The functions of food are to promote development, to provide force and heat, and to provide product to fix the waste which is constantly happening in the body. Every breath, every thought, every movement, breaks some part of the fragile and wonderful house in which we live. Numerous vital procedures eliminate these worn and useless particles; and to keep the body in health, their loss needs to be made good by continuously renewed supplies of product correctly adjusted to replenish the worn and impaired tissues. This renovating product must be provided through the medium of food and drink, and the best food is that by which the desired end may be most readily and completely achieved. The excellent diversity in character of the several tissues of the body, makes it needed that food should include a range of components, in order that each part might be properly nourished and renewed.
The food elements.
The various elements discovered in food are the following: Starch, sugar, fats, albumen, mineral substances, indigestible compounds.
The absorbable food aspects are often organized, according to their chemical structure, into 3 classes; vis., carbonaceous, nitrogenous, and inorganic. The carbonaceous class consists of starch, sugar, and fats; the nitrogenous, all albuminous components; and the inorganic consists of the mineral aspects.
Starch is just discovered in vegetable foods; all grains, a lot of veggies, and some fruits, contain starch in abundance. A number of sort of sugar are made in nature’s lab; walking cane, grape, fruit, and milk sugar. The first is acquired from the sugar-cane, the sap of maple trees, and from the beet root. Grape and fruit sugars are discovered in the majority of fruits and in honey. Milk sugar is one of the constituents of milk. Glucose, an artificial sugar looking like grape sugar, is now largely produced by subjecting the starch of corn or potatoes to a chemical procedure; however it does not have the sweet taste of natural sugars, and is by no indicates an appropriate substitute for them. Albumen is discovered in its purest, uncombined state in the white of an egg, which is nearly entirely made up of albumen. It exists, combined with other food aspects, in many other foods, both animal and vegetable. It is found abundant in oatmeal, and to some extent in the other grains, and in the juices of veggies. Natural foods consist of aspects which in lots of respects resemble albumen, and are so closely allied to it that for benefit they are typically classified under the general name of “albumen.” The chief of these is gluten, which is found in wheat, rye, and barley. Casein, found in peas, beans, and milk, and the fibrin of flesh, are elements of this class.
Fats are found in both animal and veggie foods. Of animal fats, butter and suet prevail examples. In veggie kind, fat is abundant in nuts, peas, beans, in various of the grains, and in a couple of fruits, as the olive. As furnished by nature in nuts, vegetables, grains, fruits, and milk, this aspect is always discovered in a state of fine subdivision, which condition is the one finest adjusted to its digestion. As many typically used, in the form of free fats, as butter, lard, etc., it is not only difficult of food digestion itself, however frequently interferes with the digestion of the other food elements which are combined with it. It was doubtless never planned that fats need to be so customized from their natural condition and separated from other food components as to be utilized as a separate post of food. The same might be stated of the other carbonaceous aspects, sugar and starch, neither of which, when utilized alone, can sustaining life, although when combined in an appropriate and natural way with other food elements, they carry out an essential part in the nutrition of the body. Many foods contain a percentage of the mineral components. Grains and milk furnish these aspects in abundance. The cellulose, or woody tissue, of vegetables, and the bran of wheat, are examples of indigestible aspects, which although they can not be transformed into blood in tissue, serve an essential function by giving bulk to the food.
With the exception of gluten, none of the food components, when utilized alone, can supporting life. A true food substance consists of a few of all the food components, the quantity of each varying in different foods.
Uses of the food elements.
Concerning the function which these different components serve, it has been shown by the experiments of noteworthy physiologists that the carbonaceous aspects, which in general make up the higher bulk of the food, serve three purposes in the body;
1. They furnish material for the production of heat;
2. They provide force when taken in connection with other food aspects;
3. They replenish the fats of the body. Of the carbonaceous elements, starch, sugar, and fats, fats produce the best amount of heat in proportion to amount; that is, more heat is established from a pound of fat than from an equal weight of sugar or starch; but this apparent benefit is more than reversed by the reality that fats are much more tough of digestion than are the other carbonaceous components, and if trusted to provide appropriate product for physical heat, would be productive of much mischief in overtaxing and producing illness of the digestive organs. The fact that nature has actually made a lot more ample arrangement of starch and sugars than of fats in man’s natural diet, would appear to show that they were planned to be the chief source of carbonaceous food; however, fats, when taken in such percentage as nature provides them, are essential and important food components.
The nitrogenous food aspects particularly nurture the brain, nerves, muscles, and all the more highly vitalized and active tissues of the body, and likewise act as a stimulus to tissue modification. Thus it might be stated that a food deficient in these elements is an especially poor food.
The inorganic aspects, chief of which are the phosphates, in the carbonates of potash, soda, and lime, aid in furnishing the requisite building material for bones and nerves.
Correct combinations of foods.
While it is necessary that our food should contain a few of all the various food elements, experiments upon both animals and people reveal it is required that these aspects, especially the nitrogenous and carbonaceous, be used in specific definite percentages, as the system is just able to appropriate a specific amount of each; and all excess, especially of nitrogenous aspects, is not only ineffective, however even harmful, since to rid the system of the surplus imposes an additional task upon the digestion and excretory organs. The relative proportion of these aspects essential to constitute a food which perfectly meets the requirements of the system, is 6 of carbonaceous to among nitrogenous. Scientists have actually devoted much mindful study and experimentation to the decision of the quantities of each of the food elements needed for the day-to-day nutrition of people under the differing conditions of life, and it has become commonly accepted that of the nitrogenous material which ought to constitute one sixth of the nutrients taken, about 3 ounces is all that can be made usage of in twenty-four hours, by a healthy grownup of typical weight, doing a moderate quantity of work. Lots of posts of food are, however, deficient in one or the other of these elements, and require to be supplemented by other posts including the lacking aspect in superabundance, considering that to use a dietary in which any one of the nutritious aspects is lacking, although in bulk it might be all the digestive organs can manage, is actually hunger, and will in time event severe results.
It is hence evident that much care should be worked out in the choice and mix of food materials. Such understanding is of first importance in the education of cooks and maids, considering that to them falls the selection of the food for the everyday needs of the family; and they must not only understand what foods are best fit to provide these needs, however how to integrate them in accordance with physiological laws.