By:-Ms Anupa Mahanty, Bachelor in Home Science , Master in Dietetics
We all know that the food we eat provides us energy. But obviously, it’s not just any kind of food. We need to make wise, healthy choices when it comes to staying healthy. And in these times of fast paced, always-running-out-of-time days, food is usually the first thing that is neglected.
Remember, your health and wellness is 80% diet and only 20% exercise.
It’s amazing what a healthy diet can do for you. It cures too much stress, too little sleep and gives you the energy you need to get through a power packed day. It allows your body to function at its healthiest best and fight the daily stress and fatigue of life.
Now let’s talk in a little detail about what we’re saying.
Foods you can’t do without
The three main nutrients used for energy are carbohydrates, proteins and fats; with carbohydrates being the most important. Carbohydrates are of two kinds, simple and complex, and both are broken down into glucose which is absorbed by the blood and distributed to various cells in the body.
Water water everywhere and all of it to drink!
Adequate fluids are essential for sustaining energy. Water helps in digestion, absorption and the transport of nutrients in the body. An average person needs to drink at least 8-10 glasses (not litres) of water every day. Lack of water can cause dehydration and loss of energy.
Foods you can do without
Simple carbohydrates, unlike complex carbs, are absorbed quickly by the body. They provide an initial burst of energy for 30 to 60 minutes but result in a slump afterwards.
Simple carbs include white sugar, refined flour, white rice, white bread, fruit juices, carbonated beverages, candies, chocolates etc.
You should also avoid alcohol and caffeine. Alcohol is a depressant and can reduce your energy levels while caffeine usually provides and initial two hour energy rush followed by a crash.
Expert Health Tip: Can’t kick start your day without a cup of coffee? Try having an apple. It is more effective in waking you up than coffee is and need we even start on its benefits?
What we recommend
Now, it’s not only important to know which foods to eat and which ones to avoid, you must also know when to eat them.
It is recommended to eat three meals and two snacks every day and to never go over three-four hours without eating anything. Long gaps between meals can drain your energy and if you become too hungry, it can cause you to overeat.
Try and include something from each food group in this pyramid in every meal; but don’t forget that foods high in fibre, protein and fat take longer to digest.
No matter how stressful or busy your lives are, making time for your health and wellbeing shouldn’t be on the back burner. Give your body the food it loves, not the food it craves; it will thank you for it.
Eating right depends a lot on your body type and lifestyle. Expert dieticians at HCL Healthcare will help you with a diet plan to keep you energetic throughout the day and still meet your health goals.