Essential Nutrition Tips for a Healthy Body and Mind By Dr Nitin Garg
To say that balanced nutrition and regular exercise is the key to good health would be to say the sun rises in the east. It is common knowledge that both nutrition and exercise play a vital role in the physical, mental and emotional well-being of a person. One can improve their health by simply eating right and getting enough work-out to stay active.
Yet, simply eating right isn’t a simple enough goal. In the fast-paced, rush-hour lifestyle of the modern day and age, it is common for people to miss important meals and ignore their daily nutrition targets.
Are you guilty of doing the same? Have you been ignoring your diet because of a hectic lifestyle? Do you often feel tired or drowsy during your day?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions – this blog post is for you!
We’re going to discuss in detail some essential nutrition tips that will help you improve your eating habits, meet your body’s nutritional needs with ease and have a positive impact on your physical and mental health. After going through these tips, you’ll certainly be more aware of how to take care of your body with the right diet.
Let’s get started!
Top 5 Essential Nutrition Tips for a Health Body and Mind
Tip 1: Include Fruits In Your Diet
In the vast universe of foods, fruits are an amazing single source of rich nutrients and antioxidants that can work wonders for your body.
Eating fruits daily has been proven to reduce risk of many chronic diseases, as fruits provide healthy nutrients required for a stronger immune system.
Most fruits are rich in fiber, potassium, vitamins and folic acid – these vital nutrients help in maintaining calories, regulating blood pressure and sugar, reducing cholesterol, improving bowel function and reducing the risk of kidney stones.
Make sure to pack at least one serving of fruits in your daily diet. You can pick bananas, papayas, apples, oranges and strawberries to start with.
Tip 2: Plan your meals in advance
We often eat based on how hungry we feel, but not according to what our body needs. A balanced diet is based on eating the right proportions according to the time of the day.
You might have heard that it is good to eat a hearty breakfast at the start of the day, while consuming a light dinner before sleeping off. This advice is based on scientific advice, as our bodies need more energy to function during the day, while at night, the metabolism slows down significantly due to inactivity, therefore, taking more time to digest the food.
To eat right, plan your meals for the day in advance. It is best to think about it like a to-do list, and decide what to eat for three main meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) before starting the day.
Bonus points if you can create a weekly meal plan in advance!
Tip 3: Cut down on salt and sugar
Most people consume too much salt and sugar, without even realizing it. A typical Indian diet is heavy on both salt and sugar, with an average consumption of 10g per day.
If you go in excess of these, it can lead to chronic health issues like high blood pressure, tooth decay, unhealthy weight gain and increased blood sugar levels.
WHO recommends limiting your salt consumption to less than 5g per day. A healthy diet needs both sodium and sugar, so the key is to watch your intake and mindfully reduce your consumption of salted snacks, sugary candies, sodas and beverages.
It is easier to start by removing seasonings and condiments from your food table, and opting for low sodium and zero sugar substitutes for consumption.
Tip 4: Reduce intake of harmful fats
Our body needs fats in order to create energy to do things and go through the day. As humans, we’ve evolved from a fat-rich diet, so we are hardwired to have a temptation for eating fats in one form or another.
The key is to understand what are healthy fats, and include them in your diet and eliminate harmful fats.
Here’s a tip – any product that is processed or industrially made, such as fast food, frozen food, fried snacks, cookies, butter, etc. is a source of unsaturated, trans fats (or unhealthy fats) and one should cut down on them. Due to preservatives and additives found in processed food products, the fats lose all their nutritional value, and become a source for cholesterol.
Instead, you should start including more saturated (or healthy) fats in your diet, such as – avocado, nuts, olive oils, cheese, eggs, milk, etc.
By switching to non-saturated, healthier fats, you can cut down your risk of heart diseases and diabetes and also prevent unhealthy weight gain.
Tip 5: Pack enough protein
Protein is one of the most important micro nutrients for muscle health and optimum energy, and to live an active lifestyle, it is important to not compromise on your protein intake.
Research by Indian Dietetic Association (IDA) has found out that about 84% of Indians consume a protein-deficit diet. According to Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), an average adult requires 1 gm of protein per kg of body weight to ensure good muscle health and healthy bone strength.
Protein deficiency can also lead to a constant feeling of hunger, resulting in excessive eating.
It is advisable to include enough protein in your diet through dairy products, meat, eggs, beans, nuts, green lentils, chickpeas, cottage cheese.
Here’s a tip – for proper absorption of protein, one must eat protein-rich evenly foods throughout the day i.e. spread it evenly across meals, this will also help in regulating constant food cravings, by making you feel fuller for longer.,
Ready to be healthier?
Keeping your nutrition in check can be tough, but it is a keystone habit for a healthy body and mind. If it’s difficult to incorporate all these tips, start by making small changes.
To sum it up, start by making small dietary changes in your routine, and focus on getting your daily intake of vital nutrients and essential fats, minerals and vitamins through natural, raw and home-cooked food.
These nutritional tips will not only help you maintain your weight and ward off diseases, but will also make you feel active, stay energized and be ready for the challenges that await you.
If you find this post useful, feel free to share it with your friends and family and help them become healthy too!
M.D. | FNB (Critical Care Medicine) | EDIC
Senior Critical Care Medicine Specialist in Delhi
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