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Importance Of Diet In Our Daily Life

Most of us think we can get away with not taking care of ourselves or we''ll do it tomorrow. Tomorrow comes and the same excuse, I''ll start to exercise or eat better or lose weight tomorrow.

It should not be a secret that children as well as adults need role models and look to mirror them in their everyday approaches to life''s challenges and activities. 

We all need to look at our current lifestyle and ask ourselves a few questions which will enrich your health and your families.

Ask yourself:

  • Is your lifestyle healthy? If no what can you do to improve it?
  • Do you smoke, drink in excess and gamble? Do you know the health implications?
  • Do you feel "blue" most days and have lost interest in things you used to enjoy?
  • Are you impatient and get angry quickly?
  • Do you eat from the five food groups? Do you encourage your family to do the same.
  • Do you know what portions you and your family should be eating and caloric intake?
  • Do you exercise 3 times a week minimally for 30 minutes and walk 10,000 steps a day and encourage your family to do the same?
  • Do you take at least 15 minutes for yourself everyday?
  • Do you know stress management techniques to use when you feel you face getting red or your heart racing? Does your family and are you a good example for them?

Your lifestyle does affect your mental, physical and financial health.  Decide to Invest in Yourself everyday for Life. Recognize you are an important role model for the people around you on a daily basis.  You living a healthy lifestyle and practicing what you preach will generate good healthy results around you as well.

The importance of good nutrition is nothing new. Back in 400 B.C., Hippocrates (the father of modern medicine) said, "Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food" Today, good nutrition is more important than ever. At least four of the 10 leading causes of death namely, Heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes are directly related to way we eat. While the wrong diet can be deadly, eating right is amongst the key cornerstones of health.

The main problem here is that the foods today simply aren''t as healthy as they once were. Studies have shown that because of depletion in the soils due to mass commercialized farming techniques, fruits and veggies now severely lack the vitamin and mineral content (and other nutrients) they used to just a few decades ago. Then there''s the problem of preservatives, chemicals, artificial dyes, colors, and flavorings. The second problem is that the meats we eat are also a lot less healthy for us nowadays. This is because major meat products, such as cattle, are fed grains (not grass, which is their natural food), are over treated with growth hormones, antibiotics, and are not allowed to free range as nature intended to cite several prominent reasons.

Of course, food alone isn''t the key to a longer and healthier life. Good nutrition should be part of an overall healthy lifestyle, which also includes regular exercise, not smoking or drinking alcohol excessively, stress management, limiting exposure to environmental hazards and other factors. And no matter how well you eat, your genes play a big part in your risk for certain health problems. But don''t underestimate the influence of how and what you eat. The keys to good nutrition are balance, variety and moderation. To stay healthy, your body needs the right balance of carbohydrates, fats, and protein - the three main components of nutrition.

Each day, you should get approximately:

  • 25 percent of total calories from high quality protein foods
  • 30 percent of calories from fat, primarily mono and poly unsaturated fats
  • 45 percent from carbohydrates, concentrating on whole grain foods.
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A Balanced Diet

Research has also shown that diseases produced by combinations of deficiencies can be corrected when all the nutrients are supplied, provided irreparable damage has not been done. A well-balanced and correct diet is thus of utmost importance for the maintenance of good health and the healing of diseases. Such diet obviously should be made up of foods, which in combination would supply all the essential nutrients. It has been found that a diet which contains liberal quantities of (i) seeds, nuts and grains, (ii) vegetables and (iii) fruits would provide adequate amounts of the entire essential nutrient. These foods have therefore, been aptly called basic food groups and the diet containing these foods groups as optimum diet for vigour and vitality.

It is described herein in brief:

  • Seeds, nuts and grains : These are the most important and the most potent of all foods. They contain the germ, the reproductive power that is of vital importance for the lives of human beings and their health. They are valuable sources of essential unsaturated fatty acids, lecithin, most of the B vitamins, vitamin C and minerals and they supply the necessary bulk in the diet. They also contain auxones, the natural substances that play an important role in the rejuvenation of cells and prevention of premature ageing.
  • Vegetables: They are extremely rich sources of minerals, enzymes and vitamins. Faulty cooking and prolonged careless storage, however, destroys these valuable nutrients. Most of the vegetables are therefore, best consumed in their natural raw state in the form of salads. There are different kinds of vegetables. They may be edible roots, stems, leaves, fruits and seeds. Each of these groups contributes to the diet in its own way.
  • Fruits: Like vegetables, fruits are excellent sources of minerals, vitamins and enzymes. They are easily digested and exercise a cleansing effect on the blood and digestive tract. They contain high alkalinizing properties, a high percentage of proteins and facts. Their organic acid and high sugar content have immediate refreshing effects. Fruits are at their best when eaten in the raw and ripe states. They are most beneficial when taken as a separate meal by themselves, preferably for breakfast in the morning.

Q: What is the role of nutrients as an energy providing source for the body?

Ans: Energy is needed for the functioning of body. Food is the main source of energy supplement. Nutrients supply energy which are present in the food. The nutrients, which supply the major part of the energy to the body are carbohydrates and fats about 85% to 90% and a small part of energy supply is by proteins which is about 10%.

Q: Does infections of various types directly affect the nutritional status of a person?

Ans: Frequent occurring of infectious diseases does affect the nutritional status of a person. Such as in bacterial infection there is increased requirement of proteins and other nutrients. In viral infections a person also develops protein calorie malnutrition; parasitic infections causes anemia and depletion of protein reserves.

Q: What is the difference between malnutrition, under nutrition & over nutrition?

Ans: Malnutrition denotes an undesirable kind of nutrition leading to ill health. It results in lack, excess or imbalance of nutrients in diet. Under nutrition is a state of an insufficient supply of essential nutrients. Over nutrition refers to an excessive intake of one or more nutrients, which creates a stress in the bodily function.
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