6 Tips on How To Maintain Good Health
Everybody wants to be healthy, but very few make the effort to go the extra mile and adopt a healthy habit on a day to day basis. However, with more awareness towards a fit and healthy lifestyle, people increasingly are working towards it. The key to maintaining good health is the combination of many factors like regular exercise, good diet, stress management, work-life balance, healthy relationships, high self-esteem and more. Nothing can be substituted for another. If you have been looking for some basic guidelines on how to maintain good health, step this way.
1. Stay Hydrated
How to maintain good health? It’s as simple as drinking lots of water and fluids to keep yourself hydrated at all times. Drinking water regularly through the day is essential because we keep losing water from our body in the form of urine and sweat. Water carries out several important functions such as flushing bacteria out of your bladder, aiding digestion, carrying nutrients and oxygen to the cells, preventing constipation and maintaining the electrolyte (sodium) balance. Bangalore-based Nutritionist Dr. Anju Sood tells us, "I recommend that a person should consume at least 2 and a half liters of water a day. To replenish the loss of water, this is essential. The water intake needs to increase if the activity pattern of the person is very high like those for athletes or those who gym regularly as they tend to lose a greater amount of water.”
2. Eat Plenty of Fruits and Vegetables
The body needs a constant inflow of vitamins and minerals. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables ensures that your body gets all the nutrients required. All fruits and veggies play their part in providing various vitamins and minerals. Include a lot of bright and deep coloured veggies and fruits like oranges, red tomatoes, purple berries and leafy greens as they are all rich in antioxidants that fight disease-causing free radicals. You toss some interesting salads, or even make a delicious fruit chaat or blend them in thick smoothies.
3. Don’t Skip Your Meals
Ever meal plays its part. Hence, skipping one of the three major meals of the day can have a negative impact. Your brain and body need fuel to run. Your brain needs a supply of glucose and a lack of it can make you lethargic. Skipping meals can cause your metabolism to slow down, which can lead to weight gain or make it harder to lose weight. When you skip meals, your body switches on the ‘survival mode’, which simply means that it craves more food than usual, and that ultimately results in binge-eating.
4. Avoid Fatty, Processed Foods
The fresher, the better. Fast food and processed or packaged food often come with a number of preservatives and additives to increase shelf live. Moreover, they may hide high levels of sugar and sodium that can increase the risk of lifestyle diseases like diabetes, blood pressure, obesity and more. Processed foods also have ‘rewarding’ quality which means that for their salty, sweet or spicy taste your brain starts considering them as ‘reward’ foods and that leads to unnecessary cravings.
5. Include More Lean Meats, Low-Fat Dairy Products, and Whole Grains To Your Diet
The key to maintain good health is to have a balanced diet. With fruits and vegetable, you need a good mix of milk, dairy products, meat, lentils and, legumes. Choose low-fat milk, yogurt, cheese, lean meat, fish (cut down on red meat), brown rice, millets and oats for healthier results. When it comes to grains, whole grains are better. Refined flour and grains like Maida and white rice low in nutrients. Whole grains are loaded with fibre and nutrients that keep you full and satiated,” shares Health Practitioner and Macrobiotic nutritionist Shilpa Arora. She also adds, “The kind of carbohydrates you eat is important. Most of our carbohydrates should be Low Glycemic Index which means that they should not cause rapid spikes in your blood sugar levels and provide slow release of energy.” Whole grains, dals, rajma and, legumes -all of these are excellent sources of complex and low GI carbohydrates.
6. Load Up on Good Fats
Fats have long been regarded as villains, but not all fats are bad. Fats are necessary, especially for balancing hormones, keeping your skin and hair healthy and maintain your digestive processes. Eliminating a food group is never sustainable. Unsaturated fats are healthier than saturated and trans fats. Dr. Anju Sood suggests. “Around 15 to 20 percent of your calorie intake has to be fat, out of which 50 percent should be from visible origins (ghee, butter, and oil) and the rest from invisible origins which are already present in the food you eat. Avocadoes and walnuts are good sources of fats along with cooking oils like olive oil and mustard oil.”