What Do Your Body Cells Do with the Food You Eat?

The cells of your body use the food you eat to do three important jobs: provide energy, make new cells, and repair cells that wear out. The carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals in the food you eat are broken down into tiny particles, or molecules, which are the materials your body needs to perform these three important jobs.

Carbohydrates give your body the main energy it needs for your muscles and nerves to work, and to build and repair your body tissues. The sugars and starches in potatoes, fruits, honey, cereal, corn, peas, and beans provide those needed carbohydrates.

Fats give you energy too, in fact, more than twice as much energy as carbohydrates. Your body uses fats for energy and growth. But some people do not use, or burn up, all the fats they eat. This extra fat is then stored in the body and the person becomes overweight. Milk, butter, meat, and ice cream are some foods which provide the fats your body needs.

The job of proteins in your diet includes repairing damaged body cells, building new tissues, and helping you fight disease. Milk, eggs, cheese, beans, chicken, fish, meats, vegetables, and nuts give you protein.

Vitamins in foods help you keep your skin healthy, your bones strong, your nerves functioning, and your red blood cells forming.

Minerals also help your body grow. Your teeth and bones depend on them; your blood needs them to clot; and your digestive juices use them in their work.