Along with exercise, food and nutrition comprise the building blocks of a healthy lifestyle. However, due to the constant media pressure on aesthetics and appearances, a healthy diet is often replaced by a diet that simply prevents weight gain. On the other side of the coin, there’s also a culture of excess: over-consumption of delicious but unhealthy dishes, one that’s made even more convenient by the popularity and prevalence of fast-food restaurants.
Ultimately, eating whatever one wants and consuming only to remove the pangs of hunger will lead to disrepair and unhealthy life. Our body requires a certain set of nutrients to survive, and not all of them are present in food that’s normally available. Vitamin C and protein are commonly touted for boosting the immune system and developing muscles, however, there’s a whole slew of other nutrients that our bodies badly need. Here’s a quick list of commonly overlooked nutrients and where to get them.
Indigestion is a common problem that persists in the general population, and while the reason is often varied, most of it can be attributed to a lack of fiber in our diets. It also helps manage your cholesterol and blood sugar, while providing a high satiety level to keep you from feeling hungry.
Food containing fiber: oatmeal, cereals, wholegrain bread, melon, broccoli, pulse
Throughout our youth, we’re taught to drink milk as it helps facilitate strong bones. However, some people stop drinking milk as they age, either due to lactose intolerance or simply the aversion to a milky taste. Fortunately, there are other sources of calcium that one can take.
Food containing calcium: milk, yogurt, cheese, and nuts, leafy greens, and hard cheese for those who are lactose intolerant.
Crucial for regulating the fluids within our body, potassium is another nutrient that we need to take more of- especially for athletes with high muscle engagement. It also helps in transporting nutrients throughout the body and keeps the heartbeat regular.
Food containing potassium: bananas, spinach, potatoes, peas, cucumbers
Studies have shown that Vitamin K plays a significant part in helping the body absorb other nutrients, like calcium. It also aids in the coagulation and clotting of the blood, often associated with a lesser chance of heart disease and similar cardiovascular problems.
Food containing Vitamin K: spinach, collards, kale, turnip, parsley
Popular among fitness circles for their anti-inflammatory properties, Omega-3 fatty acids do a lot in keeping the heart healthy and free from diseases. It decreases the number of triglycerides, often called blood fats. It also helps in keeping the arteries flowing, as it prevents the development of plaque in our system.
Food containing Omega-3: salmon, tuna, sardines, flaxseed, walnut, soybean oil
Interestingly enough, many dietitians and nutritionists count oxygen as an essential nutrient. After all, it’s a basic requirement for living. Every creature on land requires oxygen to survive, and yet it’s not often included in our dietary needs. One can assume that it’s because we simply get our oxygen to require in the air we breathe, but that doesn’t mean we can’t facilitate better ways to breathe better.
Getting fresh air is important, thus making sure that your domicile has optimal airflow is crucial. Drinking water also aids in oxygenating the body, as well as keeping the lungs hydrated. Exercise also helps in promoting better breathing.
A Well-Rounded Diet is the Safest Way to Go
Posters about a well-rounded diet litter hospitals, facilities for assisted living, nursing homes, or any place that espouses health and wellness for good reason: variety is the only guarantee to a well-balanced diet. But maintaining your nutritional requirements and eating a diverse range of food is easier said than done. Here’s how to promote a more varied diet in your life.
Colorful meals: One simple and visual way to make sure you’re consuming food with various kinds of nutrients is by looking at its colors. “Eating the colors of a rainbow” is a simple yet efficient adage to go by, as different kinds of fruits and vegetables with different pigmentation are more likely to have different kinds of vitamins and nutrients.
Be Conscious about Ingredients: Making an effort to be aware of the nutritional contents of food and ingredients you consume goes a long way in making sure you consume a diverse set of nutrients and vitamins. You can simply check the nutritional label of most food, or search it on the internet, especially for ingredients that don’t come with a label.
Try Uncommon Fruits and Vegetables: Variety is the spice of life, and this can be taken quite literally when it comes to food. Trying different fruits and vegetables from different countries won’t hurt, and they introduce a new taste you might enjoy.