By Albert Makendenge

Human beings are increasingly getting more and more aware of the negative and positive of consuming certain foods with respect to their nutrient composition. The complex nature of the human body requires an optimal balance of all or most food groups to provide sufficient nutrition and below are some categories which should not be found missing in a diet unless in the case of acute health complications.

Food groupSubgroupsSample foods
FruitsWhole fruit, fruit juiceApple, banana, orange, peach, pear, grapes, watermelon, cantaloupe, pomegranate, strawberry, pineapple, mango, raisins, grapefruit, cherries
VegetablesDark green vegetablesBroccoli, collard greens, spinach, romaine
 Red and orange vegetablesCarrots, red peppers, tomatoes, sweet potatoes
 Beans and peasKidney beans, black beans, chick peas, split peas, lentils
 Starchy vegetablesWhite potatoes, corn, green peas
 Other vegetablesMushrooms, squash, lettuce, avocado
GrainsWhole grainsWhole wheat bread, brown rice, popcorn, oatmeal
 Refined grainsCorn tortilla, grits, regular pasta, muffins
Protein foodsSeafoodSalmon, tuna, trout, tilapia, sardines, mackerel, shrimp, crab, oysters, mussels
 Meat, poultry and eggsBeef, chicken, turkey, pork, eggs
 Nuts, seeds and soyNuts, nut butter, seeds, soy products
DairyMilk, yoghurt and cheeseMilk, yoghurt, cheese, soymilk
Some main food groups

Whilst situations may not always allow especially in light of soaring food prices, one should always strive to nourish their bodies with one or two of foods from each of the food groups mentioned above for a healthy and active life. And for those who are passionate about backyard gardening, variations that represent all food groups helps to keep the budgets in check.


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