Healthy eating generally includes foods rich in nutrition. These include lean proteins, whole grain foods, healthy fats, fruits and vegetables. Following a healthy eating plan has multiple health benefits that include, but are not limited to:
- Stronger bones
- Prevention of ill-health and diseases
- Better mood
- Stable blood sugar levels
A healthy diet leads to an optimally functioning body, reduced number of illnesses and a quick recovery process.
What Type of Food Does Your Body Require?
Energy, in the form of calories, when consumed by the body, provides it with healthy nutrients, vitamins and minerals to enable health and fitness. The different types of foods required are as follows:
While a number of people shy away from carbohydrates, foods rich in carbs provide an instant boost of energy and helps us get through the day. Hence, fitness trainers often recommended a moderate amount of carbohydrates when one decides to incorporate a cardio workout.
During intense exercise sessions, the body tends to burn more calories. In order to help regain its strength and maintain higher energy levels, balanced portions of carbohydrates must be incorporated within every meal. Substantial carbohydrate-rich snacks such as a mini bagel with peanut butter and a banana about two hours pre-workout is well-recommended.
Saturated and Unsaturated Fats
The word “fats” often tends to scare people away.
“What if I gain weight?”
“How can fats help with weight loss?”
“Fats must be avoided while trying to lose or stabilize weight”
How many of us have heard the above and moreover, how many of us have thought the above? What we don’t realize is fats provide the body with a long-term source of energy and while the quantities must be monitored, foods rich in fat must not be eliminated from a diet completely.
Healthy sources of lean protein such beans, peas, lentils, chicken breast and low-fat cottage cheese or Greek yogurt are a few examples of protein required by the body to help build and repair body tissues
Whole grains, beans, lentils, berries, avocado, apples and dried fruit are a few examples of fiber-rich foods that must be incorporated in the daily diet to enable efficient bowel movement, a lack of which can have adverse effects on the body.
Vitamins such as A, B1, B2, B6, C, D and E are essential for the body to regulate everyday body functions. A vitamin deficit can cause a plethora of problems ranging from hair fall to weakness and light-headedness.
Minerals such as Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc, Iron, Sodium and Potassium help regulate metabolism and other cellular activities in the body.
Hence, research has proven that a variety of foods in the daily diet are essential to keep the body healthy enough to perform various functions.
Foods That Must Be Avoided
While there is a variety of lip-smacking and tempting food out there, one must bear in mind that an excessive amount of junk food is unhealthy and can prove to have adverse effects on the body in the long run.
Listed below are a few types of food groups that must be avoided in order to maintain good health:
- Processed foods
- Fast foods
- Foods that are high in salt, sugar, saturated and trans fats.
While the occasional slice of pizza or a burger is perfectly well received by the body, it is important to make sure the occasional indulgence does not turn into an everyday affair.
Regardless of the healthy food consumed, one might fail to notice results in terms of weight loss or getting fitter only because the quantity of food being consumed is too much for the body to process. This may result in excessive weight gain and unwanted fat deposits in problem areas of the body. While an average grown man needs 2500 calories a day, a grown woman requires 2000 calories per day. Most store-bought items are very high in calories due to their high content of sugar, oil, saturated and trans fats. While the recommended amount of calories might differ depending on the activity levels of an individual, it is imperative to keep a check on the daily fitness levels as well as the quantity and quality of food consumed.
Most of us do not believe in counting calories and so we must settle for monitoring the serving size of the dish. Listed below are the average amounts of the recommended daily intake of various kinds of food groups:
Vegetables – can be consumed in unlimited proportions provided the salt and fat content in the dish is limited.
Fish and Lean Meat – the size of a deck of playing cards.
75% of the human body is composed of water. It is one of the most important components that helps with fundamental body functions. While working out, the body loses water in the form of sweat and hence, it is essential to stay regularly hydrated throughout the day. An approximate 2-3 liters of water is recommended for an average adult, although it might vary depending on the activity levels and weather changes. Research has shown that the consumption of water before and after an intense workout prevents the body from slipping into a state of dehydration.
While water is the best source for hydration, the following must be avoided:
Most carbonated drinks contain high levels of sugar which can affect the blood sugar levels, contribute to weight gain and cause dehydration in some cases.
Caffeine-based drinks such as coffee, tea, green tea that contains caffeine can cause dehydration and low blood sugar levels.
While alcohol is known to cause dehydration, it is also extremely high in calories. Excessive consumption of alcohol can often result in a serious amount of weight gain and kidney problems.
In order to live a healthy life, it is recommended that one ingest food sensibly, keep distractions at bay while eating breakfast, lunch and dinner in order to avoid over eating, and make sure to incorporate a regular exercise regime while maintaining hydration levels