- Nutrition Week: Add all essential nutrients to your diet
- Healthy diet supports your hair and skin health
- Add enough fruits and vegetables to your daily diet
The first week of September not only marks National Nutrition Week but has also been recently declared as ‘Poshan Abhiyaan Month’ to raise awareness on the importance of healthy nutrition. Nutrition week is an opportunity to highlight the role of optimum nutrition for your health. There has been a gradual shift and dietary transition from fresh, natural food sources to more processed, packaged, and sugar-laden foods. All this has led to a burdening of non-communicable diseases which are actually preventable if healthy dietary and lifestyle habits are developed. The exact guidelines of a customized, balanced, and healthy diet will vary depending on individual factors like age, gender, lifestyle, degree of physical activity, cultural context, locally available foods and dietary customs. But basic principles of what constitutes a healthy diet remain the same.
National Nutrition Week 2020: Nourish your body inside out
1. Flawless Skin
You are what you eat- quite literally! Therefore, your food choices can have a direct impact on your skin’s health. Fruit and vegetables, including citrus fruits and berries, green vegetables, peppers, and tomatoes, are good sources of vitamin C, which is necessary for the synthesis of collagen – the protein that gives skin strength and elasticity. Normal collagen formation is required for the normal structure of many tissues in the body, including the skin. Healthy fats obtained from nuts and seeds help in maintaining suppleness and glow of the skin.
2. Healthy Heart
For a healthy heart limit all the foods high in saturated fats like cream, butter, mayonnaise, vegetable shortenings, full-fat dairy, refined oils, and red meat. Choose monounsaturated fatty acids and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids to boost your heart health by including nuts and seeds in your diet. Salt is often used to add flavour to foods, but herbs and other spices can add flavour, too and this will reduce extra sodium load from your body helping to manage better blood pressure levels. Choose a range of brightly coloured vegetables and fruits every day.
3. Lustrous Mane
All the good hair days begin with a healthy inside. The active metabolism of hair follicles requires a good supply of nutrients and energy. Crash diets for weight loss can also lead to hair loss, especially if the daily calorie intake is drastically low, and if protein intake is inadequate. Protein is the major constituent of hair fibres and can be obtained from various food sources like pulses, legumes, whole grains, eggs, lean meat, and dairy. The deficiency of zinc can lead to brittle hair that are prone to breakage. Zinc is found in dairy products, eggs, nuts, seeds, whole grains, beans, and poultry.
4. Happy Bones
At every stage of life a nutritious and balanced diet promotes strong, healthy bones. Calcium is the major building-block of bones, and the skeletal system has 99 percent of the body’s calcium stores. The major food sources of calcium include dairy, green leafy vegetables, whole grains, nuts, fruits like oranges and apricots, and sesame seeds. Vitamin D plays a key role in aiding calcium absorption from food and ensuring the correct renewal and mineralization of bone tissue. It can be obtained from fatty fishes, egg yolk, meat (particularly liver), fortified products, mushrooms. Make sure to bask in sun for few minutes to activate this sunshine vitamin.
(Nmami Agarwal is nutritionist at Nmami Life)
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