Food can be defined as anything solid or liquid which when swallowed, digested and assimilated in the body provides it with essential substances called nutrients. It is the basic necessity of life. Food supplies energy, enables growth and repair of tissues and organs. It also protects the body from disease and regulates body functions.

খাদ্যক হৈছে যিকোনো কঠিন বা তৰল বস্তু যি শৰীৰত গিলিলে, হজম কৰিলে আৰু আত্মসাৎ কৰিলে অত্যাৱশ্যকীয় পদাৰ্থ প্ৰদান কৰে। এইটো জীৱনৰ মৌলিক প্ৰয়োজনীয়তা। খাদ্যই শক্তি যোগান ধৰে, কলা আৰু অঙ্গবোৰৰ বিকাশ আৰু মেৰামতি সক্ষম কৰে। ই শৰীৰক ৰোগৰ পৰা সুৰক্ষিত কৰে আৰু শৰীৰৰ কাৰ্যকলাপ নিয়ন্ত্ৰণ কৰে।

Nutrients are the constituents in food that must be supplied to the body in suitable amounts. These include carbohydrates, proteins, fats, minerals, vitamins, water and fibre. Nutrients can be classified as macronutrients and micronutrients on the basis of the required quantity to be consumed by us everyday.

Nutrition is the science of food, nutrients, and other substances they contain; and of their actions within the body including ingestion, digestion, absorption, metabolism and excretion. 

A Balance diet is one that includes a variety of foods in adequate amounts and correct proportions to meet the day’s requirements of all essential
nutrients such as proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, water, and fibre.


MACRONUTRIENTS (Required in large amounts)

    • Carbohydrates
    • Proteins
    • Fats
    • Water
    • Fiber

MICRONUTRIENTS (Required but in small amounts)

    • Iodine
    • Calcium
    • Iron etc


Food is divided into 5 groups

  1. Cereals, Grains and Products – Such as Rice, Wheat, Ragi, Bajra, Maize, Jowar, Barley, Rice flakes, Wheat flour etc. These mainly supply energy, protein and fats. 
  2. Pulses and Legumes – Such as Dal, Soyabean, Peas, Rajma, Beans etc. These supply Calcium, Iron, Fibre along with energy and protein.
  3. Milk, Meat and Milk Products – Such as Milk, curd, cheese, paneer, egg, chicken etc. These provide protein, fat and calcium. 
  4. Fruits and Vegetables – Fruits are the main sourse of Vitamin – C,  and Fibre, while vegetables provide Folic Acid, Calcium, Iron, Fibre etc
  5. Fats and Sugars – Such as Butter, ghee, Hydrogenated oils, Cooking oil etc. These provide Energy, Fat, Essential Fatty Acids among others. 


food guide pyramid ncert

The food guide pyramid is a graphic depiction of the daily food guide. depict variety, moderation, and also proportions. The size of each section represents the number of daily servings recommended. The broad base at the bottom conveys that grains should be abundant and form the foundation of a healthy diet. Fruits and vegetables appear at the next level, showing that they have a less prominent, but still important place in the diet. Meats and milks appear in a smaller band near the top. A few servings of each can contribute valuable nutrients such as proteins, vitamins and minerals, without too much fat and cholesterol. Fats, oils and sweets occupy the tiny apex, indicating that they should be used sparingly. 


Sources of Nutrients 

Associated Deficiency Diseases

Symptoms of Deficiency Diseases


Whole grains, cereals, legumes, potatoes, cheese, pasta, bread, etc.

Hypoglycemia and Ketoacidosis

For hypoglycemia- An irregular or fast heartbeat, pale skin, shakiness, fatigue, anxiety, irritability, hunger.

For ketoacidosis- Excessive thirst, frequent urination, nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain.


Eggs, chicken, yogurt, almonds, cottage cheese, oats, seafood, pulses, beans, milk, etc.

Marasmus and Kwashiorkor

Marasmus- weight loss, dehydration, chronic diarrhea, stomach shrinkage.

Kwashiorkor- loss of muscle mass, an enlarged tummy ("pot belly") and regular infections, or more serious or long-lasting infections.


Ghee, Butter, cheese, avocados, dark chocolate, fatty fish, nuts, chia seeds, etc.

Scaly dermatitis, thrombocytopenia, alopecia, intellectual disability in children

Scaly and patchy skin, dull skin


Eggs, bread, nuts, seaweed, iodized table salt, dairy products

Goitre, Hypothyroidism and Anaemia

Goitre- A tight feeling in your throat, swelling at neck base, coughing, hoarseness, difficulty swallowing and difficulty breathing.

Hypothyroidism- Fatigue, increased sensitivity to cold, dry skin, weight gain, constipation.


Dates, blackberries, egg, milk, almonds, wheat, sesame seeds, soybeans, pomegranate, etc.

Hypocalcemia, cataracts, alterations in the brain, brittle bones and osteoporosis

Weak bones, pain in body parts


Onions, fresh fruits, sweet potato, broccoli, eggs, milk, pumpkin seeds, etc.

Hyponatremia, seizures, coma

Headache, confusion, restlessness, vomiting, nausea


Pomegranate, Dates, beef, oats, tuna, passion fruits, etc.

Rickets in children, osteomalacia in adults, Hypophosphatemia

Bone pain, muscle weakness

Vitamin A- Retinol

Ripe yellow fruits, green leafy vegetables, fruits, milk, guava, tomatoes, oranges, carrots, broccoli, watermelon, nuts, etc.

Hyperkeratosis, keratomalacia and blindness

Blisters, calluses, corns, thickened skin can be seen in hyperkeratosis; and it affects eyes with low and blurred visibility

Vitamin B1- Thiamine

Potatoes, peas, fresh fruits, corn, cashew nuts, milk, wheat, dates, black beans, etc.


Difficulty walking, loss of feeling sensation in hands and feet, loss of muscle function, pain, mental confusion

Vitamin B2- Riboflavin

Dates, banana, mushrooms, mangoes, grapes, pumpkin, popcorn, soybeans, etc.

Sore eyes, Slow growth

Eyes pain

Vitamin B3- Niacin

Fish, eggs, meat, milk products, mushroom, guava, cereals, etc.


Delusions, diarrhea, weakness, pain in abdomen, inflamed mucous membrane 

Vitamin C

Black currant, fresh fruits, broccoli, chestnuts, goat milk, etc.

Scurvy and Gum bleeding

Swollen gums, loose teeth, bulging eyes

Vitamin D

Fish, liver, egg, beef, cod, chicken breast, etc.

Rickets and osteomalacia

Weak bones

Vitamin E

Potatoes, guava, mango, pumpkin, milk, nuts, seeds, etc.

Hemolysis, heart problems and sterility

Abnormal paleness or lack of color of the skin, dark coloured urine, fever, weakness, yellowish skin, eyes, and mouth (jaundice)

Vitamin K

Broccoli, Tomatoes, beef, Cashew Nuts, chestnuts, mangoes, lamb, grapes, etc.


Sudden severe headache, seizures, weakness in arm or leg, lethargy, changes in vision