Sunday, August 06, 2006

food nutrition : Stay Healthy, Stay Strong, Serve Your Nutritional Needs

Lack of sleep driving you up the wall? Confused beyond your wits? Losing hair or losing teeth? Well, you could be suffering from malnutrition.

Good nutrition is the foundation for good health. Obviously, what you put inside is what you get outside. Better nutrition directly contributes to stronger immune systems, less illness and better health. Healthy people feel good. They are stronger and more productive. They are thus able to create more opportunities in life and break out of limitations like poverty and hunger.

Good nutrition is a way of life. It is a habit that is established over the years and is followed rigorously. This means that you must make sure that you eat foods that have high mineral and vitamin content. At the same time, food should not have high amounts of fat.

Consuming a variety of foods in appropriate amounts is the key to good food nutrition. Your body needs the right amounts of protein, carbs, fats, fiber, minerals and vitamins. Water is an equally important commodity because nutrients are taken to the various parts of the body through the blood.

People belonging to different age groups have different nutritional needs. Growing children need more carbohydrates and more vitamins. As we age, we tend to be less active and need fewer calories. So older people should choose less amounts of food that have a high nutrient content.

Some tips for good nutrition are:

- Vegetables that have deep colors are exceptionally high in nutrients.

- Your peak bone building years are between 13 and 30; so pack in calcium rich foods at this time.

- Choose fiber rich whole grain cereals and breads.

- Don’t overdose on vitamin supplements. Nutrition cannot come in a pill. Consult a nutritionist before you take a pill.

- Snack on healthy food stuff like low-fat yoghurt, raisins, banana, apple, pear or a bag of raw vegetables.

- Never allow yourself to feel too hungry. Hunger depletes energy. Nourish yourself with wholesome food even when you are on a diet.

The three keys to healthy food and good nutrition are:

- Wholesome food

- Variety, and

- Moderation

All systems of traditional medicine trace diseases to unhealthy diet and lifestyle choices. The food we eat decides the kind of balance our body enjoys. When the food is heavy on poisonous and undesirable materials, the result is a sick body and unhappy mind. Dietary deficiencies rarely occur in isolation. So, if you are deficient in one nutrient, you’re more likely to be deficient in other nutrients also. A majority of the health problems we see today are due to poor nutrition and poor elimination.

Proper nutrition is necessary to keep the body working normally, for fighting diseases and for maintaining proper body weight. Modern lifestyle has rendered us less mobile and less active. Hence we need fewer calories. When people need lesser number of calories, getting all the nutrients their body needs – particularly minerals and vitamins- is very difficult.

Food is not just food – it’s not a cartload full of fries, pastry, meat slices and a jug of coke. Food is the source from which our body extracts the nutrition needed for repair and rejuvenation. When we follow proper food habits, we can start living a disease-free, healthy and happy life.

By Eric Cho

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