A Balanced Diet
A balanced diet that consists of diverse and healthy food is the key to promoting good health. Beauty and health are deeply related and both depend on each other for the well being of a person. To have good health we should know the importance of vitamins, minerals and carbohydrates in our diet. The health of our skin, hair, teeth, bones, muscles, depends on what we eat.
For the active function of body and brain we should have a balanced diet. If we don’t, we feel tired, skin becomes wrinkled, lifeless hair, age very soon and may even be prone to many diseases. Healthy diet means a diet which contains all the essential proteins, minerals and vitamins which we need to protect our body from various diseases.
The nutrients that are required by the body
Proteins: – Protein intake is necessary for the cells to develop, regenerate and maintain the general health. Protein maintains the sufficient level of nitrogen in the body. It immediately replaces the nitrogen that is lost from the body. Because of this balance, our hair, skin and muscles remain healthy and strong. Our diet should consist of 10 to 15 per cent of protein. Fresh vegetables, rice, wheat, pulses, soybean, nuts, whole gram, and milk are rich in protein.
Carbohydrates: – Carbohydrates give calories to the body and make it energetic to cope up with the physical and mental strain. Best for carbohydrates are rice, vegetables, fruits, whole gram, sugar and honey.
Fats: – Fats give energy and protect the body from critical situations. They give calcium and help in the development of bones and protects them from getting brittle. Too much of fat is to be avoided as it leads to obesity and digestive problems, diabetes etc. An ordinary diet should consist of 20 to 50 gms of fat. Due to severe cold conditions and too much of physical activity a lot of fat is consumed by the body. In such situations intake of fat should be increased. One can get fat from butter, milk, cheese, nuts etc and edible oils like groundnut, sunflower oil and coconut oil.
Vitamin: – Vitamins do not provide any energy or help in cell formation etc. But they help regulate energy producing processes. It is essential to have them in our diet as the deficiency of vitamins leads to the general weakness and may affect the health of our eyes, skin, bones and teeth.
► Vitamin A is essential for the formation of bone, tissue, good eyesight and for smooth skin.
Source: – milk, butter, ghee, vegetables like carrot, tomato, spinach. Fruits like mango, pine-apple, strawberry etc.
► Vitamin B-1 helps to digest carbohydrates and keeps the heart and muscles stable. Helps in anti-ageing, hair nourishment, delays grey hair, gives sparkle in your eyes, glowing skin and keeps you beautiful.
Source: – Tomato, lentils, beans, banana and potato etc.
► Vitamin C is essential for bones, gums, joints and skin. It gives immunity and strength to the body, to fight against harmful infections and resists the disease from entering the body.
Source: – Amla, chana (chick pea), lemon, orange and other citrus fruits.
► Vitamin D is very essential for the bones to grow and for strong teeth. Rickets is caused by the deficit of vitamin D.
Source: –Direct sunlight is the natural source apart from milk, butter, spinach etc.
► Vitamin E is essential to prevent sterility and to break up blood clots.
Minerals: – We need minerals like Iron, Calcium, and Phosphorous for the health of bones, teeth and for the formation of blood cells, muscle health and thyroid gland. They maintain the balance of water in the body. Deficiency of minerals leads to the formation of stretch marks, pimples, wrinkles on skin, hair fall and may be prone to other diseases.
Water plays an important role in digestion, maintaining body temperature and maintaining the glow of the skin. It is necessary to drink a lot of water.
All the measures given above are essential to include as part of our food. They are important to the body because they are interlinked with each other to keep us healthy.
One must not overeat and eat only when one is hungry. If you are overweight, do not skip a meal or start dieting. Reduce the intake gradually in every meal. This will help you maintain your health and nutritional values intact. Include fresh vegetables, fruits, and juice in your diet. Our body gets sufficient minerals and vitamins through vegetables and fruits.
By Nibhanapudi Suguna