4 nourishing and strengthening foods to keep you fit and healthy

The onset of the pandemic has made everyone more aware of their well-being, and health has become a top priority for most people. In this process, greater emphasis is placed on the importance of healthy nutrition – a balanced intake of carbohydrates, proteins, water, vitamins and a portion of fat – and its role in overall physical and mental health. The process of eating the right food, both in terms of type and quantity, not only helps you achieve and maintain your ideal weight, but also plays a vital role in safeguarding you from a variety of undesirable diseases.Also read – 6 new methods to improve your summer health

For one, studies show that premature heart disease – a leading cause of death worldwide – can be prevented by up to 80% by adopting a healthy diet and increasing physical activity. Also read – Fasting Tips for People with Diabetes During Ramadan

Hypertension, a growing concern in metropolitan cities and towns, can lead to heart attacks, heart failure and strokes. The type of food consumed can help lower and maintain blood pressure at optimal levels, which in turn keeps the heart healthy. An ideal diet should include plenty of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat or fat-free products, and high-fiber foods, as they play an important role in reducing heart disease and strokes. It should also be avoided the intake of drinks and foods with added sugars. Blood pressure can also be reduced by limiting salt intake. Read also – World Health Day 2022: 5 simple but effective health tips to follow after every meal

The chances of contacting another feared ailment – cancer – can be reduced by eating foods loaded with antioxidants, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes. These types of foods reduce the risk of developing cancer, as antioxidants protect the cells of the human body from damage. The presence of free radicals in the body is known to increase the risk of cancer. Antioxidants help eliminate them, making them an important part of cancer prevention.

The relationship between a person’s diet and moods is a lesser known but equally important aspect. Consuming foods with a higher glycemic content – the presence of glucose in the blood – can amplify symptoms of depression and fatigue. Vegetables, fruits and whole grains have a lower glycemic load, while refined carbohydrates and baked goods should be avoided as they contain a higher percentage.

Eating the right type and amount of food plays a key role in other aspects as well, such as weight loss, memory improvement, healthy digestion, and more.

However, as is rightly said, Rome was not built in a day. This adage also applies to our food and eating habits. Our body gradually gets used to the new processes. A sudden change in these could be harmful, but when done correctly, it becomes an intrinsic part of our life. The simplest way to do this is to focus on what we eat and literally separate the grain from the chaff. A healthy diet includes a mix of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals.

The broad categories of foods include:

  • Fruit: These are nutritious and loaded with health. Looking at a few, we see that apples and oranges are a rich source of vitamin C, blueberries contain antioxidants, and avocados are high in fiber, potassium and vitamin C.
  • Nuts and seeds: These are high in fiber and a must for bone health. Flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, and sesame seeds help control cholesterol and reduce inflammation anywhere in the body. Chia seeds are a rich source of magnesium and calcium, and walnuts are rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals.
  • Vegetables: Vegetables play a crucial role in our daily diet. With a huge variety available, they are an excellent source of nutrients. The list is extensive and the examples are many. Take broccoli, for example, a vegetable that can be eaten both raw and cooked. It is an excellent source of fiber and vitamins C and K. Another example is that of garlic, which helps improve the body’s immunity. Carrots, tomatoes, radishes – the list is endless. An important rule: don’t forget your greens.
  • Cereals: These contain many nutrients, fiber, “B” vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and folate) and minerals (iron, magnesium and selenium). Cereals are generally high in carbohydrates. Whole grains – such as oats, brown rice, quinoa – are rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals.

These “must haves” in your diet are essential, so be picky about your food, as it is a major investment for your body – and mind – now and in the future.

(Article written by Pranay Jain, Founder and CEO, BodyFirst)

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