Categories of Foods Used as Staple Foods are listed and explicated herein. We hope you find it informative and helpful for your research.
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In all parts of the world, people have basic food which is rich in carbohydrates, is easy to grow in the climate and the soil, and is cheap.
Categories of Foods Used as Staple Foods
These staple foods are either cereals, roots, or tubers, foods made from one of these are banana and plantain, the fruit of tropical plants.
1. Cereals are the seeds of the botanical family of plants known as grasses.
The seed is the storehouse of nourishment for the young plant and contains proteins, carbohydrates, fat, mineral salts, some vitamins, and water.
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Wheat, maize, millets, and rice are cereals. There are used extensively as foods in different parts of the world. Rye, barley, and oats are also cereals but there are used more commonly in the northern hemispheres.
The Nutritive value of cereals. Cereals contain from 10% to 12% water, 7% to 13% protein, 1.6% to 5.4% fat, from 59% to 79% carbohydrate, as well as minerals and vitamins. If the whole grain is eaten, many valuable nutrients are supplied.
There are several kinds of Cereals such as wheat, rice, maize, millet, etc.
Wheat is rarely eaten as a whole grain but is ground down to make flour. This wheat flour is used in making macaroni, Atta flour in chapattis.
Of the classes of Cereals, rice is the poorest in protein, fat, and mineral matter. There is a method of preparing rice by streaming before milling as this gives a fairly nutritive value.
The nutritive value of maize resembles that of other Cereals. Cereal diets are improved considerably by the addition of milk or dried skim milk powder.
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2. Roots and tubers
In some plants, either the root or an underground stem becomes swollen with a reserve of food laid up by the plant for the next generation.
Human beings have learned to cook and use these parts of the plant which provide mainly starch as a source of food. One of these tubers used a good deal in Europe and in parts of Africa is the potato.
It supplies a little protein in the layer immediately under the skin, some calcium and potassium, thiamine and riboflavin, and a considerable amount of vitamin C in addition to starch.
If eaten in a large enough quantity, potatoes can contribute enough vitamin C, not only to prevent scurvy but also to cure it.
Sweet potatoes provide the same nutrients as potatoes, but some of the carbohydrates are in the form of sugar. In addition, the yellow variety is rich in carotene, which can be changed to vitamin A in the body.
Yam has used a good deal in West Africa. There are equal to the potato in nutritive value. Manioc or Cassava has been used as a staple diet of many people because it will grow where other plants will not.
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Roots of palms, cannas, and plants all contribute little else other than carbohydrates to the diet and should be eaten with protein, fat, and vitamin foods.
3. Plantains and bananas
These are the fruit of plants rich in starch. They are often used as a staple food.