Health is that condition of the body and mind, in which one is able to work to one’s maximum potential. It has been well established in the past, that a healthy body can be preserved for a very long time and ageing can be delayed, provided certain best practices are followed.
There are a few simple food and exercise-related aspects of staying fit, which, if incorporated in one’s daily routine, can give one maximum inner satisfaction and utmost happiness. The kind of nutrition the body is subjected to, is very important and diet-related change, coupled with exercise, meditation, and yoga form an appropriate package to attain complete physical and mental wellness.
► Consume 1 to 2 glasses of water early in the morning before brushing your teeth. Bed tea or coffee should not be taken on an empty stomach. Tea and coffee have caffeine, and also tend to dehydrate the cells. Early in the morning, the body craves for glucose and energy. Supplying food in the form of a fruit, hot milk, nuts, etc., is the right way to start the day.
► Consuming broken wheat porridge, oats, multigrain bread or chappatis, with skimmed milk, skimmed curds, or sprouts and a fruit, form a healthy breakfast option.
► A plate of fruits or vegetable salad can be consumed an hour before a meal, or with the meal.
► A proper lunch should always consist of a balanced diet. Many think that for food to be tasty, it should be overcooked. Taste lies in the quality and lightness of the food, not in its quantity or the amount of fats added to it.
► Curds and yoghurt should be judiciously opted for, as they are probiotic and are healthy for the digestive system.
► One must try to consume 100g to 150g of green leafy vegetables such as fenugreek leaves, spinach, radish leaves, mustard leaves, mint, cauliflower leaves, and coriander leaves, as they are rich in calcium, carotenoids and iron. They can be eaten as a vegetable, in salads or had as a green juice.
► Yellow, orange fruits and vegetables like carrots, tomatoes, and papaya should be freely eaten as salads, vegetables, soups, or juices. They are a storehouse of B-carotene, which helps to build immunity.
► Amla (Gooseberries) and oranges contain a whole lot of vitamin C. Amla in any form should be compulsorily consumed (whole, preserved, or juice). Oranges, in the form of orange juice is also a good source of vitamin C, which is one of the most potent antioxidants.
► One should preferably avoid non-vegetarian foods and saturated fats as they contain high amounts of cholesterol which predispose us towards heart ailments. Also, naturopathy states that non-vegetarian foods cause the body to ‘heat up’ and the mind to become aggressive. One should opt to be a vegetarian. Light, ‘satvik’ food keeps the mind and body light and agile. However, if it’s not possible to eliminate non-vegetarian foods and saturated fats, the quantity should be substantially reduced.
► We have all heard the saying, ‘Have breakfast like a king and dinner like a pauper.’ Dinner should be the lightest meal of the day. It should be had at least two hours before retiring to bed. Out of the total requirement of 1500 calories per day, supper should not consist of more than 300 to 350 calories.
► Overeating or eating very large quantities at a time is harmful. One must try and divide meals into small portions.
► An excellent fiber and water intake is most essential for a healthy digestive system. The gastrointestinal tract must be kept healthy on a regular basis as almost all disease conditions originate here. Any abuse of the digestive system can lead to frequent headaches, constipation, flatulence, and lethargy, thus reducing work efficiency. Problems of the digestive system also lead to acidity and weight gain.
► It is important to drink water, lime juice, buttermilk, fresh juice, vegetable soups, and dal soups throughout the day. Fiber in the form of bran, oats, vegetables, leafy vegetables, fruits (apple, guava, papaya, pear, figs), broken wheat, unpolished rice, whole pulses, wheat grass juice, aloe vera juice should also be consumed.
For a healthy and less stressful life, it is absolutely necessary to follow a proper diet plan accompanied by exercises, adequate sleep, relaxation, and regular healthy habits.