Let us start this New Year on a note of being aware and staying healthy.
“Health through awareness” is yet another series of articles that we start today. It is a series of articles that will you escort you in making conscious decisions based on logical understandings.
First and foremost, the prerequisite to staying HEALTHY is AWARENESS. It is essential to be aware of the choices we make when it comes to the foods that we eat. Here, I recall the words of Abraham Lincoln. He had once said, “Let the people know the facts and the country will be safe“.
Well, the same holds true about the information on nutritional content of the food that we eat. Our prime responsibility is to be aware of not only the calorie content of the food that we eat, but we should have a clear understanding of the nutritional aspect as well as the food combinations that are a must for optimum health. Then and only then can we make conscious decisions.
In the coming weeks, we will present a whole new perspective on different nutrients and their combinations which are essential for a healthy lifestyle.
To give you an idea what lies ahead, let us talk a bit about NUTRIENTS and their functions.
- Nutrients are components in foods required by an organism for survival and growth.
Different Nutrients fulfill different bodily functions. Some are required for energy and growth, and some for protective functions.
A balanced diet has all the nutrients required by the body, in the right amounts to keep you healthy.
Proper proportions of seven nutrients: carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals, fibre and water are necessary to support good health at all stages of the life cycle.
Some nutrients are required in large amounts. They are known as MACRONUTRIENTS.
Macronutrients provide the bulk energy for an organism’s metabolic system to act in the form of calories. There are three macronutrients : carbohydrates (sugar), lipids (fats), and proteins.
- Carbohydrates serve as a primary energy source in the diet and provide 4 calories per gram of carbohydrate.
Proteins are the building blocks of body tissue, and can also serve as a fuel source. As a fuel, proteins contain 4 kcal per gram, just like carbohydrates.
The main function of fats in the body is to give energy. Fats on oxidation provide almost twice as much energy as that given by carbohydrates and proteins. Fats offer 9 calories per gram of carbohydrate.
By supplying energy, fats save proteins from being used for energy. This is known as the Protein Sparing action of fats. The Protein Sparing action of fats allow the proteins to do their more important role of building and repairing tissues. The same applies to carbohydrates.
Thus, the amounts of carbohydrates and fats in our diets regulates the utilization of protein for its vital functions.
There are two nutrients which are required in small amounts. They are known as MICRONUTRIENTS.
Vitamins and minerals are the two micronutrients.
Although our bodies require micronutrients in small amounts, they are vital to development, disease prevention, and wellbeing.
Micronutrients have antioxidant properties.
We have yet another class of nutrients called the ZERO CALORIE NUTRIENTS.
- Water and fibre qualifies as zero calories nutrients.
Both are essential nutrients required by the body.
Dietary fibre is essential to keep the digestive system healthy.
Water is essential to life. It not only regulates the body temperature but helps to flush out removes toxins from our body.
We will be discussing the importance of each of these seven nutrients at length. I leave you to ponder upon the importance of Health and its priority as you set your New Year Resolutions. Maintaining a healthy Lifestyle is NO BIG DEAL if you only care to make these – Two neuro connections that I share with you.
With confidence and will power, go on take the biggest decision of your life TODAY. As you take your first step into 2015, take a pledge to work towards a Healthier YOU. Follow these TWO very important neuron connections that will pave your way towards healthy living.
1. AWARENESS IS THE KEY TO GOOD HEALTH.
2. CHOICES HAVE CONSEQUENCES.
Be Aware & Stay Healthy
Make the Right Choice