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Food Science

ON THIS PAGE: 

Plants That Make Us Poop / Macro-Nutrients / Vitamins + Minerals / Two Oxes on a Plate / Water is Wonderful. / Look it Up!

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Plants That Make Us Poop

Fiber in our food makes us poop. We all need to eat about 30 to 40+ grams per day, but most people eat only about 10 grams daily. Wow, what's going on? Looks like we're eating foods with no fiber at all - or just a little. Much of our Western Diet  doesn't have enough fiber: pizza, chicken nuggets, hot dogs, bacon, hamburgers, eggs, french fries, potato chips, white bread, jam, candy, soda pop, pretzels, butter, ham, turkey, and cheese. 

Sure, these foods taste good, but they're also kinda making kids and grown-ups pretty sick. Eating pizza and chocolate cake on special occasions is fun. But when we mostly eat foods that don't have much fiber, it's hard to poop. Then, our insides get all clogged up (and that's no fun at all). Eating foods with oodles of FIBER is the most important food factoid to remember. The second most important thing to remember is food VARIETY. 

Three More Food Factoidz to Remember

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Macro-Nutrients

There are three players on the stage of macro-nutrients: proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Macro means large, so we need them in larger amounts than, say, vitamins and minerals. Macro-nutrients give your body energy to play and climb trees in the form of calories - kcal for short.

We use calories to help us measure the amount of energy in every food in the known universe. But beware: not all calories are alike. One small bag of peanut M & M's has the same calories as 3 red delicious apples. Which is healthier? Duh, right?

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Vitamins + Minerals

Vitamins are needed to keep our cells working really well. Healthy cells = healthy humans. There are 13 essential vitamins. They're required for the body to work at its best, so we don't get sick. By the way, if we eat lots of whole plants (and get enough exercise and sleep), we don't have to take a vitamin pill. Pretty cool.

 

Minerals keep our bones, muscles, and brain super happy. There are 2 kinds of minerals: macro-minerals and trace minerals. To start, we're just going to focus on macro-minerals and WPF where they live.

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Two Oxes on a Plate

Science is packed with hard to pronounce words. I've created an easy way to remember two very important nutrients in food: antiOXidants and nitric OXide. Two oxes. Now it's not so hard, right?

Antioxidants are warriors that prevent or kill "free-radicals". These are renegade molecules that go on search and destroy missions in our body and brain and can make us sick. Nitric oxide (NO) is a gorgeous gas that's created when we chew on nitrate-rich foods like oranges and carrots. This makes our heart and muscles super strong. 

Water is wonderful.

Did you know that you get water from drinking AND eating? We can EAT water! So, how do you know if you're getting enough? When you pee, your toilet talks to you. It  can tell you if you're dehydrated or not (maybe you didn't know that toilets can talk? Well, they can). Dehydrated means your body isn't getting enough water. When that happens... your body gets too thirsty, it doesn't work well, and it's time to drink more water!

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Look It Up!
(match these whole plants with seven food science categories)

Write down seven categories, then match the foods below under each category. Hint: some foods might belong in more than one category. 1) proteins, 2) carbohydrates, 3) fats, 4) vitamins, 5) minerals, 6) antioxidants, and 7) nitrate-rich food.

apples / asparagus / bananas / black beans / blueberries / broccoli / brown rice / carrots / cauliflower / dates / edamame / green beans / kale / lemons / oats / oranges / peas / pepitas* (pumpkin seeds) / quinoa ("keen-wah") / spinach

BONUS:

What's the MOST important food factoid to remember about food science?

(hint: it helps make us poop)

 What's the second most important thing to remember?

(hint: it starts with a V)

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