Health and hygiene Tnpsc, Food and Health awareness campaign

Health and hygiene

Health and hygiene play a crucial role in maintaining overall well-being and preventing the spread of diseases. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  1. Personal Hygiene: Regularly washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds helps eliminate germs. It’s important to wash your hands before eating, after using the restroom, and after coughing or sneezing.
  2. Oral Health: Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss daily to remove plaque and prevent dental issues. Don’t forget to visit your dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings.
  3. Proper Nutrition: Maintaining a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins is essential for good health. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
  4. Physical Activity: Engage in regular exercise to keep your body fit and promote a healthy cardiovascular system. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity most days of the week.
  5. Adequate Sleep: Getting enough sleep is vital for your overall health and well-being. Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night to ensure proper rest and rejuvenation.
  6. Stress Management: Find healthy ways to cope with stress, such as practicing meditation, deep breathing exercises, or engaging in hobbies you enjoy. Avoid excessive alcohol consumption and tobacco use.
  7. Vaccinations: Stay up to date with necessary vaccinations to protect yourself and others from contagious diseases. Consult with your healthcare provider to ensure you’re following the recommended vaccination schedule.

Remember, prioritizing health and hygiene not only benefits you but also contributes to the well-being of your community.


The basic necessity of life. Food is defined as any substance from a plant or animal that provides nutrition like protein, fats, vitamins, minerals, and carbohydrates for growth, energy, repair of body parts such as bones and tissue and provides protection from diseases.

health and hygiene tnpsc
Health and hygiene Tnpsc

Classification of nutrients by predominant function

The nutrient is classified into Proteins, Minerals, Carbohydrates, Fats, Vitamins, and Water


These are organic compounds made of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen in the ratio 1:2:1. It is the main source of energy.

Edible sugar, cellulose, starch, rice, etc are some sources. Glucose is a monosaccharide, sugar is a disaccharide, and cellulose in the vegetable is a polysaccharide.

Honey, sugarcane, and fruits are sources of sucrose. Starch is from rice, potatoes, and bread.

Glycogen is stored in the muscles and liver of living organisms. A plant cell is made of cellulose and other complex organic compounds.

3 classification of starch/carbohydrates
carbohydrates classification

Deficiency of Carbohydrates

The body suffers from glucose, then it takes energy from proteins and fats. Dizziness, physical and mental weakness is caused due to suffering of the central nervous system from insufficient glucose. It causes low blood sugar called Hypoglycemia.


It is an essential nutrient, the building block of body tissue, and also a fuel source.

Protein provides more energy than carbohydrate that is carbohydrates provides 4 kcal(17 kJ) per gram and lipids provides 9 kcal(37 kJ) per gram.

The most important point of protein is its amino acid composition. Proteins are made of polypeptide chains which are composed of amino acids that are linked by peptide bonds.

Proteins are broken down into smaller polypeptides during digestion in the stomach and small intestine by the action of proteases.

Proteases are important for the absorption of essential amino acids that cannot be synthesized by the body.

There are 9 essential amino acids(EAA) that are crucial for human needs and to prevent malnutrition. They are phenylalanine, valine, threonine, tryptophan, methionine, leucine, isoleucine, lysine, and histidine.


Known as triglycerides that are esters of free fatty acid chains and glycerol. Fat is crucial for structural and metabolic functions.

An essential part of the diet for most heterotrophs. During digestion, Lipase enzymes break down fats in the small intestine.

These essential fatty acids cannot be produced in the body therefore it is taken into the diet. There are two essential fatty acids (EFAs) that are alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3 fatty acid) and linoleic acid(omega-6 fatty acid).

Deficiency of Fats

Eating disorders, Causes Vitamin deficiencies such as Infertility, Night Blindness, etc as fat helps in absorbing vitamins, inflammatory bowel disease, cystic fibrosis, pancreatic insufficiency, etc.


Essential nutrients are taken a very minute amount to maintain special functions such as body health etc.

Vitamins are not produced by the body, so they must be taken in a small amount through diet.

Nutrients table
nutrients table


A chemical element that is very vital to perform certain functions in the body.

Minerals are inorganic substances produced by the earth which important to the physiological process and they are important constituents of teeth, bones, tissues, blood, muscles, and nerve cells.

5 major minerals in humans are calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and magnesium. The remaining minerals are called Trace elements that are Iron, cobalt, copper, zinc, manganese, chlorine, sulfur, molybdenum, iodine, and selenium.

Facts on essential nutrients and their functions

Dr. Funk coined the term Vitamin. Vitamin A was first as A is the first letter of the alphabet.

Vitamin D, helps bones absorb calcium. Iron from meat (heme iron) is readily absorbed.

Irom from the plant (non-heme iron) required Vit-C to get absorbed. Vit-D is produced when the skin is exposed to sunlight, as skin dehydro cholesterol is converted into Vit-D. Vit-D is also called as Sunshine vitamin.

The world iodine deficiency day is celebrated on October 21.


Vital as a solvent, the body’s solutes dissolve in water and are also important for metabolic processes. There are two types of metabolism with respect to water that are anabolism and catabolism.

Anabolism-Water is removed from molecules by enzymatic chemical reactions to synthesize larger molecules such as starch, triglycerides, and proteins.

In catabolism, water is used for breaking bonds to produce smaller molecules such as glucose, fatty acids, and amino acids which are used for fuel and other purposes.

Without water, body metabolism will not exist.

Types of nutritional disorders and symptoms

Fat-Soluble Vitamins- Vitamin A, D, E, K

1.Vitamin A(Retinol)

Sources of Vitamin A-Carrot, papaya, leafy vegetable, fish liver oil, egg yolk, liver, dairy products.

Disorder- Xerophthalmia, Nyctalopia (Night Blindness)

Symptoms-Dryness of Cornea( Xerophthalmia ), Nyctalopia -unable to see at night and dim light, scally skin.

2.Vitamin-D (Calciferol)

Egg, liver, dairy, fish, sunlight

Disorder- Rickets in Children

Symptoms- Bow Legs, defective ribs, development of pigeon chest.

3.Vitamin E(Tocopherol)

Whole wheat, meat, vegetable oil, milk

Disorder- Sterility in rats, Reproductive abnormalities.

Symptoms- Sterility

4.Vitamin-K(Derivative of Quinone)

Leafy vegetables, soybeans, milk

Disorder- Blood clotting is prevented.

Symptoms- Excessive bleeding due to delayed blood clotting.

Water-Soluble Vitamins- Vitamin B1,B2,B3,B6,B12,C

1.Vitamin B1(Thiamine)

Whole grains, yeast, eggs, liver, sprouted pulses.


Symptoms- degenerative nerve & muscle weakness, paralysis

2.Vitamin B2(Riboflavin)

Milk, egg, liver, green, vegetables, whole grains

Disorder- Ariboflavinosis(cheilosis)

Symptoms- Eye Irritation, Dry Skin, inflammation of lips, fissures in the corner of the mouth.

3.Vitamin B3(Niacin)

Milk, eggs, liver, lean meat, groundnuts, bran

Disorder- Pellagra

Symptoms- Inflammation of skin, loss of memory, diarrhea

4.Vitamin B6(Pyridoxine)

Milk, eggs, germs of grains and cereals, rice, polishings

Disorder- Dermatitis

Symptoms-Scaly skin, nerve disorders

5.Vitamin B12(Cyanocobalamine)

Milk, meat, liver, pulses, cereals, fish

Disorder- Pernicious anemia

Symptoms- Decrease in red blood cell production, degeneration of the spinal cord

6.Vitamin C(Ascorbic Acid)

Leafy vegetables, sprouts, citrus fruits like gooseberry(Amala), lemon, orange

Disorder- Scurvy

Symptoms- Swollen and bleeding gums, delay in wounds healing, teeth and bones malformed.

Protein Energy Malnutrition(PEM)


Severe protein deficiency affects children age 1-5 whose dietary intake is mainly carbohydrate but poor protein intake.



Affects infants below the age of one, who have a poor intake of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.

Nutrients Daily Requirement


Functions of minerals in the body

Macro Nutrients


Sources-Dairy, beans, cabbage, eggs, fish

The function of Calcium-Constitution of bone, the enamel of teeth, clotting of blood and controls muscle contraction

Disorder-Bone deformities, poor skeletal growth, osteoporosis in adults.


Sources- Table Salt.

The function of Sodium- maintains fluid balance and is involved in neurotransmission.

Muscular cramps, nerve impulses do not transmit.


Sources- Banana, sweet, potato, nuts, whole grains, citrus fruits.

The function of Potassium- Regulates nerve and muscle activity

Disorder-Muscular fatigue, nerve impulses do not transmit.

Micro Nutrients


Sources- Spinach, dates, greens, broccoli, whole cereals, nuts, fish, liver

The function of Iron- An important component of hemoglobin

Disorder- Anaemia


Sources- Milk, Seafood, Table Salt.

Functions of Iodine- Formation of Thyroid hormones

Disorder- Goitre


Disease caused by excessive intake of Vitamins is called Vitaminosis.

Hyper Vitaminosis is a condition of abnormally high storage of vitamins which can lead to toxic symptoms

Example: Excess vitamin-A intake can lead to Vitaminosis A.

A right balanced diet is required for preventing Vitaminosis.

Healthy food pyramid

Healthy food pyramid based on quantity of consumption
food pyramid carbohydrates fats proteins vitamins minerals

The food on top of the pyramid should be consumed in less quantity such as fat and oil.

The food at the bottom of the pyramid should be consumed more compared to the top of the pyramid.

Food Spoilage

undesirable change of fresh food at normal state to a condition which is not suitable for human consumption.

Signs of food spoilage are changed in color, bad odor, texture, and taste change.

Two reasons for spoilage are Internal and External factors.

External factors- adulterants, contaminated utensils, lack of storage, poor hygiene.

Internal factor- Enzymatic activities and moisture content of the food.

Control and Prevention of Food spoilage

Food Preservation- Process to prevent food from decay or spoilage.

Food is preserved to increase the shelf life of food, to retain the color/texture /flavor / and nutrition value, to increase food supply, decrease food waste, add variety to the food.

Methods of Food Preservation

Dehydration/ Drying

The process of removing water content from the food. It is done by Sun Drying(Fish, Cereals) or vacuum drying (e.g milk powder, cheese powder), or hot air drying (e.g grapes, dry fruits, potato flakes). Dried neem leaves, turmeric are used to prevent grains from insects and beetles.


Meat and fish are exposed to smoke, the food is dried using smoke that preserves the food.


The food is exposed to controlled ionizing radiation like x-ray, gamma rays, or UV rays to kill microbes to prevent the food from spoilage. This process is also called cold pasteurization as the product is not heated. Done on onions and potatoes to increase its shelf life.

Use of Inert Gas

Nitrogen gas is filled in air-tight packets containing food which inhibits the growth of fungus. Ex: Used in Potato wafers.

Cold Storage

Storing in a refrigerator inhibits the biological and chemical reaction thus preventing food from spoilage.


Storing food below zero degrees Celcius at which microorganisms cannot grow and the metabolic reaction is reduced. Deep Freezing – -23 to -30 degrees Celcius.


Named after Louis Pasteur that involves boiling milk to 63-degree Celcius for about 30 minutes and suddenly cooling to kill the microbes present. Louis Pasteur also developed vaccines for rabies and anthrax.


Food products are stored in clean, steamed airtight containers under pressure and then sealed and subjected to high temperature and cooled to destroy microorganisms.

Using Preservative

There are two types of preservatives Natural and Synthetic.

Natural Preservative


Salt removes water from food by the process of osmosis. Example Meat, Fish, Raw mangoes are preserved using this process also referred to as pickles.


Sugar/Honey is also used to increase the shelf life of fruits. The process is similar to salt. Ex Jam, Jellies, squash. The hygroscopic nature of sugar/honey, reduces the water in food, and prevents it from oxidation, and prevents spoilage from microbes.


The oil prevents food from external contact such as air, prevents micro growth over the food.

Excess content oil, salt, and sugar make food unsafe for consumption, especially for Diabetes, obesity, and heart diseases.

Synthetic Preservative

Sodium benzoate, citric acid, vinegar, sodium meta bisulfate, and potassium bisulfate are added to jam, jellies, sauces, and other packed and ready-to-eat items.

October 16th is world food day

Adulterants and Diseases

The addition or removal of any substances to the food, as the natural composition and quality of food, get affected.

Today every food is adulterated such as Milk, cereals, meat, etc.

Types of adulterants

Classification of Adulterants

Adulterants are classified into Natural, Unintentional, and Intentional.

Natural Adulterants

Present or grow naturally in food, chemical, or organic substance or microbes such as fungus.

Example: Toxin substances in poisonous mushrooms, prussic acid in apple seeds, cherry and peach pits, marine toxin, fish, oil poisoning, pollution in the air, water, and land.

Incidental food adulteration or Unintentional adulteration

Added without knowing it is harmful. Generally done while packing or transporting.

An example is Pesticide residues( adding pesticides to crop and ignorance of clearing it), Rodent( larva, mice, and insects bits, this food and spread the disease during storage, Microbial containing such E.Coli(Escherichia coli), Salmonella in fruits, meats.

Intentionally added adulterants

Intentionally added to food for financial gain.

Some of Intentionally added Adulterants

Additives and preservatives such as vinegar, citric acid, sodium bicarbonate(baking soda), hydrogen peroxide in milk, modified food starch, food flavor, the artificial sweetener.

Artificial ripening of fruits using Calcium Carbide.

Artificial coloring agents use a chemical such as Metallic lead for green leafy vegetables, bitter gourd, green peas.

Edible synthetic wax-like shellac or carnauba wax coated on apple, pear to give a shiny appearance.

Growth hormones for Cattle, Poultry, and also for the plant.

Diseases caused by adulteration of food are Fever, Kidney Disorder, Nausea and Diarrhoea etc
Difference between naturally ripened fruit and artificially ripened fruit
Adulteration in fruits

Some simple techniques used to detect adulterants at home


Milk flows slowly and leaves a trail behind when a drop of milk is on a slanting polished surface. While adulterated milk with water flow fast and leaves no trail behind.


Pure honey burns while adulterated honey produces a cracking sound.


Sugar Dissolve completely in water, while sugar adulterated with chalk powder settles down.


The coffee powder floats in water, while coffee powder adulterated with tamarind powder settles down.

Sand grit, marble, stones present in food grain can be removed by handpicking, sorting, and washing.

Quality Standard Control Agencies

ISI, Agmark, Fpo, FCI.

FCI(Food Corporation of India)

Set up in the year 1965 for safeguarding the interest of farmers, distribution of food, maintaining food stock for national food security, and regulating the market price of food grains.

ISI (Indian Standards Institution)

(Indian Standards Institution)

Now known as Bureau of India Standard (BIS). It certified electrical and electronic appliances.

AGMARK (Agricultural Marking)

AGMARK (Agricultural Marking)

Agmark certifies agricultural and livestock products such as pulses, honey, butter, etc.

FPO (Fruit Process Order)

FPO (Fruit Process Order)

Certified vegetable and fruit products such as Jam, Sauce, Pickles, etc.

Food Safety and Standards Authority of India

Food Safety and Standards Authority of India

FSSAI regulates and supervises food safety and quality for promoting public health.

Codex Alimentarius -Global standard for foods approved by World Trade Organisation(WTO).

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* * All the Notes in this blog, are referred from Tamil Nadu State Board Books and Samacheer Kalvi Books. Kindly check with the original Tamil Nadu state board books and Ncert Books.
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