In this module, you will learn:

  • The seven different food groups
  • The importance and sources of the seven food groups

Resources to help you:

  • Textbook: page 55 to 61
  • Notebook: page 14 and 15

We need food to give us energy

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Food groups

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Animals cannot make their own food like plants. Plants are the main sources of food for all animals.

All living things need food to give us energy. The body then uses this energy for movement or work, as well as to repair worn out tissues (cells) in our body.

There are seven main groups of food. They are proteins, carbohydrates, fats, fibre, vitamins, minerals and water.

Proteins

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Proteins forms the building blocks of all living things.

The importance of proteins:

  1. to provide us with energy
  2. to build new cells for body growth
  3. to repair worn out tissues

The sources of proteins:

  • meat
  • fish
  • milk
  • eggs
  • nuts
  • cheese

A deficiency disease is a disease that is caused by not eating enough of a particular food group.

The deficiency disease of protein is:

  • Kwashiokor - a disease that causes swollen abdomen.

Meat is a source of the protein food group.

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Proteins can also come from legumes

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Pasta like spaghetti and bread contains lots of carbohydrates

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Carbohydrates

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Carbohydrates are the main sources of energy in most humans.

The importance of carbohydrates:

  1. quick source of energy

The sources of carbohydrates:

  • rice
  • pasta
  • bread
  • potatoes

Fats

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Fats provide double the energy of carbohydrates and proteins. They are important for good health but too much can lead to diseases such as coronary heart disease.

The importance of fats:

  1. as a source of energy
  2. to provide us with warmth

The sources of fats:

  • butter
  • oil
  • nuts

Food like fried chicken and french fries contains lots of fats

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Vegetables and fruits contains lots of fibre

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Fibre

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Fibre cannot be digested by the body. However, it is still important to prevent constipation. Fibre helps to absorb water to make faeces soft. Constipation is when the faeces becomes dry and hard, making it harder for it to be pass out of the body.

The importance of fibre:

  1. prevent constipation

The sources of fibre:

  • fruits
  • vegetables
  • oats
  • cereals

Vitamins

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Vitamins are very important to our health. However, we only need a small amount to keep us healthy. There are different kinds of vitamins. We will focus only on four; Vitamin A, B, C and D.

If we do not have enough vitamins, we develop deficiency diseases.


Fruits such as grapefruit, orange and lemon contains lots of Vitamin C

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The importance of Vitamin A:

  • for healthy skin and eyes

The sources of Vitamin A:

  • orange fruits such as mangoes, papayas
  • vegetables such as carrots, tomatoes

Deficiency Diseases of Vitamin A

  • Night blindness - a disease that causes poor vision at night

Fishes like salmon and tuna are good sources of Vitamin D

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The importance of Vitamin B:

  • for healthy nervous system

The sources of Vitamin B:

  • fish
  • potatoes
  • spinach

Deficiency Diseases of Vitamin B

  • Beri-beri - a disease that leads to the loss of the use of the muscles
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The importance of Vitamin C:

  • for healthy blood, skin and gums

The sources of Vitamin C:

  • citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, and grapefruits

Deficiency Diseases of Vitamin C

  • Scurvy - a disease that causes bleeding gums, muscle weakness and joint pains.
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The importance of Vitamin D:

  • for strong bones and teeth

The sources of Vitamin D:

  • eggs
  • cheese
  • fish like salmon and tuna

Deficiency Diseases of Vitamin D

  • Rickets - a disease that causes the bone to be weak and brittle

Seafood such as prawns or fish contains iodine

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Minerals

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Similar to vitamins, we only need a small amount of minerals. If we do not have enough minerals, it will lead to deficiency diseases. We are going to focus only on four minerals;

  1. calcium,
  2. iron,
  3. iodine
  4. fluorine.
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The importance of Calcium:

  • for healthy bones and teeth

The sources of Calcium:

  • dairies such as milk and cheese
  • dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale

Deficiency Diseases of Calcium

  • rickets and osteoporosis - a disease that causes the bone to become brittle

Cheeses and other dairy products are a good source of calcium

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The importance of Iron

  • for formation of red blood cells

The sources of Iron:

  • liver, meat
  • soybeans
  • dark leafy vegetables like spinach

Deficiency Diseases of Iron

  • Anaemia - a disease that leads to reduced red blood cell that carry oxygen required by the body.
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The importance of Iodine

  • for formation of hormones of the thyroid glands

The sources of Iodine:

  • seafood such as fishes, crabs and shrimps

Deficiency Diseases of Iodine

  • Goitre - a disease that leads to the swelling of the thyroid gland in the neck.
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The importance of Fluoride:

  • for healthy bones and teeth

The sources of Fluoride:

  • fish
  • tea
  • vegetables

Deficiency Diseases of Fluoride

  • Tooth decay - a disease that leads to increased risk of dental cavities.

Water

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Water is important to all living things. Our body is made of about 70% water. We lose water daily from activities like breathing, sweating or urination. We need to replenish the water lost.

The importance of water:

  • prevent constipation
  • maintain body temperature
  • prevent dehydration

The sources of water:

  • fruits such as watermelons and cucumbers
  • any drinks that contain water

The watermelon is a fruit that contains a lot of water

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Ready for the next module?

In the next module, we will look at the tests for food.

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