Food is essential for our survival, and what we eat definitely impacts our health. We can easily reduce the risk of many diseases and have a long and healthy life through proper nutrition and lifestyle modifications. This article throws light on a few healthy food habits.
Everyone wants a healthy life and a strong body that may fight infections and the wear and tear phenomenon of life as age advances. Diet and nutrition is a vital part of our daily life. When we eat healthily, we definitely get our teeth and bones strengthened, and the risks of diseases that make our bony skeleton weaker and more prone to fracture decrease to a great extent. There are many sources of getting the essential nutrients necessary for our body. Some are taken from the diet, and some are made by our own bodies.
A nice approach towards a healthy life is to keep some vital nutrients on top of our minds when planning daily diet charts.
1. Dietary Calcium:
Fish, calcium-fortified foods, mineral water, animal source milk, yogurt, cheese, fresh brown bread, breakfast cereals of a good brand, adequately cooked rice, almonds and other nuts and beans, salads, green leafy fresh vegetables like spinach, and juices (like fresh orange juice), all provide calcium to the body. Better is to rinse and properly wash the available fresh fruits and make juices at home.
Adults should take almost 990 mg/day of calcium. Females (more than 45 years) and males (more than 65 years) may need 220 mg/day more than usual. We need calcium on a daily basis in our diet as there is no metabolic pathway inside the human body which may be able to manufacture the body's own calcium.
Regarding calcium, one should remember that it is always best to grab it from natural diet sources. But if not enough, or if you have a condition named hypocalcemia (low level of serum calcium) or if you are suffering from thyroid, parathyroid gland disorders, or gastrointestinal disease hindering absorption processes, your treating physician may prescribe you with some supplemental calcium that may best suit your body needs according to the deficiency.
2. Vitamin D:
Do you need something else in your diet other than getting enough calcium? Yes. We need vitamin D for the better absorption and regulation of calcium levels in our bodies. Vitamin D is necessary to get calcium absorbed through our gastrointestinal tract's absorption system for our daily life activities. We need at least 420-820 IU of vitamin D per day. As we get older, we need more vitamin D, and for every 10 years of age, an increment of 10 IU/day of vitamin D is required than the usual recommended dosage.
Unlike calcium, our body is self-sufficient in making its own vitamin D from sunlight when our skin is exposed to sunlight. So, we have a factory of vitamin D that starts from our skin and gets to the final assembly in the kidneys. People with kidney disease may need vitamin D as a supplement, according to the guidance of the treating physician. But unnecessary exposure to direct sunlight may cause sunburns and even certain cancers of the skin. So, use sunscreens and wear sunglasses while outside for longer time periods.
3. Dietary Proteins:
We always need proteins in a good amount to strengthen the bones in our skeletal system. Almost everything in our body is made up of proteins. We need nearly 60 mg/day of dietary proteins that you may grab from eggs, fish, meat, chicken, vegetables like beans, milk, and yogurt.
4. Magnesium, Potassium, Vitamins A, K, and C:
Spinach and beans being good sources of magnesium and potassium, slow down the regressive changes of the bony skeleton, thus improving our overall health and strength of the body. Citrus fruits contain good amounts of vitamin C. Carrots are rich in vitamin A. Meat, eggs, vegetables, and dry fruits contain these minerals and vitamins in abundance.
Zinc is also good for the health that our body needs in trace amounts. Children need it for proper body height, and it also improves the wound healing process in humans. Muscles, bones, eyes, male and female sexual health depend on zinc as a vital trace element. Zinc supplements are given for patients with erectile dysfunction, and it has considerable benefits.
Too much meat (high amounts of proteins) may make the bones and teeth weaker. In addition, it also overwhelms the excretory processes of the kidneys as meat consumption and its metabolism produces organic acids, which kidneys have to excrete.
Alcohol (binge drinking) may cause early bone and teeth loss. Alcohol drinking (1 to 2 glasses a day) leads to a significantly high risk of certain types of cancers.
Coffee, chocolates, and tea, when taken too much, may cause damage in the same way as high proteins and alcohol do.
Do not overcook your food. It denatures proteins and causes the loss of vitamins and essential nutrients from the food. Undercooked food may cause indigestion, especially when it comes to animal products.
Fluoride is needed for the teeth to prevent them from decaying. Use fluoride-containing toothpaste and apply fluoride directly on the teeth of babies starting from 9 months of age. Wipe baby's teeth with a sterile gauze piece after every time you feed the baby. Your baby's pediatrician may guide you about it. Dental flossing (every tooth, every day) and brushing the teeth twice daily is necessary to save your teeth from dental diseases.
Proper physical activity right from the start of your life leads to stronger bones, great health, and excellent quality of life. A sedentary lifestyle is the mother of all diseases. Diabetes and insulin insensitivity is due to obesity. Central or truncal obesity is the worst form. Body Mass Index (BMI) is the tool to keep your weight, waist circumference, and body fat percentage in check. Daily 10,000 steps at a healthy pace (jogging or brisk walking) are necessary at least 3 times a week for a healthy heart, blood vessels, and overall health.
Fast foods, soft and energy drinks, spicy and fried foods are a major cause of a lot of modern era diseases.
Take plenty of water, fruits, and whole grains. Dietary fiber is a must for us. Coconut water has abundant dietary fiber in it.
Cigarette smoking is the most injurious addictive habit one may ever have. It is associated with many diseases, including cancers.
Never take any medication by yourself. Even a very commonly used drug may be poisonous for you. Aspirin and Paracetamol toxicity have taken many lives. Though Omeprazole is not harmless to human health, it may cause pneumonia and fractures and increase the chances of certain infections. Your physician is the person who is trained to prescribe you the safe and appropriate drugs.
For general health queries, consult an internal medicine physician online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/internal-medicine-physician
Last reviewed at:
27 Oct 2021 - 4 min read
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