Health is the most important wealth we can achieve and
maintain throughout our life. Even the
richest man in the world cannot enjoy the comforts that his unlimited wealth
provides him, if his health condition forces him to run after medicines. For
achieving good health and to keep staying in a healthy condition, we need to focus
our attention on that aspect and give primary importance to our physical and
mental well-being, devoid of whatever busy life schedule we have.
Our body’s natural tendency is to continuously function
in a healthy state, unless there is an imbalance in any of the fundamental
areas like nutritional intake, exercise, proper rest or sleep.
The Importance of Diet and Nutrition
According to Sir Robert Mc Carrison, one of the best
known nutritionists, “The right kind of food is the most important single
factor in the promotion of health and the wrong kind of food is the most
important single factor in the promotion of disease.”
The basic necessity of food is to supply enough energy to the body for its proper
functioning. Faulty food habits, like over eating, consumption of junk food
and food items that contain preservatives or chemical residues, are considered
as one of the main reasons for intermittent illnesses. Even though these cannot be totally avoided in today’s
lifestyle, care should be taken while choosing the food we eat. Try to avoid unhealthy
food choices as much as possible and follow a toxin free, nutritionally
balanced and wholesome diet pattern as part of our lifestyle.
The body cannot
perform any of its functions, be it metabolic, hormonal, mental, physical or
chemical, without specific nutrients. Faulty nutrition pattern leads to ill
health and the natural healing mechanism within our body can perform its
function and come out of the unhealthy state, only if it is abundantly supplied
with all the essential nutrients.
According to research, illnesses caused by nutrient
deficiencies can be corrected and cured when all the nutrients are supplied,
provided irreparable damage has not been done. A well-balanced diet is thus of
utmost importance for the maintenance of good health and curing illnesses. Such a diet should be
capable of supplying all the essential nutrients in combination.
What is an Adequate Diet
An adequate diet must contain a healthy combination of
food items from the 5 main food groups namely carbohydrates, fats, proteins,
minerals and vitamins. All the nutrients we derive from these food groups work
together and each one is vitally important for keeping us in a healthy state.
The absence of any of these will lead to ill health. These nutrients have a
very important role in the preventive aspect also because they help to
strengthen our immune system, thereby
preventing many diseases.
As per the recommendations by the World Health
Organization (WHO), the consumption of
carbohydrates should be enough to provide 55% to 75% of the total energy
requirements, proteins 10% to 15% and fats
15% to 30% of the total energy requirement.
Rich Sources of Carbohydrates,
Fats, Proteins, Minerals and Vitamins
Whole grains, breads, Potatoes, cereals, flour, cookies and cakes,
jams, dried fruits, candies, all types of sugars and syrup
Whole grains and cereals are the best dietary sources of good quality carbohydrates.
Cooking oils and oil based salad dressings, cream,
margarine, mayonnaise, fried food items,
butter and other spreading fats.
Milk, yogurt, eggs, soya, nuts, pork, fish and sea
foods, chicken and turkey.
: Bananas, carrots, cucumbers, grapes,
beets, raisins, figs, soybeans, sunflower seeds, parsley, asparagus.
Calcium: Brown rice, carrot, beans, spinach, raisins, figs, papaya, apricots, garlic,
dates, sesame seeds, almonds, cashews, avocado, celery.
Copper: Black strap molasses, legumes, sea foods, bone meal, soybeans, raisins.
Magnesium: Green vegetables, pineapples , tuna, almonds, honey.
Iodine: Mushrooms, oranges, grapes, lettuce, beets, celery.
Chromium: Whole grains, brewer’s yeast, clams, cheese, corn oil.
grains, leafy green vegetables. Bran, bananas, pineapples, egg yolks, beets,
asparagus, walnuts, celery.
Phosphorus: Oats, carrots, almonds. Mushrooms,
cashews, oats, beans, squash.
Potassium: Rice, mushrooms, bananas, oranges, papaya, raisins, pineapple,
cucumbers, spinach, apples, tomatoes, strawberries, bananas,
lemons, figs, celery.
Sodium: Wheat germ, sea foods, lima
beans, string beans, turnips, raw milk, cheese, turnips, cucumbers, beets,
Sulphur: Bran, wheat germ, cucumbers,
broccoli, cheese, eggs, cauliflower, nuts, onions, fish, turnips, corn.
yeast, sunflower seeds,mushrooms, liver, seafood, soy beans.
Vitamin A: Sweet potatoes, carrots, milk, eggs, liver, beef, fish, spinach.
Vitamin B6: Chick peas, liver, fish, beef, poultry.
Vitamin B12: Animal products, clams, tuna, beef liver, trout, Salmon.
Vitamin C: Citrus fruits, sweet red peppers, kiwi fruit, broccoli.
Vitamin D: Cord liver oil, sword fish, salmon, mackerel, fortified foods like milk, yogurt
Vitamin: Wheat germ oil, almonds, sunflower seeds.
Vitamin K: Green leafy vegetables such as collard greens and spinach, kale, beet, greens,
Research has shown that most of our modern day
diseases like high blood pressure, diabetics, stroke, heart disease etc., have
a direct link to a faulty diet and lifestyle. Consider the sayings “ Treat our body like a temple ” and “Reasonable Caring of Oneself is Worshiping”.
Keeping yourself healthy will take you a long way in achieving your dreams and
goals, and will provide the confidence you need to get there.