During each phase in our life, our way of living changes. Unlike when our parents used to force feed us taking care of our nutritional needs, once we are on our own, our eating habits turn unhealthy. Our priority is often to grab the most easily available and consumable food than one that would require hours to prepare, is often messy to carry around and eat. The result? We miss out on providing our body with essential nutrients.
What are the essential nutrients?
The body requires six essential nutrients which are necessary for the body to function properly. The body cannot synthesize these on its own. We need to supply them through a balanced diet. These six essential nutrients include carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins, minerals and water.
Carbohydrates are the main sources of energy for the body. The body cannot function properly in their absence. Fruits, bread and grains, starchy vegetables and sugars are good sources of carbohydrates.
Proteins are the major structural component of cells and are essential for the building and repair of body tissues. Proteins consist of amino acids. Out of the 20 amino acids, nine amino acids known as essential amino acids must be provided in the diet. Lean protein sources such as low-fat meat, dairy, beans or eggs are healthy sources of proteins.
Fats are also sources of energy. When consumed, they also help in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins including vitamins A, D, E and K. Healthy options such as omega-3-rich foods like fish, walnuts and vegetable-based oils. Omega-3 fatty acids help with development and growth. We should limit intake of saturated fats such as high-fat meats and full-fat dairy. We should remember to include nuts, seeds and avocado.
Vitamins help our body to grow and develop normally. There are 13 essential vitamins, each responsible for a specific job. We can find them in various fruits and vegetables.
Minerals of two types are essential to us. Macrominerals and trace minerals. Macrominerals are needed by our body in larger amounts. They include calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, potassium, and chloride. Our body needs only a small amount of trace minerals. These include iron, copper, iodine, zinc, fluoride, and selenium. Each mineral helps the body to perform better.
Water helps to transport nutrients to cells. It also facilitates the removal of waste products from the body.
What can we do to remain healthy even with a hectic lifestyle?
Given below was how my daily journal roughly looked like while I worked as a civil engineer in Dubai.
The result was that I gained weight and began experiencing health issues which I never had. I realized it soon enough thanks to my health-conscious siblings and father who are doctors. They gave me strict instructions as to what to eat and what not. Also, I started walking regularly, by getting down a bit away from my place and taking the stairs.
Now, I am a stay at home mom and a full-time writer. I spend hours in front of the computer. But, I do an hour of yoga and walk for minimum 30 minutes daily. I now realize how important exercise is for a healthy mind and body. Yoga keeps my mind active and body energetic. Walking is my daily recharge module for creativity because it is during my daily walks that I plot the scenes I want to write or churn out the dialogues.
But this was not the case a year ago. I used to fall sick repeatedly. My shoulder and back would start aching by the end of the day. My productivity was also going down.
Together with exercise, I make sure my daily intake of carbohydrates and proteins are balanced and adequate. Vegetables and fruit intake have increased manifold. Mixed vegetable and fruit juices have become my favourite drinks. I remember to choose healthy alternatives instead of oily snacks or junk food.
I have realized that healthy lifestyle changes are a must whatever profession you are in. After all, we should respect the body which is the home of our soul. Health is indeed wealth.
How do you cope up with lifestyle changes? Do share your ideas in the comments section.