Benefits of Healthy foods and an Active Lifestyle
The title of this newsletter refers to the popular phrase- 'Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food'.
This phrase emphasises the importance of a healthy diet as well as regular outdoor activities to expose us to Sunlight. These two are important factors for a healthy and disease free life. .
Having a balanced diet will ensure your body has all the necessary nutrients to provide energy, bone and muscle strength as well as having a healthy cardiovascular system and gut.
A balanced diet includes all healthy foods from all food groups under it-
- Include 2-3 servings of both fresh fruits and vegetables (green leafy/starchy and other veggies)
- Include complex carbohydrates like wheat bran, brown rice, oats, whole wheat, millets for the feeling of fullness.
- Focus on including one protein source in every major meal. Animal protein sources include eggs, chicken and fishes. Plant protein sources include milk, millets, sattu, dals, pulses, mushrooms, cheese and paneer.
- Include good quality fats like ghee, nuts and seeds, avocados and omega 3 fatty acids found in flaxseeds, fishes, olive oil.
- The most neglected but very important part of food preparations is spices and condiments. The functional properties of each spice has a unique role to play. Spices and condiments not only enhance flavor but also boosts up metabolism and immunity.
Example, curcumin compound from turmeric has antibacterial properties. Allicin compound found in garlic has boosting metabolism properties.
Sunlight as nature’s natural and free treatment
Vitamin D deficiency ranks the highest among all nutritional deficiencies across all age groups; especially during covid and post covid times because adults and children tend to spend more time indoors due to increased working hours, increased demand for pregnant & lactating mothers, young children, & older people (impaired absorption as they age).
- Exposure to sunlight for at least 15-20 minutes preferably during 10 am- 12pm (The earlier the better it is) is highly beneficial. The body needs to be exposed to direct sunlight (not through windows and glass).
- Most foods that we eat has Vitamin D2. Sunlight converts this into active Vitamin D3 (this is what is given in supplements) that the body can use.
- Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin thus it is important to include good quality oils and fats in your diet to absorb this sunshine vitamin.
- The skin exposure is directly proportional to the amount of Vitamin D produced. Sunscreens and lightening creams may block the absorption of sunlight and consequently Vitamin D production.
- Non vegetarians can consume oily fish like salmon, sardines, herring or mackerel, egg yolks as these are directly rich in Vitamin D3.