National Nutrition Week: The 7 Building Blocks of A Healthy Diet
National Nutrition Week is celebrated from 1st September to 7th September to raise awareness about the importance of consuming a nutritious and balanced diet for a healthy lifestyle. Growing up, we were made aware of the importance of including milk in our diet as it is good for children. However, is it absolutely "necessary" for adults to drink milk daily? As our physiology changes, its requirements evolve too. Failing to provide the right nourishment can lead to a deficiency of the nutrient, causing different ailments. As a result, it's important to plan your diet so that you're getting all the nutrients you need in a balanced way.
In an effort to raise awareness about the topic, Mihira Khopkar, a sports nutritionist at Sir H.N. Reliance Foundation Hospital, provided us with a few suggestions. These tips cover a range of topics and help build a healthy nutrition plan.
The following are a few things to consider when planning your diet:
1. Energy Balance is key for good Menstrual Health
- Energy balance also contributes to good bone health.
- To maintain your energy balance, keep your calorie intake equal to your energy output and ensure adequate energy for training as well as to maintain health.
2. Carbs are not bad!
- Good carbs are not bad so add millets, unpolished rice, sweet potato, roots, and fruits like bananas to your diet.
- They are a great source of continuous, slow-supply fibre, and plenty of vitamins and minerals.
3. Get those gains!
- A simple secret to gain lean muscle mass is ensuring 0.3-0.4 g/kg body weight/day of proteins in every meal!
- To get these proteins, go for complete sources such as eggs, poultry, fish, dairy products.
4. Healthy fats over junk!
- Avoid fats that come from highly processed junk items like burgers and pizzas, as they are rich in inflammatory trans fat.
- Choose anti-inflammatory fats which can be found in avocados, olive oil, and assorted nuts and seeds.
5. Soak in that Vitamin D!
- Most of us are deficient in vitamins and minerals, so an easy way to boost health is to soak in sunlight for Vitamin D.
- To boost recovery and repair, eat rainbow-coloured fruits and vegetables that are rich in Vitamins A & C.
6. Boost your energy levels!
- If you are chronically feeling low and tired, include iron-rich food in your diet like organ meat, green leafy vegetables, and dates.
- You can also boost energy levels by adding B Complex-rich food like millets and groundnuts to your diet!
7. Stay hydrated!
- 70% of your body is made up of water, so low levels of hydration can often hinder physical performance.
- Check your urine colour throughout the day to know your hydration levels. Also, make it a habit to check your weight pre and post-training. Drink immediately when thirsty.
While these tips are focused toward athletes, they are equally beneficial for anybody who wants to improve their lifestyle by adding the right nutrients to their plate. It takes 21 days to build a habit, and following these 7 tips will be a great start towards cultivating a healthy lifestyle. So, when are you going to start?
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