Father of Medicine Hippocrates, once said,
Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.
So we thought that this Mother’s day every woman should gift herself and her family the gift of health and the gift of correct nutrition. The phrase “I am on a diet” should never be used, instead, all women should have the correct knowledge of nutrition because a healthy mother is a foundation for a healthy nation and family.
A calorie is not just a calorie when it comes to your health. Calories in green vegetables can never be equated with calories in junk food. Portion control and mindful eating is a must.
Eating out of boredom or out of stress should be avoided. Also, foods provide us with energy but they do much more than that. Food plays an important role in holistic health and acts like medicine.
Research has shown that nutrient deficiencies and toxicity from a poor diet are linked to nearly all modern health conditions leading to lifestyle diseases like hypertension, diabetes and even cancer.
Many other illnesses are highly influenced by one’s diet like allergies, autoimmune disorders like arthritis, thyroid disorders and many more.
Food can act as a medicine in promoting good health and longevity. Research also shows that “obesity has a strong inflammatory component”, and inflammation is the root cause of all diseases.
Food also plays a role in balancing hormones as abnormal hormonal changes contribute to accelerated ageing, diabetes, obesity, fatigue, depression, low mental capacity, reproductive problems and autoimmune diseases.
Food also helps in controlling blood sugar. High blood sugar levels due to consuming high amounts of sugar and processed carbohydrates can lead to cravings, fatigue, neurological damage, mood disorders, hormonal balances and more. Simple and processed carbohydrates have to be replaced by complex carbohydrates.
Lack of good quality protein is one of the major factors leading to various diseases, weight gain as well as various fatigue syndromes. Good quality protein in the diet aids in reducing inflammation, autoimmune diseases, infertility, hypothyroidism, fibromyalgia, and so on.
Proteins are the building blocks of the body and chronic protein deficiency is a major source of various diseases.
Digestive health can be improved by increasing intake of green vegetables and reduction of processed food, simple carbohydrates and sugar.
It is important to maintain a healthful, balanced diet to achieve the recommended amounts of the important nutrients.
1. Protein-rich food: Eggs, Chicken, Salmon, Greek Yoghurt, Lentils, Legumes, low-fat dairy, whey protein drinks may also be recommended in pure vegetarians.
2. Calcium-rich foods: Dairy products, dark green leafy vegetables, nuts, grains, beans.
3. Vitamin D-rich foods: Eggs and salmon
4. Magnesium-rich foods: Dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds, fish, beans and legumes, whole grains, avocados, and low-fat dairy.
5. Riboflavin-rich foods: Fortified cereals, almonds, organ meats, whole grains, wheat germ, mushrooms, soybeans, dairy products, eggs, and dark green vegetables.
6. Thiamine-rich foods: Fortified cereals, legumes, nuts, and red meat.
7. Vitamin B6-rich foods: Meat, poultry, fatty fish, whole grains, fortified cereals, soybeans, avocados, baked potato with skin, bananas, and peanuts.
8. Good quality fats: Avocados, Nuts, seeds ( flax seeds, hemp, melon, pumpkin seeds ), Salmon, olive oil.
It is of paramount importance to eat clean and green and to say no to junk food and not to be fooled by advertisements. Each woman has the power within herself to build her own health and to learn to use food as the means to give herself and her family a boost of health.
The motto should always be to use food as fuel for the body.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there!
– Article by Dr Pallavi Aga, IDEEL Certified Lifestyle Management Consultant and Nutritionist