Diet and Nutrition

Natural medicine system keeps the option of dietary planning open for all those individual who want to stay in the best of their health. It relies on the fundamental of “Right food leads to right living”.

Healthy food benefits human body in a number of ways. It-

Lowers the risk of attack of any disease
It positively affects the longevity of individual
The resistance of body gets raised
Individual becomes agile, active and receptive towards his surroundings
The body gets rid of various toxins that make it lethargic
The mind remains fresh and alert
The overall health of individual gets immense boost

Food should never be eaten as a punishment or as a bane. While it is important for food to be tasty and delicious, it is also important for it to be healthy for body and mind. The nutritive value of food is very important factor to consider as it determines the health potential that food will transfer into the body. A well balanced and nutritive food is going to leave a lasting effect over individuals making them live a longer and a healthier life. The body consuming a healthy diet will be more receptive towards healthy aspect of life, will be able to keep infections and resistances at bay and overcome any ailment very easily.

Daily Dietary Priorities

It has been observed that people remain confused over what to eat and how much to eat. People having large frame sometimes eat less diet whereas lean framed individual consume lots of food. Here are some of the food priorities that can be referred to.

Take 2 to 3 servings of milk and milk products such as cheese and curd. It should be taken care that these milk based items must be low on the fat scale.

Take 2 to 3 servings of meat, eggs, chicken, or fish. Those who are vegetarian can substitute these with plant proteins in the form of nuts, beans or dry peas.

Consume 3 to 5 servings of green leafy vegetables.

Take a medium sized seasonal fresh fruit or 1/4 cup of dried fruit or one medium glass of fresh fruit juice.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates, being body's prime source of energy, is very important for day to day energy sustenance.
Carbohydrates are of two kinds – Simple and Complex
Simple carbohydrates include sugar, syrups, honey, molasses, and corn syrup. Mostly carbohydrates, which come in food form such as ice creams, chips, snacks etc, come laced with high in calories and low in vitamins & minerals. Only carbohydrate in the fruit form is full of fructose, a simple form of carbohydrate, and contains plenty of vitamins and minerals.
Damaging Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a kind of fat that is produced inside the liver. When meat and oily food is eaten in excess extra cholesterol gets generated. Excessive cholesterol enters into blood making blood cholesterol levels dangerously high. This can lead to heart diseases. Cholesterol gets transported within the bloodstream by the aid of lipoproteins. These are of two kinds-

HDLs (high-density lipoproteins) –It is considered good as it flushes cholesterol away from the artery walls towards the liver.

LDLs (low-density lipoproteins) –They are considered harmful as they keep cholesterol flowing in the blood increasing the danger of clogging of arteries with fat deposits.

Know the Fat content -The fat content of any food can be determined by knowing the total calories and fat content. Calorie refers to a single unit of measurement of the amount of heat that raises the temperature of 1 gram of water by 1 degree Celsius. Every gram contains about 9 calories and each gram of protein & carbohydrate contains about 4 calories. Usually every package of processed food comes with marked indication of its calorie content. Individual must watch the bin

Water - Who is not aware of importance and significance of water for living beings? The life cannot survive even for a day without water. It is a life sustenance drink that is very essential for even basic survival. Water is a medium for blood transportation that aids the smooth functioning of lymph, digestive tracts, perspiration glands etc. It allows food to get easily digested and also flushes out waste material and toxins outside the body. Normally, we must consume 8 to 10 glasses of water everyday. Water and water based drinks should be consumed, especially in summers, instead of processed drink such as coffee, cocktails, alcohol etc.

Safe Food - It is not just important to have fresh food but also to consume safe food. The processed and packed food must be purchased with extreme care as the added preservatives and additives can be harmful for health. In recent times, organic food is very much in the vogue as it is relatively safe. Certain medicines and health drugs contain in them such hormones that can be harmful for humans. Some livestock are fed with fodder containing antibiotics that leaves it traces in their milk and milk products. Artificial colors render much harm to food and its consumers. Such harmful colors can cause many problems such as running nose, skin irritations, headaches, and respiratory problems in individuals. Chemicals like Sodium Nitrate are added to processed food such as bacon and ham. It acts as a preservative and flavoring agent. They get combined with various amines and compounds and render immense harm.

Food Intolerance -There are many troubling ailments that are directly related to food and its accompanied habits. Whenever wrong food is eaten, or in a wrong way, it gives rise to many kinds of problems such as headaches, migraines, gastroenteritis, diarrhea, stomach ache, bloating etc. These all happen due to faulty digestion and inability to derive the nutritious part of food. The best way to stay away from such minor yet irritating disorders is to avoid wrong food items especially at wrong time. Give sufficient time to food to get digested. Eat healthy food and lay more stress of fresh and wholesome food, rather than on processed or artificial food items. Individual having sensitive digestive system must take extra caution over their food consumption and follow and disciplines eating regimen.

Macro-nutrients in Food
The term micro-nutrient refers to ‘Protein, carbohydrate, vitamins, minerals, fat etc’ that are present in food. They are an important dietary constituent and hold an important place in food considerations. Micronutrients include minerals, vitamins, and other dietary elements. Additional components such as water, fiber, and various additives, are also important. Almost every food item contains one or the more macronutrients except those food items that are cent percent fats or pure carbohydrates. An ideal food is one that contains various useful micronutrients in perfect balance. The presence of carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, minerals and fats render strength to body and makes flesh, blood and tissues.

Just like deficiency of micronutrients causes unhealthy body, so does over dose of it. The excess of proteins may be taken only when the doctor recommends. Same is with other micronutrients that must be taken in complete control. Fats also need to be taken with complete caution as they are the most harmful micronutrients.

Fats are of three kinds- Saturated, Poly-unsaturated, and Monounsaturated. Saturated fats are the fatty acids that raise levels of blood cholesterol. Saturated fats are present in butter, meat, margarine, and other dairy products. Levels of blood cholesterol do not get raised due to the intake of mono-unsaturated and poly-unsaturated fats.

Non Nutritive Contents in Food

There are several such constituents in food that are nonnutritive yet very much vital for our body. These constituents are fiber, water, colors, flavors, natural carcinogens and anti-carcinogens.

Fiber
Fiber is an indigestible yet an important food component. It comes out of edible plants that cannot be digested by humans. While other food nutrients such as fat, carbohydrate, protein etc get digested easily, dietary fibers remains in the colon and prevent constipation. It clears the intestines by making bowel movement easier. Fiber, in association with certain bacteria, controls those harmful cells that may cause cancer. Dieticians recommend the intake of such fruits and vegetables that have high content of fiber in them. Such fruits and vegetables can be eaten raw as well as cooked.

Food Allergens

Several food items can cause certain allergies. There is no thumb rule for this as different food items may react differently to palate of various individuals. There are various symptoms of food allergies that can vary from person to person. While some may experience stomach ache or headache, others might feel itchiness or skin rashes. There might be other symptoms also ranging from migraines to lightheadedness to bloating. Individuals need to keep a close check over the kind of reaction a particular food items leaves over them and avoid their consumption. Allergy is a kind of reaction of body that implies its non acceptance of certain food item. While some individuals develop food allergies due to their body’s repulsion to those foods, some have really sensitive palate. In case of a food allergy, physicians advise to avoid eating such diet. If the allergy disappears on its own, that food can be consumed under observation otherwise it is better to ban that food from diet.

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