11 Dec. 2020

Nutrition: Pillar of growth

When we talk about health, we often understand it as the absence of disease or sickness. While this definition is valid, there is a need for a comprehensive approach to health that focuses on overall well-being.

We need to assess health and wellness considering a wider spectrum that is dependent on various pillars such as:

Therefore, health & wellness depends on more factors than simply avoiding the fever each year. It is important to note that all these aspects are interconnected and overlapping in nature.

One of the most important pillars that we can actively work upon is Nutrition. We need to learn how it connects, balances and nourishes our system as a whole. Hippocrates has said, "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food,". In essence food can act like medicine for the body, mind and spirit.

Have you realised? When hunger strikes, it's much easier to open a can, unwrap a delivery package or open a lid than it is to actually prepare a fresh meal. But the cost of convenience is not so much on your pocket and time as it is on second Brain (gut is second Brain). If you abuse your 2nd brain with inappropriate food it may it would lead to lifestyle diseases such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, cancer etc.

Hence remember the link to your health and what you eat shapes your 2nd brain affects your body and Brain.

Our Indian system of Ayurveda also asserts special emphasis on "Ahara" (diet) and "Anna" (food) as a means to good life, health and wellness. Ayurveda states that healthy and wholesome food nourishes the mind, body and soul.

Nutrition for Physical Health

Healthy food provides your Body and Brain 's cells with the nutrients they require to perform their functions efficiently. Without nutritional food, metabolic processes slow down dramatically, and your physical and Brain health health declines. Healthy food also helps to protect the body against diseases, such as heart disease, type II diabetes and cancer.

The USFDA recommends that during meals:

● We fill half of our plates with fruits and vegetables. The other half should be dedicated to mostly grains, along with a modest portion of protein and a side of dairy.

● Diversifying our plate with appropriate amounts of each food group will help you acquire the necessary macronutrients for day-to-day energy, muscle growth and recovery, and other bodily processes.

Nutrition & Brain Health:

A lack of certain vitamins and minerals and gut bacteria, such as vitamin B12, calcium and iron etc, is very important for mental well-being.

Also, it has long been suspected that the relative abundance of specific nutrients can affect cognitive processes such as Omega 3.

Important Nutrients & Food Sources for cognitive and emotional health

Source: Brain foods: the effects of nutrients on brain function

(Gómez-Pinilla, 2008) :

Nutrients Food sources
Omega 3 fatty acid Fish (salmon), flax seeds, krill, chia, kiwi fruit, butternuts, walnuts
Curcumin Turmeric (curry spice)
Flavonoids Cocoa, green tea, Ginkgo tree, citrus fruits, wine (higher in red wine), dark chocolate
Saturated fat Butter, ghee, suet, lard, coconut oil, cottonseed oil, palm kernel oil, dairy products (cream, cheese), meat
B vitamins Various natural sources. Vitamin B12 is not available from plant products.
Vitamin D Fish liver, fatty fish, mushrooms, fortified products, milk, soy milk, cereal grains
Vitamin E Asparagus, avocado, nuts, peanuts, olives, red palm oil, seeds, spinach, vegetable oils, wheatgerm
Choline Egg yolks, soy beef, chicken, veal, turkey liver, lettuce
Combination of vitamins (C, E, carotene) Vitamin C: citrus fruits, several plants and vegetables, calf and beef liver.
Vitamin E: see above
Calcium, zinc, selenium Calcium: milk, coral. Zinc: oysters, a small amount in beans, nuts, almonds, whole grains, sunflower seeds. Selenium: nuts, cereals, meat, fish, eggs
Copper Oysters, beef/lamb liver, Brazil nuts, blackstrap molasses, cocoa, black pepper
Iron Red meat, fish, poultry, lentils, beans

We recommends:

• We should start paying attention to how eating different foods makes us feel — not just in the moment, but the next day.

• Try eating a “clean” diet for two to three weeks — that means cutting out all processed foods and sugar and experience how you feel.

So we need to schedule and customize our food intake for wholesome health and happiness !!