The four basic food groups that contain the nutritional requirements that everybody needs includes meats, dairy, fruits and vegetables, and grains. Each of these food groups contains all the vitamins, minerals, and other substances that help a body to grow, and to help maintain good health.
Generally speaking meats are the foods that contain proteins and other enzymes that the body needs to help build and maintain muscles. Proteins are also found in a variety of beans, soy products and protein is also found in milk and cheese products.
Various forms of Vitamin B (especially B12) are found in meats and dairy as well, and these are important for red blood cell and/or DNA production to help combat stress. Red meat is also known to produce iron, which is necessary for the blood as well.
Fruits and vegetables are the ones that contain most of the vitamins and minerals that the body needs. For example, carrots contain Vitamin A and Beta Carotene. Some green vegetables contain Vitamin A as well, such as spinach. Fruits, especially many citrus ones and berries, contain a large source of vitamin C.
Vitamin A helps with a variety of functions, especially vision. Vitamin C helps fight against colds and other sickness and helps build a strong immune system. There are other important minerals that the body needs such as potassium, which is found in bananas.
Foods made from grains, such as whole grain cereals, pasta, rice, and others are necessary for producing carbohydrates. This is the body’s biggest source of energy used for daily activity. One word of caution, however, is that eating too many carbohydrates can cause obesity. Only the amount of carbohydrates that a person needs to perform daily tasks should be eaten in a day.
A variety of other nutrients are needed as well, and most people will be able to include these in their diet if they remember to eat a variety of foods a day. Everybody is slightly different, so the nutritional requirements vary from person to person. However, there are general guidelines regarding the amount of each food needed daily.
One of the guidelines for nutrition is the one set by the federal government. That is generally 2-4 servings of grains, 3-4 servings of fruits and vegetables (or even more), 2-3 servings of meats, and 2-3 servings of dairy. The amount of total food needed per person differs, depending upon the overall bodily structure of a person, and depending upon the amount of activity that a person participates in on a daily basis.