Basic Nutritional Requirements For Survival
Even when you find yourself in a disaster or survival situation, it is helpful if the nutritional value of the food you will be eating does not vary too much from your usual diet. When a disaster has occurred, you may find yourself in trying conditions that will need your full bodily strength to handle. Those who are deprived of proper food, even for a matter of a several days or a week, will find that not only do they have little energy and are becoming weak, but their immune system will be compromised, leaving them more likely to be affected by infection or illness. Putting together an emergency food supply is not hard, especially if you keep the basic food groups in mind, and include all of the groups in your pantry.
The Basic Food Groups
Meats such as beef, lamb, chicken, and fish are all needed because they supply high amounts of protein. Protein is needed in order to help the cells maintain their health and to assist with the formation of new cells. Proteins supply amino acids which are vital in keeping us healthy. All meats and eggs and dairy products are complete proteins and will supply all the necessary amino acids. Nuts, vegetables, grains, and legumes are incomplete proteins, and will cause some malnutrition if used instead of complete proteins for an extended period.
Grains are also necessary for our diet, regardless of the horror stories that have circulated about carbohydrates. Whether you choose whole grain or refined grains, these foods are a good source of carbohydrates which are needed for energy. Carbohydrates oversee the glucose in your blood, and are important in the absorption of calcium. Without any carbohydrates, your body can start eating itself when it needs glucose.
Fruits and vegetables supply not only carbohydrates, but they also contain many vitamins that are essential for health. Most vegetables and fruits contain fiber, which can aid the digestive processes. These foods also contain trace elements and minerals.
Fats and oils are also necessary for proper health. While these important foods are often disparaged as being fattening (which they will be if too many are eaten), fats and oils are the source for fatty acids which are used by our bodies to keep our bones strong, help in clotting blood, and keeping our body temperature on an even keel. Fats also contain vitamins A, D, K, and E, and cholesterol is the glue that holds our cells together.
You can provide all the necessary food groups in your survival foods to assure that you and your family will get the proper nutrition regardless of how long the emergency lasts. If you are compiling your emergency pantry from the grocery store, it should be easy to find canned foods in the meat and fruit and vegetable sections. Flour can also be stored, and oils are readily available. Many emergency foods sold online will provide complete nutrition, and have a much longer shelf life than that of canned goods. Although dehydrating fruits and vegetables at home is another option, you will need to can meats using a pressure canner.