In 2020, India is still struggling with issues like malnutrition, stunting, under-nutrition, anemia, and low birth weight in newborns. On top of it is the rise in lifestyle disorders like diabetes, hypertension, stress, heart attacks, etc. So, what as a nation or humans are we doing to address and change this food and nutrition situation?
In 2019, our Government took a step and addressed the month of September as the National Nutrition Month in India. Under this, specific programs and policies were launched to cater to the nutrition of infants, young children, new mothers, and the elderly. However, do you think government alone can address or end the nutrition problems in India? We feel that food and nutrition are a ground problem and need to be addressed by every human himself by taking care of his well-balanced diet and nutrition.
In the present times, a majority of us are obsessed with looking picture perfect, aiming for unrealistic body image goals. People resort to strict diets and crazy exercise routines to have desirable body goals, even when it means depriving the body of essential nutrients. All this in turn, can result in lower levels of energy, hormonal imbalances, and other serious issues that show up in the form of depression, lack of concentration power, anxiety, lethargy, etc. Thus, it is essential to remember that what is on the outside is not essential, rather one must try to build a stronger inside. We need to nourish our bodies with healthy food and, treat them with kindness and love.
What is Nutrition?
Nutrition means giving the body all the required food sources of essential vitamins and nutrients that help in achieving the sound growth of the body and the mind. Healthy nutrients ensure that the body is functioning correctly and is free of diseases. Our bodies require nutrients like iron, calcium, protein, carbohydrate, vitamins, and fat, to work efficiently. The deficiency of any of these essential nutrients may cause a range of serious illnesses. A well-nourished body has the following benefits:
- Healthy growth of the body and mind
- Better immunity
- Active lifestyle
- Sharper cognitive functions
- Better eye-sight
- Healthy skin and hair
How to Ensure Good Nutrition?
Taking wholesome meal (i.e. a meal that contains fats, fiber, calcium, carbohydrates, and proteins) is the easiest way to ensure good nutrition. It is important to make sure that the meal consists of grains, pulses, seasonal vegetables, and fruits. Water is another very important part of nourishment as it hydrates the body and helps in the elimination of toxins. Some other key points to remember for good nutrition are:
- Eat-in moderation
- Limit the consumption of fast food, alcohol, nicotine, and caffeine
- Adding lots of green leafy vegetables and fruits to your meals
- Snacking on healthy snack options like roasted nuts, fresh fruit etc
- Eating freshly prepared, home-cooked food
Nutrition can be Interesting…
Use of terms like wholesome foods, dietary fiber, etc. may make nutrition sound a very boring affair, and a difficult one especially if you have young kids around. Kids usually do not enjoy the not-so-appealing fruits and vegetables, and this makes nutrition a challenging goal for parents. However, there are some very fun and interesting ways to ensure optimum nutrition for everyone in the family. There are some very easy tricks. Some of them are:
- Use naturally colored vegetable flours (like beetroot flour, broccoli flour, cauliflower flour, green peas flour, ragi flour, beetroot quinoa flour, quinoa spinach flour, spinach flour, quinoa flour), to make interesting dishes and desserts like pancakes, cake, biscuits, wraps, churros, pretzels, desserts, etc. Country Kitchens’s natural flours make the food items look tempting while ensuring the consumption of essential minerals at the same time.
- Use organically grown berries to make jams and spreads, and fresh vegetables or powdered vegetables to make smoothies (Like beetroot powder, kale powder). Berries, as well as vegetables, are loaded with antioxidants, which help in boosting the immune system. Using them to prepare spreads, compote, and smoothies, adds a wonderful flavor and color to the otherwise boring foods.
- Use Healthy cooking oils like Olive oil, avocado oil, and flaxseed oil to cook food. These oils are highly nutritious packed with essential fats that help the body. They also add great flavor to the food and do not compromise with the taste at all.
Eating healthy and nutritious food is a lifelong commitment to our bodies. While it is okay to take it easy at times and indulge in cheat meals for a few times in a month, one should never lose track towards building a healthy body and life. A healthy body and mind not only keeps the body disease-free and strong but also allows us to enjoy life to the fullest. So, take the pledge this nutrition month to have a balanced nutritious meal and keep yourself fit and healthy