Life in today’s world can be very distressing. The stress of every day work and life, and family pressure can sap your energy, and leave you with too little sleep, too much tension, and too little time.
According to research many of our problems and diseases are related to our lifestyle choices such as smoking, drinking, lack of exercise, or unhealthy diet. You can boost the ability of your body to function optimally and fight diseases and other stress by including simple measures in your lifestyle like healthy eating, avoiding cigarettes and alcohol, and doing regular exercise.
A healthy diet will make you feel healthy, great and full of energy, but if your diet mostly contains junk foods. You are undoubtedly bound to suffer the effects of not giving your body what it needs to blossom.
Yet even when you’re at your busiest, you should never cut corners when it comes to maintaining a healthy diet. Your body needs food to function at its best and to fight the daily stress and fatigue of life.
Remember that there is a clear connection between your health and your diet.
Energy and diet: The foods your body needs
Food provides the energy our body needs and the major nutrients your body needs are protein, carbohydrate, and fat. These provide the body with energy for various functions like beating of heart, activity of muscles and brain. In addition the body needs vitamins, and minerals for it’s optimal functioning.
The major functions of each of these nutrient groups are as follows:
- Carbohydrates: This provides your body with energy and it can be considered as the main source of energy for the body.
- Fats: It is an important source of energy and gives more calories than carbohydrates and proteins. It promotes the absorption of vitamins and is needed for several other function of the body.
- Proteins: These are the building block for all your cells, tissues and organs. They help in proper maintenance and repair of your body.
The food you eat is broken down into smaller components and absorbed. The absorbed nutrients are metabolized to provide energy to fuel our bodies. Carbohydrates are the quickest in supplying energy whereas fats are the slowest. Besides the macronutrients your body needs vitamins and minerals also to function optimally.
Energy and diet: Foods for sustained energy
Complex carbohydrates provide your body with the energy it needs. They are considered “good” for the body because of their complex structure. As they have a complex structure the body takes more time to break them down and digest and you blood sugar rises slowly after eating complex carbohydrates. Plant based foods like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables give your body the energy it needs and fiber, minerals and vitamins as well.
Remember that if you consume more carbohydrates, protein, or calories than you need, then it is converted to fat in the body. This increases your risk of obesity. Be sensible in what you eat and limit your portion sizes. Avoid foods that contain processed foods and foods that simple carbohydrates.
Besides a diet which has adequate calories you need protein. These are the building block for all your cells, tissues and organs. Include healthy source of protein in your diet like poultry, fish, legumes (lentils and beans), and limit red meat and processed meats.
According to experts fats must be limited in the diet. But they should not be totally avoided. Fats are needed not only for energy but for synthesizing several hormones and other functions in body as well. The different kinds of fat are–monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and saturated fats. Use of monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats, must be preferred as these are more healthy than saturated and trans fats.
Drink plenty of water as it is needed for several functions of the body like digestion, absorption, and the transport of nutrients for energy. Water helps to remove waste and toxins from your body as well. An average person should drink six to eight glasses of water daily.
Energy and diet: Foods to avoid
All food that we eat is not nutritious. Many foods provide us with “empty” calories—that is they contain no other nutrition (like minerals, vitamins, proteins) except the energy. It is important that you know and realize the nutritional value of what you eat.
- Avoid simple carbohydrates. cakes, candy, cookies, sugary beverages and juices contain simple carbs. But these foods provide “empty” calories and they contain no other nutrition (like minerals, vitamins, proteins) except the energy (or calories). If your intake of sugar is high it can cause unwanted weight gain.
- Avoid margarine and other hydrogenated oils, and foods that contain trans-fat like chips, fries. These are bad for your heart—so avoid using them.
- Animal foods (like red meat, whole milk dairy products, and eggs) which are rich in saturated fats should be avoided.
- Avoid or limit your intake of alcohol and caffeine.
Energy and diet: Scheduling meals for sustained energy
According to experts you should eat three meals and three snacks a day. Limit the serving size in each meal and snack and avoid going over three to four hours without eating something. Eating a balanced diet that has all the minerals and vitamins you need will boost your health and immunity. Healthy diet can help to prevent illness and boost your recovery from an illness as well.
So, make smart choices in your food and your body will thank you.
Some ways to make your diet healthy:
- Eat brown rice rather than white rice, use whole-grain bread instead of white bread.
- Include plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits in your diet. Eat a wide range of brightly colored fruits and vegetables as they have plenty of vitamins and minerals, phytochemicals and anti-oxidants which help your body to disease and keeps it healthy.
- Avoid processed foods. When you eat processed foods pay attention whether it contains simple or complex carbohydrates.
- Eat healthy snacks such as fruits, yogurt, popcorn rather than fries or potato chips.