Why your genes need traditional food
In healthy eating, nutrition plays an important role and it is the branch of science in which we study nutrients in food, how our body uses these nutrients, and the relationship between health, diet, and diseases. A nutritionist by using the knowledge of biology, biochemistry, and genetics tells how nutrients affect on the human body. Nutrition includes absorption, assimilation, biosynthesis, catabolism, and excretion. Essential nutrients consist of carbohydrates, fats, minerals, vitamins, and electrolytes. 85 percent of our daily energy requirements are fulfilled from fats and carbohydrates and 15 percent of daily energy needs are fulfilled from proteins.
The seven major classes of nutrients are carbohydrates, fats, proteins, minerals, fiber, vitamins, and water Nutrients can be divided into two major classes one is Micronutrients and the second is Macronutrients. Micronutrients are those that are required by our body in trace amounts such as lipids etc. Macronutrients are those that are required by our body in larger amounts such as carbohydrates etc.
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The nutrients deficiency in our body can cause many diseases such as scurvy, blindness, osteoporosis, etc. The excess amount of many nutrients in our body leads to many diseases such as obesity, cardiovascular diseases, metabolic syndrome, etc. Malnutrition leads to many diseases such as marasmus and kwashiorkor.
Diseases and conditions influenced by Nutrition
Most of the health conditions are caused or affected by food and nutrition. Few of them are directly caused by food such as food poisoning or bacterial infections. Some persons have severe allergies to foods such as peanuts, shellfish, and wheat.
Diabetes can be caused by the quantity or quality of certain food that we eat. Diabetes is a condition in which the body becomes unable to regulate blood sugar levels. You should monitor carbohydrate intake if you have diabetes mellitus. Otherwise, the sugar level can be increased up to a dangerous level.
Other diseases affected by not eating healthy food and nutrition:
Osteoporosis: Caused by low calcium and low vitamin D intake. Excessive intake of fat can result in fragile bones.
Certain cancers: Caused by poor diet and obesity that leads to breast, colon, and kidney cancer.
Heart diseases: Intake of fatty acids in higher amounts leads to plaque in arteries.
Hypertension: Consumption of more salts results in high blood pressure.
In specific diseases, we should eat specific foods. Certain supplements can help us in the maintenance of our health. Patients suffering from cancer need a specific diet to maintain their stamina.
Eating foods rich in protein may help us in long term survival. What we eat can help us to reduce many health risks. A recent study proved that if you have gout then eating an adequate amount of cherries can reveal us from a gout attack. Garlic is an effective medicine against certain bacteria and fungi.
Honey has many anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. Eating apples inadequate amount can prevent us from colorectal cancer. Drinking water instead of soda and juices can prevent us from overweight and overall resistance to diseases.
Importance of nutrition
Nutrition is very important in our life. Our life exists on it. The most popular saying is ‘you are what you eat’. A healthy diet consists of all the nutrients that our body needs. As we know, food acts as fuel in our body.
Energy giving foods
Carbohydrates and fats provide us energy. Our body uses this energy to do various voluntary and involuntary actions.
Our muscles, organs, and bones are built up by the amount of protein we consume daily. Minerals such as phosphorus and iron affect the formation of blood and skeletal tissues.
Vitamins and minerals are essential for protecting the body against many diseases.
Water is necessary for the regulation of many body functions such as digestion, excretion, maintenance of the body temperature, and the electrolytes balance. Roughage helps normal body movements.
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Important nutrients required by our body are
- Vitamins and minerals
What to eat and what to not?
It is very essential for us to know what we should have to eat and what to avoid. Our plate should be consisting of all the nutrients that we should eat in a proper manner. As mentioned earlier, fats, proteins, minerals are essential components for our body.
Foods that are rich in carbohydrates are as following
Cereals like wheat, maize, jawar, brown rice, ragi, biscuits, noodles, white flour, pasta, etc.
Fats and oils
Butter, vanaspati ghee, cooking oil
Milk and milk products like cheese, yogurt, curd, buttermilk.
Pulses and legumes, soya bean, grams, groundnuts, and other nuts and seeds.
Meat fish, chicken, eggs, mutton.
Vitamins and minerals rich foods
Foods that are abundant in vitamins and minerals are:
Whole milk and milk products.
Colored fruits and vegetables like mangoes, papaya, carrots, etc.
Pulses, Almonds, Bengal grams, Rice flakes, Sprouted pulses.
Healthy Eating pyramid
The food pyramid is a simple guide to various foods that we eat in our daily life. Food pyramid emphasis various plant foods such as pulses beans and various animal foods such as butter ghee etc in our daily diet. Furthermore, our food should contain nutrient-dense foods in smaller amounts such as fats, oils, etc. The shape of the pyramid is according to the type of food we eat. The pyramid should contain a balanced and healthy diet.
The food pyramid suggests a healthy diet for vegetarians; a vitamin B12 supplement is suggested for vegetarians.
Glycemic index and glycemic load
Our daily energy intake is about 55 % is obtained from carbohydrates. The quantity and quality of these carbohydrates are important in blood sugar levels and appetite control. When we eat carbohydrates our pancreas secret insulin to break the carbohydrates down into their building blocks
Insulin helps to lower blood glucose levels. When the amount of glucose in our body is low then our brain sends signals and we feel hungry.
Even different foods have the same amount of glucose but their effect may be different. This leads to the concept of glycemic index and glycemic load. A recent study found that blood glucose response to carbohydrate foods is independent of the amount of carbohydrate they contain. The glycemic effect of foods varies when we cooked them. Foods having low GI (glycemic index) and GL (glycemic load) are associated with health advantages such as lower blood sugar levels.
Please consult a doctor or dietitian before you make any dietary changes based on this article.