Did you know that there’s a direct link between the food you eat and your health? Oh yeah! Foods eaten are broken down into simple absorbable nutrients by the help of our digestive system. These nutrients are absorbed and distributed through the blood to various parts (hearts, brain, liver, kidney, eyes etc) of the body for energy and nourishment. This is why you should be concerned about what you eat, because the food you eat affects your health positively or negatively.
Diet is said to be the kind of food a person eats or anything special one restricts him/herself to eating. It is important we make a conscious effort to choose diets that are safe, nutritious and balanced to promote and improve our health
What then is a balanced diet and how can it be achieved?
A diet is balanced when it contains all the nutrients in their right proportions as needed by the body for growth, repair and maintenance of health. These nutrients are carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals which can be derived from plant and animal sources.
The carbohydrates in your diets can come from maize, pasta, yam, bread, oats, wheat, rice, plantain, cassava, potato, cocoyam, millet etc. Carbohydrates fuel the brain with glucose and energy for the body
Protein sources are eggs, milk, meat, fishes, chicken, sausages, soybeans, pork, cawpeas, bambara beans, groundnuts etc. Proteins provide amino acids needed for muscles and tissue development, hormone production, fluid balances, transportation of nutrients and for DNA/RNA synthesis.
Fruits and vegetable sources are bell peppers, cabbage, onion, tomato, okra, lettuce, cucumber, orange, mango, coconut, avocado, pear, banana, pineapple, grapefruit, apple etc. Fruits and vegetables are great sources of vitamins and minerals which help with immunity and disease prevention as well as a weight loss tool.
Fat/oil sources are butter, olive oil, castor oil, margarine, palm oil, coconut oil etc. Fatty acids and glycerol from fats and oils provide energy for the central nervous system and the rest of the body except the brain.
All these nutrients are necessary for good health. Therefore, a diet lacking any of the above mentioned nutrients is unbalanced and may cause some nutrition related problems or diseases.
Remember to drink at least eight glasses of water a day to keep the body hydrated and to aid in flushing out toxic substances.
Add some exercises to increase your metabolic rate and stay strong.
Don’t just eat to satisfy your hunger, “think diet, think health”.