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.
Iron: 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.
Manganese: whole 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, okra, pumpkins.
Sulphur: Bran, wheat germ, cucumbers, broccoli, cheese, eggs, cauliflower, nuts, onions, fish, turnips, corn.
Zinc: Brewer’s 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 etc.
Vitamin: Wheat germ oil, almonds, sunflower seeds.
Vitamin K: Green leafy vegetables such as collard greens and spinach, kale, beet, greens, turnip, mustard.
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.