Mild deficiencies of B vitamins can badly affect mental health. Severe deficiencies are linked to serious mental illnesses such as severe depression. Folic acid and vitamin B-12 are B vitamins that play an important role in metabolism (the pace of your body’s processes) and production of blood cells. Folic acid is found in foods such as leafy greens and fruits. Vitamin B-12 is mainly found in fish, shellfish, meat and dairy products.
Folate (vitamin B6) is important to stay alert, be happy, focus well and have a good memory. Foods high in folate include: cabbage, lamb’s liver, spinach and other green leafy vegetables and egg yolks.
Why is a balanced diet important?
A balanced diet is important because your body’s organs and tissues need proper nutrition to function effectively. A poor diet means that the body is more prone to disease, infection, fatigue, and poor performance.
Increasing levels of diabetes and and obesity are typical examples of the impact of poor diet and lack of exercise. Just as eating healthy food benefits the body, bad eating habits can lead to obesity, constipation, ailments and disease. Thus illnesses such as heart disease and cancer are also linked to lack of sufficient nutrition.
The word protein comes from the Greek word proteos, which translated means "primary" indicating the relevance of this nutrient to the body.
Milk is a complete protein and contains all of the amino acids required by the body
A lack of protein can cause: muscle wasting; general fatigue, infections and fluid retention and unlike fats a body does not store protein, which means it has no reserve to draw from when a person’s protein level is running low.
Foods rich in protein include, chicken, beef, lamb, turkey, pork, salmon, sardines, tuna, shrimps, milk, eggs and cheese (it takes 10 pounds of milk or 5 quarts to make one pound of cheese). The protein content of cheese is much higher than milk due to the level of concentration furthermore it contains all of the essential amino acids making it a complete protein source.
Complete and incomplete proteins
A high quality protein contains all eight essential amino acids but a low quality or incomplete protein is missing one or more of the essential amino acids. Complete proteins often come from animal sources such as beef, poultry, fish, eggs etc., whereas incomplete proteins usually include fruits, vegetables, grains and nuts.
Protein is an essential component of the diet, because it provides the amino acids that the body needs to synthesize its own proteins. It is a component of every cell in your body. In fact, hair and nails are mostly made of protein. Your body uses it to build and repair tissue.