“Food is Your Medicine”. How to live healthy with good food?
A nutritious and balanced diet program is quite essential for healthy living. The food that is rich in proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and water is considered as healthy food and by way of regularly consuming healthy food the body attains optimum weight, gets the strength to perform its normal duties and develops an immune system that effectively prevents diseases. Hence, nutritious food is the basic medicine required by the body to maintain perfect health.
How nutrients take care of the overall health?
Apart from keeping the body strong enough to carry-out various day-to-day activities, nutrients prevent damage of the cells. They also facilitate immediate repairs of the damage suffered by the cells. The proteins in the food play a vital role in rebuilding the damaged tissues and maintaining a healthy immune system. The vitamins and minerals that the body receives from the food support the body in various activities. The cells of the body are to be protected from various toxins. Antioxidants are essential for protecting the cells from toxins. The vitamins A, C and E also function as antioxidants and ensure the protection of cells from toxins. The various forms of Vitamin B also help the body to get energy from the food. Sodium and potassium that are present in the food are vital nutrients for the proper functioning of the nervous system and calcium and phosphorus from the food ensure strong and healthy bones. A healthy and balanced diet is inevitable for proper functioning and growth of the body and also to protect the body from diseases.
How to maintain healthy lifestyle?
Following a healthy diet program makes the basis of a healthy lifestyle. Apart from the nutritional quality of the food, quantity of consumption of food is also highly significant for maintaining perfect health. It is very important to maintain the correct body weight and good eating habits so as to enable a person to keep the body weight steady over time. Obesity is the basic cause for various ailments and hence keeping the weight of body under control is all the more important to prevent diseases. When a person consumes more calories than he burns, the extra calories are converted into fat tissues thereby rapidly increasing the body weight. The formation of fat tissues leads to a host of health problems like heart ailments, cancer, diabetes, respiratory problems and hypertension. Those who consume nutritious food in sufficient quantity are able to remain strong, healthy and free from diseases. By way of maintaining proper body weight and remaining healthy one can successfully increase his life span.
Prevention of diseases
Since obesity can cause various diseases reduction of weight is quite essential for preventing diseases. Weight reduction is achieved by adhering to proper diet program, consuming nutritional supplements and doing physical exercises regularly. Nutritious eating enables us to maintain healthy lifestyle. Regular intake of nutritious food enables the body to defend itself from various health problems like cardiac problems, blood pressure, Type 2 Diabetes, stroke, apnea, gallbladder ailments, complications during pregnancy as well as child birth, liver diseases and osteoarthritis. The various risk factors that are associated with these diseases can be controlled by way of sticking to nutritious diet. Poor eating, high BP and high cholesterol level are some of the risk factors for stroke. Hence stroke can be effectively prevented by taking food that contains low fat, low cholesterol and low sodium content. Similarly, in case of heart diseases, high blood pressure, high level of cholesterol and excess body fat are the changeable risk factors. One can maintain healthy heart and considerably reduce the risk of cardiac ailments by way of reducing the intake of saturated fat, sodium and cholesterol. By way of following a healthy diet program one can reduce a few pounds and consequently reduce the risk of diabetes. Healthy diet and regular physical exercises are the best solutions for prevention of diabetes. In order to prevent diabetes one has to increase the intake of fiber content by consuming more quantity of whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables. The fiber-rich diet controls blood sugar level and facilitates weight loss. When the diet contains more fiber, it easily makes the person feel full thereby avoiding overeating. Healthy diet is quite essential for healthy mind also. It is very important to reduce the intake of refined sugar. Increased consumption of refined sugar leads to increased rate of depression. Consumption of refined sugar should not exceed 10% of the daily intake of calorie.
Why one should follow healthy eating?
- Healthy eating ensures regular supply of vital nutrients to the body thereby keeping the heart, brain, muscles and bones healthy as well as free of ailments
- The nutrients in the food regulate blood pressure and ensure proper maintenance as well as growth of muscles, tendons and bones
- Reduced consumption of saturated fats considerably reduces the risk of heart diseases
- Increased intake of fresh fruits and vegetables helps to lower the blood pressure and effectively prevents various types of cancer such as prostate cancer, cologne cancer, breast cancer and lung cancer
- Those who already have various ailments like high blood pressure, diabetes and high levels of cholesterol can get relief by way of adhering to a healthy diet
- Following healthy eating habits enables the person to maintain the correct body weight
The basic principles for healthy eating
- Include fresh fruits, vegetables and legumes in the diet every day
- Whole grains, pasta, noodle, bread and rice must be consumed in good quantities
- Drink plenty of water daily
- Include yoghurt, cheese and milk in the diet
- Lean meat, poultry and fish can be part of the diet
- Reduced intake of saturated fats
- Ensure low salt content in the food
- Avoid or limit consumption of alcohol
- Avoid or limit consumption of sugars
- Strictly avoid smoking
Food and energy
The healthy and balanced diet ensures strength and well-functioning of the body. The body requires energy for all its activities and the food that we eat is the source of energy to the body. The body and mind function properly by utilizing the energy provided by the food. Hence healthy diet is necessary not only for prevention of disease and maintenance of correct body weight but also for an active life and smooth functioning of the various organs in the body. The calories supplied by the food are required by the body for its various functions – physical activities, growth, prevention of disease and healing. The food that provides equal amount of calories and nutrients makes a balanced diet. The energy that is stored in the food is measure in terms of calories. The healthy diet enables the body to maintain optimum weight and thereby prevents obesity. Frequent as well as uncontrolled eating of food with saturated fat contents leads to gaining of excess weight which finally leads to obesity. When calories provide energy to the body, empty calories lead to excess body weight. Foods with poor nutritional value generate empty calories. The balanced diet that provides calories and nutrients in equal quantities provides the body with sufficient amount of energy and also prevents weight gain.
Building blocks of energy
The proteins, carbohydrates and fats that are provided by the food are called the building blocks of energy. The carbohydrates that are received by the body are broken into glucose. The glucose meets the immediate energy requirements of the body. The excess glucose is stored in the muscles so that it can be used whenever required. Fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains that we eat provide nutrients and calories in balanced quantities. White flour and sugar are not considered ideal foods for production of energy because they give good quantities of calories but very little quantity of nutrients.
Diet for mental health
Healthy diet is essential not only for performance of the body but also performance of the mind. The antioxidants in the food keep the brain cells healthy and help them to perform smoothly. The brain cells are able to communicate with each other thereby ensuring improved cognitive functioning of the brain. Diet has a significant role in maintaining proper mental health. The healthy diet effectively prevents depression, stress, anxiety disorders and dysthymia.
Advantages of healthy eating
- Body gets energy for activities, maintenance and prevention of diseases
- Helps maintain proper body weight
- Strong and healthy immune system
- Annuls the effects of ageing
- Even during old age one can be healthy and free of diseases
- Ability to overcome physical tiredness and fatigue
- Healthy teeth and gums
- Ability to concentrate mind, think properly and take correct decisions
- Effectively prevents various diseases like diabetes, heart ailments, cancer and gall bladder problems
Nutritious food is essential for growth as well as survival. One has to consume variety of foods to ensure proper health of the body. Milk and cheese provide calcium that strengthens the bones. The iron and proteins in meat keep the muscles strong. Fruits and vegetables are essential for good eyesight and proper functioning of other organs. Healthy food is the best source of nutrition. Unhealthy eating habits will certainly lead to various health problems like obesity, heart ailments and high blood pressure. Healthy and balanced diet not only protects the body from various diseases but also enables the body to function to its full potential. Nutritious food ensures optimal functioning of all the systems in the body. Good nutrition is essential for physical and mental health. Those who eat healthy get good sleep, remain free from ailments and are able to perform well in all types of activities.