4 Nourishing And Strengthening Foods To Keep You Fit And Healthy

The onset of the pandemic has made everyone more conscious of their wellbeing, and health has become a top priority for the majority of persons. In the process, increased emphasis is being given to the importance of healthy eating – that is, a balanced intake of carbohydrates, proteins, water, vitamins, and a portion of fat – and its role in overall physical and mental health. The process of consuming the right food – in terms of both type and quantity – not only helps in reaching and maintaining the ideal weight, but also plays a key role in safeguarding you from a number of undesirable illnesses.Also Read – Fasting Tips For People With Diabetes During Ramadan

For one, studies show that premature heart diseases – a leading cause of death worldwide – can be prevented by up to 80% by adopting a healthy diet and increasing physical activity. Also Read – World Health Day 2022: 5 Simple Yet Effective Health Tips You Should Follow After Every Meal

High blood pressure – a growing concern in metropolitan cities and towns – can lead to heart attacks, heart failure and strokes. The type of food eaten can help lower and maintain blood pressure at optimum levels, which in turn keeps the heart healthy. An ideal diet should include plenty of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fat-free or low-fat products, and high-fibre foods, as these play an important role in reducing heart diseases and strokes. The intake of drinks and foods with added sugar should also be avoided. Blood pressure can also be reduced by limiting your salt intake. Also Read – World Skin Health Day : Skincare Myths Debunked | watch videos

The chances of contacting another dreaded ailment – ​​cancer – can be reduced by eating foods laden with antioxidants, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, and legumes. These food types reduce a person’s risk of developing cancer, as antioxidants protect cells in the human body from damage. It is a known fact that the presence of free radicals in the body increases the risk of cancer. Antioxidants help eliminate these, making them an important part of cancer prevention.

The relationship between a person’s diet and moods is a lesser known but equally important aspect. The consumption of foods with higher glycaemic content – the presence of glucose in the blood – may magnify symptoms of depression and fatigue. Vegetables, fruit, and whole grains have a lower glycaemic load, while refined carbohydrates and bakery products should be avoided as they contain a higher percentage of the same.

Imbibing the appropriate type and quantity of food plays a key role in other aspects too, such in weight loss, improved memory, heathy digestion and more.

However, as is rightly said, Rome was not built in a day. This adage applies to our food and eating habits too. Our body gets accustomed to new processes gradually. A sudden change in these could be harmful, but when done correctly, becomes an intrinsic part of our life. The easiest way to do this is to focus on what we eat, and, quite literally, separate the grain from the chaff. A healthy diet comprises a mix of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals.

Broad food categories include:

  • Fruits: These are nourishing, and laden with health. Looking at a few, we see that apples and oranges are a rich source of vitamin C, blueberries contain antioxidants, and avocados are high in fibre, potassium, and vitamin C.
  • Nuts and seeds: These are rich in fibre, and a must for bone health. Flax seeds, pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds help control cholesterol, and reduce inflammation anywhere in the body. Chia seeds are a rich source of magnesium and calcium, and walnuts are loaded with fibre, vitamins, and minerals.
  • Vegetables: Vegetables form a crucial role in our everyday diet. With a vast variety available, they are a premium source of nutrients. The list is extensive, and examples are many. Take, for instance, broccoli, a vegetable that can be eaten both in the raw and cooked forms. It is an excellent source of fibre, and vitamins C and K. Another example is that of garlic, which helps to improve the body’s immunity. Carrots, tomatoes, radish—the list is endless. An important rule – Do not forget your greens.
  • Grains: These contain many nutrients, fibre, ‘B’ group vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and folate) and minerals (iron, magnesium and selenium). Grains are generally high on carbohydrates. Whole grains – like oats, brown rice, quinoa – are loaded with fibre, vitamins and minerals.

These ‘must haves’ in your diet are essential, so be picky about your food, as it is an important investment in your body – and mind- now and in the future.

(Authored article by Pranay Jain, Founder & CEO, BodyFirst)

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