Why is it vital to maintain nutritional levels in the body?
By Pavithra N Raj, Chief Dietician, Columbia Asia Referral Hospital Yeshwanthpur
Eating right food at the right time is a common advice we keep hearing routinely. However, what food is the right food is the question posed many a times. Well, the formula is to include a mix of vegetables, milk, cereals, pulses, eggs in the diet along with required quantity of meat. Balanced diet is vital to promote the well-being of the person and also to develop strong immunity system.
Owing to our busy schedules, meal timings have become irregular. And due to these time constraints, people are depending on easy cook meals, which have low nutritional value. These kinds of foods are one of the major causes for nutritional imbalances in the body. Low nutrition diet can contribute to stress, tiredness, fatigue. These complications can cause health problems like Osteoporosis, Protein energy malnutrition, Vitamin B12 deficiency thus leading to numbness of finger tips, Poor concentration, Brittle, and Dry Hair, Dental Problems, Low immunity, Anemia.
Diet tips to maintain balanced nutrition
- Control your portion sizes i.e., don’t increase the quantity of food beyond what is required for the body. Always use small bowls for solid foods & big glass for liquids.
- Take small and frequent meals. 3 major meals & 2-3 light snacks (sprouts, fruits, egg-whites, soups, buttermilk etc)
- It is suggested to consume chapati made out of wheat flour + jowar flour/ Soya bean flour/ragi flour/ gram flour/ bajra flour /millets in a ratio of 3:1. Add 1 tsp of flaxseeds or methi seeds or cinnamon powder.
- Eat more of all Seasonal fruits and vegetables (2-3 serving of fruits (upto 300gm) and 4-5 serving of vegetable (upto 500gm) with preferably one green vegetable. It helps fulfill vitamin, mineral & antioxidant requirements of the day & help body detoxify & regenerate.
- Include 10 gms of nuts daily (raw unsalted) in your diet like almonds and walnuts, raisins etc.
- Restrict oil intake to 3 tsp /day (preferably use – rice bran, groundnut oil, olive oil, sunflower, safflower, and canola oil, mustard oil etc for cooking option rather than coconut oil, palm oil, dalda.
- Practice drinking water and other fluids (Buttermilk, milk, fresh juice, soups) minimum 3 litres per day (between meals, not with meals).
- Maintain weight within healthy range. Exercise 1 hour daily like brisk walking or combination of two forms like yoga & jogging or play any sport.
- To enhance immunity, include protein & antioxidant rich foods in your diet.
- Avoid outside junk food, eating at unhygienic places, avoid eating fried and spicy food.
- It is suggested to reduce rice intake during dinner; include 2 cereal groups from (wheat, ragi, millets, jowar, bajra, and oats). There should be a gap of 2 hours between dinner & sleep (bedtime).
Healthy and quick recipes with high nutritional value
Green gram salad
Method of preparation:
Wash and soak green gram for 8 hours in water. Add the moist beans to a moist muslin or cheese cloth. Make a knot. Place it in a bowl and partially cover it, let them sprout. After they sprout, mix all the ingredients (Chopped tomatoes, onion, carrot, salt, pepper powder & Lemon) and serve moong sprouts salad immediately.
Nutrition benefits – Green gram are good source of protein and fiber. Vegetables will add vitamin and minerals along with fiber. Lemon juice adds vitamin C.
CUCUMBER MINT JUICE
Ingredients: Cucumber, Mint leaf, Black salt
Method of Preparation: Cut the cucumber with skin and blend with mint and salt.
Nutrition benefits – Cucumber helps in weight loss, reduces blood pressure, stress and detoxifies the body whereas mint helps in improving digestion, reduces cough and respiratory disorders and weight loss and black salt helps in digestion and has anti-bacterial properties