As the saying goes you are what you eat, it is imperative that our body reflects signs and symptoms of whatever we put inside us. So next time when you wake up with a bloated stomach or an acne on your face, remember that it is an upset stomach, behind the scenes, doing this to you.
But like many others, you may have a concern that how come this friend of yours who keeps munching on food loaded with sugar and fat is skinnier. Likewise, you might feel upset despite eating so less you are unable to shed off a few kilograms. We surely agree on this, given everyone has different genetic makeup and hormonal equation inside their bodies. Perhaps you never know if your body is at a health risk unless you get medically tested.
These two intricately related factors are crucial, that you must consider while you think of your fitness goals- hormonal balance and a healthy gut. You may think that rewiring these two is something beyond our control. But no, it is actually not. If we mind keeping track of what we are eating and live an active lifestyle, then definitely we will be able to transform ourselves inside out, physically and mentally. We are here to break down the question of WHAT TO EAT so that you feel a more enthusiastic version of yourself and get up every day with confidence and high spirit.
Macros- Carbohydrates, Proteins and Fats
We get most of our daily nutrient intake, as the name macronutrients suggest from Carbohydrates, Proteins and Fats.
Just like fuel is necessary to run our motor car, we cannot ignore carbs in our diet as they give us energy.
Consuming less or no carbohydrates at all can bring about side effects, such as dizziness, mental exhaustion, headaches, nausea and fragility. Therefore, we must eat them in moderate quantities to avoid gaining undesirable weight. Good carbohydrates are wholesome and healthy. Examples of healthy carbs include whole grains such as brown rice, daliya, quinoa, oats, ragi, bajra, corn. So next time when you make your rotis add a mix of whole grain flours to make it healthful.
Needless to mention, proteins are required for muscle regeneration and strength, especially when you are into fitness and gymnastics. Also, it boosts fat burn and improves bone health. Now if you eat vegetarian food, you may want to seek alternatives to protein rich foods such as meat, chicken, eggs and seafood. Not to worry, here are the best high in protein foods that you can easily get- beans, tofu, seeds such as sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds, and lentils like chole, rajma, masoor, soya, nuts and diary.
If you think eating fats will make us fat, you are mistaken. Not all fats are your enemies, there are good fats too, that you need for your body’s repairment. Fats that are good for you come in its natural form, unprocessed and unfiltered. Walnut, cashew, almond, coconut, olives, oil seeds are such fats that are supposed to be consumed as it is. However, here is a gentle reminder- soak your nuts and dry fruits before you consume. For cooking purposes ghee, mustard oil, olive oil, canola oil are few better options, but again using them in moderation is the key to prevent the ill effects of fats.
Micros- Vitamins and minerals
Although we need these micronutrients in small quantities, but without their presence in our meals we may have to become victim of some chronic illness. If you would have visited a doctor, they might have advised you to increase the intake of these ‘chemical jargons’ in your diet (pun intended). Straight away we want to provide you the list of food items that can fetch you these essential nutrients easily.
Folate- dark green leafy veggies, peanuts, chickpeas, bhindi, tomatoes, mint, sesame seeds, urad, chana and moong dal.
Iron- tofu, beetroot, raisins, pomegranate, mushroom, apple, turmeric, poppy seeds, watermelons.
Vitamin D- mushroom, soy milk, cow milk, papaya, walnuts, peanuts.
Magnesium- dark chocolate, bajra, daliya, chawli, rajma, pumpkin seeds, almonds, cashew, yoghurt.
Calcium- dairy products, oranges, poultry, sesame seeds, figs, ragi, sprouts, dates, arvi ke patte.
All the micronutrients may not have been covered exhaustively; however, the above food sources can more or less fulfil the need for the ones that we have left.
What comes to your mind when you think of herbs? For us it is tea. Yes, herbal tea though tasteless it may sound like but once you get the hang of it, you are never going back to chai and coffee ever again. These aromatic infusions can perfectly pair with your morning newspaper or evening de-stress routine after work. Also, these have many hidden antioxidants, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Be it fresh or dried you can choose one or few of these ingredients to add it to some boiling hot water and make yourself a heartful cup of goodness- Lemongrass, ginger, fennel, tulsi, mint, lemon, dried flowers like marigold, rose, hibiscus, chamomile, jasmine.
Vocal for local
If you are the person, who thinks that the colourful and exotic fruits and vegetables, which your favourite celebrities consume keep them fit and in shape, we urge you to come out of such delusion. These so-called superfoods are too expensive and difficult to find. You will always find a whole bunch of local and seasonal fruits and vegetables in your vicinity that can serve far better nutrition and other health benefits than those picture-perfect perishables.
What not to eat
We all have been through days when we have indulged in some form of junk food. And that is okay to do, as we are human beings and we cannot be always perfect in every way. We assume all of us know what, not to eat. However, it is important to be aware of the way food businesses are manipulating our minds to fill their pockets. For the sake of comfort, they are packaging fruit juice loaded with sugar and preservatives that are flavorful to our tastebuds but does no good to our health. Also, they are coming us with such food high in sodium, trans fat that again are detrimental for our health. Sugar and salt are two silent killers if we consume it beyond the recommended levels.
Eating clean is not something that makes you feel compelled and deterred. To make it a habit for a healthy living, we must bring small and sustainable changes that can lead us to where we want to be. And remember nothing comes easy in life, either take the pain of disciple or the pain of sorrow.