Food and Health – Class 5

Food is important for all living things. Food contains essential nutrients which are important for proper growth and development of our body. In this chapter we will learn about eating balanced diet containing all essential nutrients.

What are nutrients?

Different Types of Food

The food that we eat contains five nutrients. They are carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals. These are also called components of food. Food also contains roughage and water. Some nutrients give us energy to work and play, some help us to grow, and some help us to fight against diseases. Different foods have different nutrients. Thus, we should eat different food to remain fit and healthy.

Sources of nutrients are given below:

Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates are called energy-giving nutrients. They give our body quick energy. Cereals such as rice, wheat and corn are rich in carbohydrates. Potatoes, bananas and sugar are also rich in carbohydrates.
Sugar and Starch are two types of carbohydrates.

Proteins: Proteins are nutrients that are essential for growth of our body. They help in muscle-building and also help in repairing damaged parts of our body. That is why they are called body-building nutrients. Eggs, meat, fish, milk, pulses (dals), soya bean and cheese are rich in proteins.

Fats: Fats are stored in our body for future use. It provides energy to the body when our body does not get enough food. Thus, fats are also energy-giving nutrients. Oil, milk, butter, cheese, nuts, ghee, cream and dry fruits are rich in fats.

Vitamins: Vitamins are needed in small quantity for the normal functioning of our body. It helps us to prevent diseases and stay healthy. Green leafy vegetables, fruits, fish, eggs and milk are rich in vitamins.

Minerals: Iron, calcium, magnesium, iodine and phosphorus are some important minerals which are needed by our body to stay healthy. Green leafy vegetables, milk, meat, fruits and eggs provides minerals to our body.

Roughage and Water

Roughage: Some substances found in plant food such as fibres are not easily digested by our body. These substances are called roughage. It helps our body to send out waste through our digestive system. Roughage is found in various fruits and vegetables.

Water: Water helps our body to digest food, absorb nutrients and send out waste. Thus, we should drink sufficient quantity of water every day to stay healthy.

Balanced Diet


The food that we eat every day is called a diet. Our diet must contain all the essential nutrients as mentioned above to stay fit and healthy. Thus, a diet that contains all the essential nutrients in the right quantities are called a balanced diet.

Deficiency Diseases

Diseases which are caused due to lack of particular nutrients in the diet are called deficiency diseases. Some common deficiency diseases are given below:

Night blindness: It is caused due to deficiency of Vitamin A in the diet. In this disease, we cannot see properly at night or in poor light. To prevent this disease, we should eat diet containing green leafy vegetables, fruits, milk, eggs and butter.

Rickets: It is caused due to deficiency of Vitamin D in the diet. Rickets makes the bones weak and deformed. Sunlight helps in formation of Vitamin D in our body, so we must spend some time in the sun to get this vitamin. To get Vitamin D we should eat milk products, milk and salt water fish.

Scurvy: It is caused due to deficiency of Vitamin C in the diet. Scurvy causes gum diseases. Papaya, guava, strawberries, and citrus foods such as oranges, lemon and amla helps in preventing scurvy.

Kwashiorkor: It is caused due to deficiency of proteins in the diet. Its symptoms are loss of muscle mass, failure to grow or gain weight and frequent infections. To prevent kwashiorkor we should eat carbohydrates and protein rich foods such as milk, egg, fish, meat and pulses.

Marasmus: It is caused due to deficiency of proteins and carbohydrates in the diet. Its symptoms are weight loss, dehydration and diarrhoea (excessive loose motion). We should eat carbohydrates and protein rich foods such as milk, egg, fish, meat and pulses to prevent marasmus.

Anaemia: It is caused due to lack of iron in the diet. It causes weakness and loss of energy, pale skin and lack of sleep. To prevent anaemia we should eat green leafy vegetables, fruits and meat.

Goitre: Goitre is caused due to lack of iodine in the diet. It causes abnormal swelling of the thyroid gland which is visible at the front portion of the neck. To prevent Goitre we should eat food cooked with iodized salt.

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Last update on 2020-08-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API