Food is essential for our body for a number of reasons. It provides us with the energy needed for working, playing, and doing day-to-day activities. It helps us to grow, makes our bones and muscles strong, repairs damaged body cells, and boosts our immunity against external harmful elements. And this is not all! Food also gives us a kind of satisfaction that is integral to our mental wellbeing. But are all foods healthy? No. Only those food items that contain nutrients in a balanced proportion are considered as healthy. People of all ages must be aware of the benefits of eating healthy food because it ensures a reasonably disease-free, fit life for more number of years.
Types of Healthy Food
Following are the various types of healthy foods and their corresponding nutritional value:
Cereals, bread, potato, and other root vegetables- these are the main sources of carbohydrates. The calorie obtained from them enables us to do work.
Pulses, milk and milk products, eggs, bird meat, animal meat in limited quantity- these are great sources of protein. They build muscles and repair the damaged cells of our body, that is, they are important for our immunity.
Ghee, butter, dry fruits and nuts, edible oil used in restrained quantity- these are rich sources of good fat. They provide more energy to our body than carbohydrates but should be consumed in a less amount.
Fresh fruits, vegetables, and leafy vegetables, fish, egg, milk-these are good sources of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants and are essential for normal functioning of the body. Though they are needed in small amounts, nowadays, nutrition experts prescribe their higher consumption as they help to fight lifestyle diseases like obesity, diabetes, and even cancer.
Different types of healthy food, when included in our daily diet in the right proportions along with water and roughage, comprise a balanced diet. However, a balanced diet is not the same for all individuals. It depends on a person’s age, gender, condition of the body- healthy or suffering from any disease, and the type of work or physical activity he/she does.
Benefits of Eating Healthy:
Healthy food nourishes both our physical and mental health and helps us stay active for many years. - If we break down this broad benefit into micro-benefits, we will see that eating healthy:
Helps us in weight management
Makes us agile and increases our productivity
Decreases the number of doctor visits by lowering the risk of heart diseases, stroke, diabetes mellitus, poor bone density, and some cancers, etc.
Helps uplift mood
Improves digestion and therefore, appetite
Healthy food habits are induced in children by their parents early on. These habits along with the right education and physical exercise lead to the holistic development of an individual who ultimately becomes the greatest resource of a country.
What is Unhealthy Food or Junk Food?
To fully understand the importance of healthy food in our diet, we must also be aware of unhealthy food, that is, the food that we must avoid eating. These are mainly junk food items that have very low or no nutritional value and contain an excessive amount of salt, sugar, and fats.
Junk food is one of the biggest enemies in the present day scenario. It is making us more unfit than ever before. It is high time that we realized this and adopted a healthy food habit for a sustainable lifestyle.
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