Nutrition is how food affects the health of the body. Food is essential—it provides the fuel needed for survival, and helps the body function and stay healthy.
Food is comprised of macronutrients. Macronutrients consist of protein, carbohydrates and fat. These three groups not only offer calories to fuel the body and give it energy but play specific roles in maintaining health.
Food also supplies micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) that don't provide calories for the body, but serve a variety of critical roles to ensure the body operates as efficiently as possible.
Protein: Found in meat, poultry, fish, eggs, soy, beans and legumes. Protein provides structure to muscle and bone, repairs tissues when damaged and helps immune cells fight inflammation and infection. Protein provides the body with amino acids.
Amino acids: These are the building blocks of proteins that are needed for growth, development, as well as repair and maintenance of body tissues.
Carbohydrates: The main role of a carbohydrate is to provide energy and fuel for the body the same way gasoline fuels a car. Foods such as corn, beans, plantains, rice, potatoes and other root vegetables such as yucca, bread and fruit deliver sugars or starches that provide carbohydrates for energy.