Dietary Habits and Health
A healthy eating involves fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat or fat-free dairy products. Lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs and nuts are also included in a balanced diet. Saturated and trans fats, sodium and added sugar are prohibited. The role of healthy eating in chronic and infectious disease prevention has been well established. Factors that contribute to maintaining a healthy lifestyle are a balanced diet and food intake prepared in compliance with good practices. In fact, dietary habits are the food choices encouraged by people in their daily lives. They vary from person to individual. A good dietary habit allows a person throughout his life to remain fit and well. Fruits and vegetables, cereals, water, low fat dairy products, etc. are part of a balanced diet.
Fruits and vegetables are rich source of vitamins, minerals and it protects body from many diseases. They are very essential to increase the infection fighting ability of immune system. The green leafy vegetables contain large number of bioactive components with powerful medicinal properties. Red foods contain lycopene, which is thought to be important for fighting prostate cancer and heart disease. Blue and purple foods contain anthocyanins, that may support to defend the body from cancer. Carotenoids and bioflavonoids, which constitute a class of water-soluble plant pigments that act as antioxidants, are abundant in yellow fruits and vegetables.
Legumes or pulses provide extremely useful nutrients. Before they are consumed, legumes need to be roasted, which increases their nutritional content, helps digestion, and removes any harmful toxins. Legumes come in many forms, such as: soy products, legume flours, dried beans and peas, fresh beans and peas.
Cereals and grains To maintain a healthy gut, eating a balanced diet full of prebiotic foods is the best path – with whole grain ﬁber being particularly beneﬁcial. To add an extra immunity boost, oats and whole grain barley contain a ﬁber called beta glucan which helps to boost immune health and reduce inﬂammation.
Consumption of dairy products offers health advantages, especially improved bone health. Foods in the Dairy Category contain nutrients essential for our body’s health and maintenance.
Written by: Dr. Saima Tehseen and Fatima Sarfraz