We Indians take a lot of pride in our food, especially recipes that have been passed down through generations. However, in spite of the general perception that the Indian diet is healthy, we’re still the diabetic capital of the world and have various other lifestyle diseases flourishing in the country. These days, people go all out to acquire healthy skin, great hair, and a slim figure, while ignoring the major nutrients required for proper body functions.
The four building blocks of nutrition are multivitamins, omega 3, protein, and probiotics. Carbs tend to form 70% of our diet due to our reliance on rice and wheat. However, our recipes are often deficient in protein and fiber. Try to have a balanced diet that contains all the four building blocks of nutrition on a daily basis.
What’s missing in our food?
Potassium – In processed foods like packaged meat, cheese, pastries, and fast food, sodium often takes the place of potassium, thus leading to a deficiency of the latter. Try including potatoes with skin, spinach, cooked beets, and bananas in your diet to meet your daily potassium requirements.
Fibre – Fibre is a carbohydrate that moves throughout the body and aids in digestion and prevents constipation. If your diet includes highly processed grain such as white flour, you’re missing out on fibre and its benefits. Try to eat more black beans, fresh raspberries, pears, sweet potato with skin, and fresh fruits to meet your daily requirement.
Calcium – Calcium helps to maintain healthy bones, supports nerve transmission, and also aids in clotting blood. Dairy and dairy byproducts are an excellent source of calcium, as are non-fat milk and Swiss cheese.
Vitamin D – This is the only vitamin we can consume in food, and also create in our body by processing sunlight. Vitamin D helps in regulating cell growth and reduces the risks of cardiovascular diseases. To increase your Vitamin D level, add more fish in your diet, go out often in the morning sun, and consume fortified milk and orange juice.
Iron – We can’t possibly survive without iron as it is a protein building block that’s involved in many processes such as carrying oxygen in our body and building muscle. Vegetarians tend to suffer more from iron deficiency as the iron from poultry, meat, and fish is absorbed nearly 2-3 times more efficiently by the body than iron from plant sources. Broccoli, lentils, cashews, dried apricots, clams, liver, beef sirloin steak, and edamame are all good sources of iron.
The best way to stay healthy is to eat natural foods and learn the art of following a balanced diet. Consider opting for probiotic drinks, taking multivitamin supplements, or eating unprocessed and whole foods to get your daily dose of nutrients. When you get all the essential nutrients, you won’t have to worry about healthy hair tips or secrets to flawless skin – the nutrients you consume will help your body glow like never before!