“Health and cheerfulness naturally beget each other.” ~Joseph Addison, English politician and Writer
As per this saying if you take care of one, the other will come to you naturally. So, in this blog let’s focus on creating a healthier you, which is happier too for the sheer joy of living fully. According to World Health Organization (WHO), “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” In India, lately there has been a great shift in health problems from communicable disease (malaria, TB, diarrhea) to chronic lifestyle diseases like hypertension, mental illness, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, etc due to unhealthy eating and lifestyle habits. Nowadays, with the rising cost of health care there is an urgent need for adopting cost-effective interventions i.e. healthier eating and lifestyle habits to prevent or even reverse these chronic diseases.
As the common saying goes, “You are what you eat” means the food you eat is inextricably linked to how you look, feel and perform. However, busy lifestyle of modern times has made food choices become more dependent on taste and convenience rather than on its effect on health. This is the reason why, nowadays people often feel exhausted and out of balance. In the long run, this imbalance has also led to the unprecedented rise in chronic diseases.
You need healthy food but how to decide whether the food you are eating is healthy or not? Here is one way of looking at it.
1) Good for your health: A healthy food is the one that provides nourishment to your body and smoothens the body functions, both internal and external. Good food also builds your body’s immunity to resist diseases. Also, healthy food nourishes your emotional, mental and spiritual self.
To maintain optimal health and performance, it is not only important to choose the food that meets your body’s specific requirements, but it is also important to build and maintain an overall healthy relationship with your food, including the timing. The erratic eating habits and poor food choices can easily weaken your system and leave you feeling depressed and anxious.
2) Good for your environment: The food you eat significantly effects your outer body, the environment i.e. planet earth where you live, water you drink and air you breathe. Your collective eating habits, food choices and wastage of food done at each step of the food chain determine the health of your environment. So, healthy food is food, which besides providing absolute nourishment to your body, is also good for the health of your environment.
Now, keeping aside the environment angle, we can look at healthy food in a different way also:
1) Healthy Ingredients: Healthy eating is best achieved with foods that are loaded with more antioxidants, more essential nutrients i.e. vitamins, minerals, fiber and less damaging fat. Ingredients are building blocks of the food and your body; choosing them wisely is very important for good health.
2) Healthy Preparation: Cooking techniques can help enhance or deteriorate the nutritional quality of your food. So, after choosing the right ingredients make sure that your food is prepared using healthy cooking techniques i.e. steaming, baking, dry roasting.
Research shows a plant-based diet that is prepared using healthy cooking techniques is the healthiest. Further you can enhance the food quality with whole, organic, seasonal and local food ingredients. Stay tuned for our next blog for more on this 🙂
Choose Healthy to Live Healthy… After all, controlling what you eat is much easier than controlling how much you eat!!
If you have any question on health, nutrition etc. feel free to write to me at [email protected]
– Deeksha Sharma
Nutritionist, Carrots Healthfood Restaurant