having no energy can be compared to a car that has run out of petrol. On the other hand, if we eat more energy food than our body needs, this energy will be stored in the body as fat. Too much stored energy will result in the body becoming overweight or obese.

 

Growth and repair

Food provides the materials needed to build, repair and maintain body tissues. Proteins, fats and minerals are the best nutrients for growth. Growing bodies need extra amounts of these nutrients. Every person, whether growing or not, is going through a continual repair process of replacing injured or dead cells. It is food that supplies the nutrients necessary for this process.

 

Regulation

Food supplies the substances that help regulate the body's processes. Water, vitamins and minerals help regulate breathing, the nervous system, digestion, blood circulationand the elimination of waste products from the body. They help keep all the systems in the body working properly.

 

Protection

Vitamins, minerals and protein keep the body's tissues and organs healthy. Healthy organs are less likely to be attacked by disease.

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