There is another classification of food which it is well to consider briefly. In its effect upon the system food is nourishing and stimulating, or the reverse.
Nourishing foods are those which serve to develop perfectly every animal function, but do not increase the strength and speed of organic action beyond the point of full nutrition. Bread, vegetables, fruits, sugar, salt, and water are nourishing-foods.
All food that nourishes the body is in one sense stimulating, as it gives renewed energy to the bodily functions. But there are foods which impart a speed and energy to the organs above that necessary to perfect nutrition; these are termed stimulating foods. Animal food is of this class.
Alcoholic drinks and condiments are classed as stimulants, because they impart no nourishment, but act simply as excitants to preternatural activity.
Innutritious foods are those which are not assimilated; which are by nature indigestible, or have been made so by improper combinations and modes of cooking. The bran of wheat, fried or greasy food, heavy bread, and rich soggy pastry are either entirely unassimilated, and therefore not nourishing, or they weaken the system by exciting particular organs to excessive action.