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Healthy Living

Food Types and their Powers

Food can be classified according to their functions:

  • Energy giving foods
  • Body building foods
  • Protective and regulatory foods

Food groups comprise Basic Four, Basic Five, Basic Seven, Basic Nine and Basic Eleven Food Group Plans. The nine-group plan is listed below.

1. Cereal and Millet

Some examples are rice, wheat, ragi, bajra, jowar, corn and all products made from these such as cereal flakes, puffed cereals, noodles, macaroni, bread, pizza bread and cakes.

2. Pulse, Lentil and Legume

Some examples are black, red and green gram, bengal gram, cowpea, peas and rajma.

3. Milk and Milk Products

Some examples are cow's milk, buffalo milk, goat's milk, butter, ghee, paneer, cheese, kheer, payasam, rabdi, basundi and similar foods.

4. Nut and Oilseed

Some examples are groundnut, cashew nut, walnut, pistachio and badam.

5. Fat and Oil

Some examples are groundnut oil, coconut oil, sesame (gingelly) oil, sunflower, safflower oil, butter and ghee. Fat can be visible fat, like oil. There is also invisible fat that cannot be seen but is consumed. For example, nuts and oil seeds also contain fat. Fat could be vegetable fat or animal fat.


6. Vegetables

There are four different groups of vegetables:

  • Green leafy vegetables - such as spinach, lettuce, coriander and mint.
  • Roots - such as beetroot, carrot and radish.
  • Tubers - such as potatoes, yams, onions and colocasia.
  • Other vegetables - such as cucumber, tomato, ladies finger and brinjal.
7. Fruits

There are four different groups of fruits:

  • Yellow and orange fruits - such as papaya and mango.
  • Citrus fruits - such as oranges, lemons.
  • Dry fruits - such as figs, dates, raisins.
  • Other fruits - such as banana, pineapple, grapes.
8. Herbs, Condiments and Spices

Some examples are fenugreek, turmeric, tamarind, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon and pepper.

9. Meat, Poultry and Seafood

Some examples are mutton, chicken, eggs and all edible birds, fish, crab, lobsters and shrimp.


The food that you consume provides essential chemical compounds called nutrients. Some of these are:

  • Carbohydrates - energy giving
  • Protein - body building
  • Fats - energy storing
  • Minerals - protective and regulatory
  • Vitamins - protective and regulatory
  • Water

Nutrients and Food Powers Chart

Food Type Nutrients Present Powers
cereal and millet major carbohydrate source; also provides fat energy giving
pulse, lentil and legume major protein source; also provides fat and carbohydrate body building
milk and its products major protein source; also provides fat and carbohydrate body building, energy giving
nut and oilseed major fat source; also provides protein energy storing, body building
fat and oil major fat source energy storing
vegetables major source of vitamins and minerals protective & regulatory
fruits major source of vitamins and minerals protective & regulatory
herbs, condiments and spices Phytochemicals
meat, poultry and seafood major protein source; also provides a significant amount of fat body building, energy storing

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