Importance of Balanced diet
How are we eating, what are we eating and adding up to it whether we’re eating the correct amount of it? All of these remain a dilemma to us because we never gave enough thought to how good are we taking care of our internal health.
So, in today’s article let's focus upon the correct portion of food that our body requires and how should we go about it. Let’s start.
WHAT IS A BALANCED DIET?
Before we start further in-depth about what our body requires, let us clear off with what balanced diet means, it is a well-planned diet that includes a variety of foods that consists of nutrients, proteins, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. All of them in equal portions.
Our bodies are different thus, our balanced diet will be according to our size, age, height, body mass, varying from person to person. What one person intakes in his/her daily routine might cause a different effect on some other individual.
An infant who is just born has a different requirement for a child who is attaining the age of 5. Similarly, our body requires a different set of diets at 20 as compared to the age of 60.
THE IMPORTANCE OF VITAMINS and MINERALS- Especially during this situation of coronavirus, a lot of medical practitioners have emphasized the importance of taking vitamins whether in tablet form or any other food through which we can gain these vitamins.
A lot of vitamins especially A, C, D, E, B12 become vital for the body. Along with it, the intake of calcium and iron becomes crucial for the body in fighting instances like osteoporosis, weak bones, fractures.
While calcium is mostly derived from milk products like milk, cheese, spinach, turnips, yogurt while iron can be derived from beetroot, (or juice made from it) apples, bananas, pomegranate.
Pomegranate and beetroot work in building up hemoglobin for the body and thus protects people suffering from iron deficiency.
Since due to deficiency of iron a lot of women face maternal mortality and low-weight birth infants. The presence of iron plays a very important role during pregnancy, menopause, and the monthly menstrual cycle. Thus, the iron requirement is more for women –21mg per day and 17mg per day for men.
HIGHLIGHTS: During this winter season do not forget to give your body the required dose of vitamin C through oranges and guava. For vitamin D get a lot of sunlight and also through capsules.
These vitamins become vital for creating a strong immune system against seasonal flu and viruses.
MEAL PATTERN FROM MORNING TILL NIGHT
This is the arena most of us are going to be guilty of, not giving enough attention to the timing pattern of our meals throughout the day and also the kind of food we are to consume within specific hours.
While through most researches, dietitians and nutritionists believe that the ideal eating pattern should be five meals having a gap of 3 hours between them i.e., breakfast, mid-morning snack, lunch, mid-evening snack, dinner.
But talking realistically, we fail to even consume a proper three-time meal per day.
So why not first try to discuss the 3 important meals of the day.
BREAKFAST- This is the most important meal of the day since the day depends on what energy we’re starting it with. If we leave an empty stomach then the entire day the body will react with gastric, low energy, and less focus towards the work.
So, it’s advised after 2 hours of waking up, start the day with a heavy breakfast that includes oats with fruits, freshly arranged juice, fruits, milk, eggs (poached or scrambled).
Eggs can provide a good balance of protein and fat. Bananas help the stomach to remain full for a longer period and helps to turn carbohydrates and fats into energy. Helps in stomach ulcer and maintain blood pressure.
LUNCH- Most people add brown rice, barley, or jowar along with chicken or fish.
Carb-rich food can help one stay energized for a longer period and whole grains like wheat, barley doubled up with some yogurt, and salad at the side. Helps to maintain the blood sugar level for 10 hours.
Dinner- The last meal of the day is to be kept light but at the same time choose food items that will keep your stomach full for longer hours. Dinner should be two hours before one sleeps for better digestion.
Inclusion of green vegetables that consists of vitamins and minerals, a minute level of carbs along some healthy fat like fish.
Conclusively, as discussed in the introduction, all of us require different food at various stages of our lives.
An infant up to six months of age requires more of their mother’s milk which boosts up their immunity. After six months soft, homemade food items like potatoes, porridge, cereals, and eggs are vital. Cereals like heat, rice, jowar,bajra are to be focused on.
When kids reach up to the age of 5 and until they are teenagers, they do a lot of activities, play a lot of outdoor games, they acquire good metabolism which in turn, is complemented through food such as dairy products consisting of calcium, a protein that helps in muscle building like meat, eggs, fish. Vitamin D will help in bone growth, development, and absorption of calcium.
Vitamin A is good for vision, carrots, papayas, mangoes have good levels of vitamin in them.
While for adults, the diet changes completely because as the metabolism decreases, movement in the body get restricted so increased intake of carbohydrates and fat can lead to severe health problems. Brown rice, vegetables, using less oil in the food items is recommended. Eating in small portions but at frequent intervals is essential.