1. Cereals and millet: Cereals and millet form the bulk of the food groups and are important source of sugars, fiber, minerals and B-complex vitamins. Examples of millet are oat, barley etc. Cereals contain 7-11 gm% of protein and 2-6 gm% of fat.
2. Pluses: Pulses are rich sources of protein (18-22 gm %) and soybean contain 42 gm% of protein and is regarded as king of pulses. Germination of pulses improves their nutritive value and bio-availability.
3. Meat group: Meat, chicken, fish and egg are also rich sources of good quality protein, fat, minerals and vitamins. When taken in moderate quantities, they provide required energy, calcium and heme-iron. Fish contains omega-3 poly unsaturated fatty acids which is protective against heart and vascular diseases.
4. Nuts and oil seeds: They are the important source of visible fat in our diet. Nuts and oil seeds are good sources of protein, fat, minerals and fat soluble vitamins and are rich concentrates of energy (9 calories/gm) when compared to sugars and proteins.
5. Vegetables: Vegetables have drawn the attention of modern time dieticians for their proven beneficial effect in protection from cancers and improving immunity against diseases. They provide fiber, vitamins and minerals and bring variety to diet. They are rich source of calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, beta-carotene, vitamin B-complex and vitamin-C.
6. Fruits: Fruits are rich sources of fiber, vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants. Dry fruits contains good amount of iron, potassium and magnesium. Green, Yellow and orange color fruits contain beta carotene. Citrus fruits like lemon, orange, berries and guava are rich in vitamin-C.
7. Milk and milk products: Milk and its products like yogurt, butter are important sources of energy, protein, fat, minerals and vitamins. The fat in milk products however is mostly saturated and should be limited in obese and people with abnormal lipid profile.
8. Herbs and spices: These include garlic, tamarind, turmeric, cloves, pepper, cardamom, chillies, nutmeg, saffron etc. Garlic contains high amount of selenium which is an important co-factor anti-oxidant enzymes in the body.