YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT is very aptly said. What we eat directly affects cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure, skin, sleep, bone health, muscle strength, energy levels and much more. Nutrition is vital for your body and a well-balanced diet provides important vitamins, minerals and nutrients to keep the body and mind healthy. It helps to maintain a healthy body weight, provide energy, allow better sleep, and improve brain function. Surely nutrition only doesn’t influence these, but has a major impact in maintenance of good health. Food provides our bodies with the energy, protein, essential fats, vitamins and minerals to live, grow and function properly.
• Blood Sugar Levels: Normal blood sugar levels are indicators of good nutrition and healthy living. If an individual’s diet is high in sugars and simple carbohydrates it can lead to weight gain that can affect pancreas functioning which leads to diabetes. Eating a diet with good amount of fibers, adequate protein, and healthy fats can help in blood sugar control. One must have spaced meal with healthy snack options in between meals and regular exercise can lead to better glycemic control throughout the day.
• Healthy Blood and Cholesterol levels: An individual’s diet, exercise, genetics can affect blood fat levels. High blood triglycerides and LDL levels and low HDL cholesterol(good cholesterol) both increase risk of cardiovascular disease and can affect one’s overall health. Having diet that is high in fiber, omega 3 fatty acids, low in sugar and processed food can promote good health. Genetics may affect cholesterol levels but with healthy diet and regular exercise one can surely control and maintain ideal blood fat levels.
• Regular Bowel Movements: A regular bowel movement can be a healthy sign of good nutrition. A diet with good amount of fiber and healthy fluids can influence your gut health and help to attain optimum nutrition. On the other hand if your diet is low in fiber it will fail to provide satiety making you feel hungry frequently leading to weight gain. Bloating and acidity are common problems that occur these days due to inadequate exercise and high intake of junk food resulting in poor nutritional status. Inclusion of prebiotics and probiotics provide good bacteria and healthy gastric health.
• Healthy Blood Pressure: Blood pressure levels affect your heart health. Our lifestyle and what we eat impacts on blood pressure. A popular diet-DASH diet was designed to lower blood pressure of people. It consists of high fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and low fat, processed food and sugar. The foods chosen in this diet is of low sodium.
• Immune system: An immune system is a soldier to your body that protects you from diseases. No matter how healthy food you take there is always a possibility of getting sick by many factors than diet. An individual with low immunity will fall sick often and illness may persist longer. Immunity cannot be developed in a day and so should be developed since birth. Colustrum (first yellow milk secreted after birth) is said to have immunity building properties and therefore should not be discarded. Deficiency in nutrients like zinc, copper, selenium, iron, copper and Vitamins like A , C and E may lead to poor immune system.
• Skin Health: To achieve and maintain beauty with cosmetic technology is not a big deal, but to feel beauty from within is an achievement. A good nutrition will lead to healthy and glowing skin that looks fresh. Just like other requirements of nutrients in the body, the skin also needs Vitamins like A, C and E that serves as antioxidants and protect skin damages from pollution and sunlight. They not only help skin to look fresh and young but also delay ageing process. A diet must consist of different colors from variety of fruits and vegetables that can offer varied antioxidants. A good fluid intake will reflect the quality of skin that you posses .Insufficient water intake will make skin dry and may lead to pigmentations and other skin problems. So proper intake of skin friendly vitamins and minerals will help to achieve good skin even with aging.
• Bone Health: Bones form a basic structure of human body. Bone building starts developing from very young age and the foundation needs to be laid strong as it has to be sustained for life long. A strong bone health can be formed since very beginning with bone building nutrients like calcium, Vitamin D, magnesium and potassium. A diet with rich calcium and adequate sunlight exposure for Vitamin D can ensure a good bone health. Good intake of fruits and vegetables for minerals can also aid in bone health.
• Energy Levels: Sustainable energy levels throughout the day are necessary to carry out daily activities. If there is feeling of tiredness in entire day even with good night’s sleep it can imply a lot. There can be nutritional deficiency especially iron, which can lead to fatigue throughout the day. Many people have a habit to take help of caffeine whenever they feel sluggish to freshen up, which may be give temporary energy levels, further bringing iron levels down in long run. A diet with good protein, good iron rich sources and reducing iron absorption inhibitors, enhancing factors helping iron absorption can overcome fatigue and provide constant energy.
• Muscle Strength and Tone: Muscle strength is essential for daily activity levels. One’s health is not only depended on his weight but fat and muscle composition also. A person with ideal body weight can have excess fat that can push him towards diseases. A good exercise regime and diet with lean proteins and low carbohydrates can develop good muscle physique and muscle tone. There should be balance between nutrition, exercise and adequate sleep .Less food intake and excessive strenuous exercise with lack of sleep will lead to tiredness and low endurance levels.
• Mental Alertness: Food has incredible ability to affect your mental health. Food is a fuel that regulates your energy and mood, both can significantly affect your focus. If you are not able to think clearly and feel blank it could due to nutritional deficiency. Adequate amount of magnesium and certain amino acids may help to lower chances of depression by increasing level of neurotransmitters and help you live happy and healthy.
A good nutrition is a foundation to good health. Along with diet there are many factors like exercise, sleep, genetics that may affect signs of good health of person but a GOOD NUTRITION has a major role.
SO DON’T EAT LESS, EAT RIGHT AND HEALTHY!!
Mrs. Shweta Banerjee
Apollo Hospitals, Ahmedabad
To know more in detail about the topic, click here to talk to our Dietitian & Nutritionists : https://www.askapollo.com/physical-appointment/doctors/dietitian-and-nutritionist