1.3.2  What does food do for our body?

As you just read, food contains chemical substances called nutrients and these are found in varying amounts and combinations in different foods. Nutrients are the part of food which the body uses to:

  • build tissues
  • produce energy
  • keep healthy.

Enough food containing the necessary nutrients should be eaten every day (such as carbohydrates, proteins, water, vitamins and minerals). It is likely that you will get enough of the other nutrients (for example dietary fibre) that your body needs by doing this. No one food supplies all the nutrients the body needs. No one nutrient is more important than the others. Each nutrient does specific jobs. The nutrients work together to keep us healthy.

It is important to include fibre (roughage) in the diet because it makes the bowels work properly and provides bulk to make us feel full. Fresh fruits and vegetables, peas and beans, whole wheat flour and unrefined maize or sorghum flour give us fibre.

In the next two sections, you will learn why and how the body uses nutrients to build the body and produce energy.

1.3.1  How food keeps us healthy

1.4  The importance of nutrients