There is an Ayurveda proverb which says, “When diet is
wrong, medicine is of no use. When diet is correct, medicine is of no need.” It
simply means that eating right food can help you avoid a string of diseases
caused by unhealthy food and eating habits. It is very important to keep a
check on what is consumed and how much of it is actually spent. Due to changing
lifestyles many people are adopting sedentary habits that are leading to a
range of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) like blood pressure, heart problems,
cancer, stroke, etc. Devoid of nutritious food and lack of or almost no
physical activity is also one of the reasons for risks that are being
associated with not following healthy diet.
Proper and healthy diet starts from the time of
breastfeeding up to adulthood. Early years of healthy diet improves cognitive
development, reduces risk of NCDs, obesity and other lifestyle related issues.
What we eat should be balanced with what we spend. Eating right proportion at
right times is paramount to good health free of diseases. It would be wise to
say that what you eat is what you become. This is why pregnant mothers are
advised to be very careful of what they are putting in their body as it
directly reaches the child within. Alcohol and smoking and other types of
intoxication is forbidden. This should be followed by all not just when they
are with and around children, but also throughout life in order to have a
disease free healthy body.
What is a healthy diet?
A wholesome diet consists food that is free of artificial
preservatives, less saturated fats, reduced intake of free sugars, consuming
unprocessed foods, reducing salt intake, avoiding pesticide laden vegetables
and fruits. This can largely be considered as a healthy diet with few
considerations. Eating locally grown foods, preferring seasonal fruits and
vegetables, going organic way with crops grown using natural means are one way
to maximize the health benefits of a proper diet.
Maintaining proper diet is not a luxury but a necessity:
Food habits should be native to the land we live as our
bodies will be accustomed to a system that would have been passed on to us
through our ancestors. This helps in reducing unavoidable diseases and the
cause of it when we fall sick. Diet rich in calcium, vitamin, minerals,
carbohydrates, proteins, fats, iron, zinc, potassium and other essential
nutrients is a basic necessity to lead a disease free life. When we talk about
healthy food, it does not mean to replace the entire menu. It just the
preference of fresh, organic, natural, unprocessed and locally grown food over
packaged, processed, artificial flavored food laced with preservatives. Healthy
diet is not only about eating habits but is something that contributes to the
overall wellbeing of a human. This could mean that along with healthy eating
habits, one should take care of their personal and community hygiene, maintain
an active lifestyle by indulging in some form or the other physical activity be
it exercising, practicing yoga, going for a walk, workout in a gym, sweating
out in the field,or any activity that keeps you fit physically and mentally.
Good sleep, adequate amount of rest, relaxation are also
part of a healthy diet which cannot be ignored. Sound sleep ensures that the
food gets digested properly; organs get time to repair themselves, boost memory
power and refreshed for the next day’s grind.
I am sure it would not be that difficult to work on our diet when we know that wealth without health is nothing but life without a soul. ‘One must eat to live, not live to eat’ sums up everything about food. Focusing on what to eat makes a lot of difference to our food on the table.
Before going to work out excessively at the gym or buying
those very expensive supplements online, why not take a look at what your body
is ingesting in the form of food? You can also hire a well known nutritionist
or consult a doctor about your diet plan. However, the message is clear, what
you in take throughout the day should be better and fresher and your body will
respond accordingly. Fresh, healthy vegetarian food is the elixir of life. It
is the prana energy force, the chi that keeps your body, mind and soul going,
despite the ongoing curve balls that the world throws at us.