Good Health Guide
Health is not just mere absence of diseases but a state of physical, mental, social, spiritual and financial well being of the person. Fitness is the key to healthy and happy world. Proper nutrition along with exercise helps in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. By taking steps toward healthy living, you can help reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke and other serious diseases. Some of the mantras of leading healthy and happy life are as follows:
A balanced diet is one that helps to maintain or improve the health. It helps an individual to develop immunity for many chronic diseases such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Healthy diet regime involves consuming appropriate amounts all of the food groups, including an adequate amount of water. Following is nutritional chart that comprises of important constituents of a balanced diet.
Carbohydrate is the body’s preferred source of energy. All your organs (including your heart, lungs, brain and digestive system) need a constant supply of energy to work properly. Complex carbohydrates include legumes, grains, and starchy vegetables such as potatoes, peas, and corn. Simple carbohydrates, also called sugars, are found mainly in fruits, and milk, as well as in foods made with sugar, such as candy, and other sweets.
Recommendation : Get 45% to 65% of your daily calories — at least 130 grams a day — from carbohydrates. Prefer complex carbohydrates, especially from whole grains and beans, and nutrient-rich fruits, and milk. Limit sugars from candy, and other sweets.
Cholesterol is an integral part of each cell in the body. It is important for proper functioning of the body. Cholesterol is the main substance in fatty deposits (plaques) that can develop in the arteries. Your body makes all of the cholesterol it needs. Some of the foods that are rich source of cholesterol includes animal foods, such as meat, egg yolk, dairy products and butter.
Recommendation: Limit your intake of cholesterol to no more than 300 milligrams a day..
Fat is the nutrient that is important source of calories. It maintains the structure, and function of cell membranes, and preserves the integrity of your immune system. One gram of fat supplies 9 calories – more than twice, what we get from carbohydrates or protein. Hence, the consumption fat should be limited.
Recommendation : Limit fats to 20% to 35% of your daily calories. Emphasize fats from healthier sources, such as nuts and olive, canola and peanut oils.
Saturated fats are only the fatty acid that raises the cholesterol level in the blood. Fats are found in meats and whole dairy products like milk, cheese, cream and ice cream. Some saturated fats are also found in plant foods like tropical oils (coconut or palm kernel oil).
Recommendation : Limit the intake of saturated fats to no more than 10% of your total calories. For most women, this means no more than 20 grams a day, and for most men this means no more than 24 grams a day.
Fibers help to keep your digestive system healthy and control your cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Fibers are of basically two types: Soluble and Insoluble. Insoluble fibers add bulk to stool, preventing constipation. Vegetables, wheat bran, and other whole grains are good sources of insoluble fibers. Soluble fibers help to improve cholesterol, and blood sugar levels. Oats, dried beans, and some fruits, such as apples and oranges, are good sources of soluble fibers.
Recommendation: 21 to 25 grams of fibers a day for women & 30 to 38 grams of fibers a day for men.
Protein is a major source of energy that is essential for the growth and repair of all tissues in your body. Proteins are found abundantly in many green vegetables, and food from animal sources as well. Legumes, poultry, seafood, meat, dairy products, nuts, and seeds are richest sources of protein
Recommendation: Between 10% and 35% of your total daily calories — at least 46 grams a day for women and 56 grams a day for men.
Vitamins & Minerals
Vitamins & Minerals are essential for normal growth, function, and health. Not getting enough Vitamins or minerals can lead to illness, but getting too much can cause toxic reactions.
There are many different Vitamins and minerals which all have important functions in your body. For example, Iron is needed to transport oxygen in your blood, Calcium and Vitamin D are essential for healthy bones, Vitamin C is important for wound healing, and Vitamin A is important for healthy eyes.
One of the main causes of lifestyle related diseases is lack of activity. Having regular exercise is a great way to increase the mobility of the body and improve overall health. It increases the flexibility and endurance of the body by increasing resistance power and circulation of the blood. Children, teens, adults, and the elderly—all can improve their health and well-being by just few exercises or activities in their daily routine.
Health benefits of regular exercise
• Increases physical fitness.
• Helps build and maintain healthy bones, muscles, and joints.
• Builds endurance and muscular strength.
• Helps manage weight.
• Lowers risk factors for cardiovascular disease, colon cancer, and type 2 diabetes.
• Helps control blood pressure.
• Promotes psychological well-being and self-esteem.
• Reduces feelings of depression and anxiety.
Healthy exercise routine
• Engage in at least 30 minutes (adults) or 60 minutes (children) of moderate physical activity daily.
• Maintain or increase physical activity if you are already active.
• Stay active throughout your life.
• Choose physical activities that fit in with your daily routine, or choose recreational or structured exercise programs.
• Always consult your health care provider before starting a new vigorous physical activity plan.
Improve mental health
The body and mind are connected and emotions play a big part in determining one’s health status. Stress and its negative effect on the immune system remains the major challenge to good health. A healthy lifestyle includes regular exercise that can help you to handle daily stresses, giving you an outlet to release tension. It potentially provides a social outlet, reduce cortisol levels and raise endorphin levels, and more. Some of the tips to improve mental health are as follows:
• Build Confidence by identify your strength and weaknesses together, accept them, build on them and do the best with what you have.
• Involve yourself in community. It gives a sense of purpose and satisfaction.
• Give and accept support to family and friends.
• Accept compliments.
• Learn how to manage stress in every situation.
• Get to know who you are, what makes you really happy and learn to balance what you cannot change about yourselves.