How long we live and how happy we are while living all depends on Nutrition. We are what we eat, because what we eat can either heal us or make us sick. Remember that famous quote by Hippocrates the father of modern medicine; he said “let food be thy medicine and medicine thy food”. Another famous quote says “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”.
Every second, our body creates new cells, repairs old and worn out cells and tissues and science has confirmed that every 90 days the body renews itself. What do you think the raw material used for all these processes are? They are nothing but what you eat.
And that is why what you eat can either make you or break you; it can either heal you or kill you. You are what you eat. You decide the type of body you have by what you eat. This is where nutrition plays a major role in our lives and determines our fate and destiny.
Eating a well-balanced diet every day is very vital for good health and well-being; it helps one in achieving optimal health throughout life. The function of food goes beyond just relieving hunger, it provides the body with energy, vital nutrients without which the body cannot function properly, helps normal growth and development and helps the body in fighting off diseases and infections.
For one to be sure of a balanced diet, they need to eat a wide variety of foods; they must belong to the three main classes of foods which are Carbohydrates, Proteins, Vitamins and Minerals (the most neglected and overlooked classes of food but they are very important, severe deficiency in any vitamin and mineral can lead to death), fat and oil and water.
When one makes it a habit to eat all these foods in the right proportions, the benefits they bestow the body are:
- They reduce the rate of chronic diseases like stroke, heart attack, heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis and diabetes.
- They increase the energy level of the body.
- They help one recover from illnesses faster and they strengthen the immune system.
- They improve total well-being.
- They reduce cholesterol and high blood pressure
- They help to control moods and emotions and thereby help us relate well with others because a healthy body is equal to a healthy mind
- They prevent malnutrition which is the leading cause of deaths and sicknesses worldwide.
- They help cut down expenses because being unhealthy is very expensive, imagine being on a pill for the rest of your life or going for regular treatment e.g. Chemotherapy.
- It helps one maintain a healthy weight because all these processed foods with unnatural additives are the main cause of weight gain and obesity.
- They delay the process of Aging and increase focus, attention span and concentration.
- They increase lifespan
These are just a few benefits of a healthy diet.
To live healthy; avoid these foods:
These foods are scam; they have no nutrients and that is why they are commonly called “empty calorie foods”. They offer nothing to the body, rather they cause more harm than good. Example, processed white flour has been stripped of all its nutrients and fibers and frequent eating of foods made with processed white flour raises the risk of colon cancer and other diseases it causes due to deficiencies.
Sugar feeds cancer cells and weakens the immune system; in fact after taking a can of soft drink the immune system will be weak for five hours, that will make the body susceptible to germs and infections because the immune system will not be able to defend the body at that time. It also raises the risk of diabetes and obesity. Note that sugar comes in many names like mono sodium glutamate, high fructose corn syrup, sucrose etc. Raw honey is a good natural replacement for refined white sugar, it has no side effects and it offers therapeutic benefits to the body.
Food additives, sweeteners and colourings:
These are artificial substances that are added to foods to enhance its taste, colour and physical appearance. When they enter the body, they cause all kinds of problems because they interfere with biochemical functions even at the molecular level. They cause dis-balanced hormones, cause ADHD in kids (Attention deficit hyperactive disorder) and other health problems they cause.
There have been many controversies surrounding genetically modified organisms ever since it became approved; some supports it because of crop resistance to diseases, increase crop yield, resistant species of animals and increased productivity; and so on but many argue that the long term side effects of all these drug and hormone laden fruits and animals have not yet been known. This has been backed by research recently; there have been an increase in early menstruation and early menopause in young girls and women. Now a six year old girl can be seen menstruating and women in their thirties have started seeing signs of menopause.
This has been linked by several studies to the consumption of GMO crops and animals. The drugs and hormones that are injected into these crops and also feed to the animals affect people who eat them and have the same effect on humans as it have on animals and crops. Even recently anti-biotic resistance to infections in humans has been linked to consumption of GMO crops and animals. GMO foods have also been linked to increase rate of cancer in the society. This is why I advocate for local species of crops and animals; let us eat it the way mother nature gave us. Man is not wiser than nature, science can’t neat nature, and nature always wins. Eat organic, non-GMO fruits, vegetables, foods and meat for good health.
Nothing destroys your liver and ages quickly than Alcohol; excessive drinking leads one to an early grave. Hundreds of thousands of people die yearly due to alcohol poisoning and other alcohol related diseases. Slowly cut down on Alcohol till you can avoid it totally, then regularly take lots of fruit juices, herbal teas, smoothies and clean drinking water. They will help heal and repair your body from all the damages caused by alcohol. Also don’t smoke, the effect is even written on your cigarette pack.
What about cheating?
I am not saying it is possible to avoid all these foods especially white flour products like cakes, doughnuts, egg roll etc. and soft drinks. I cheat too in fact I took a doughnut yesterday but I don’t make these junks my main meal.
The acceptable cheat rule is 80-20. 80% of healthy organic foods, fruits, vegies and; water and 20% of all the junks you want to eat. Junk foods should not also be taken regularly, they are ok to be taken when you have no time to cook or no access to cook foods or you are in an occasion or with friends but when it comes to your health matters you should learn to say no at times. Your friends should know what you like and what you don’t like and your stance on healthy food.