Healthy Food

What does food offer than just ‘Eat to live’ belief?

Immune System

At the outset, wishing a very happy, hopeful and resilient new year to all readers. The entire world was eagerly waiting to bid adieu to 2020 and extend a warm welcome 2021 in hope for a better future. Most of us usually function with an ‘Eat to Live’ theory, till the time we ourselves develop an urge to pay attention to what we eat or we get an alarming call from our our body. But the question is does food offer anything more than just ‘Eat to Live’ belief?

The answer is YES! Food provides benefits much more than just survival. Good nutrition right from early age can act as a protective shield that body needs at the time of threats whereas poor nutrition can gradually open gates for diseases.

Hence, it is appropriate to state that nutrition plays a defensive role in our body which is scientifically termed as Defensive nutrition paradigm. In order to guard our body from various threats, herewith enlisted are guidelines of Defensive nutrition paradigm:

  1. Plenty of fruits and vegetables: In order to foster good health, daily consumption of fruits and vegetables (particularly dark yellow, green, red vegetables, roots, etc) is essential. They are not only good sources of fiber but also great sources of vitamins and minerals. A careful selection of fruits and vegetables can prove to be extremely beneficial in the long run.
Fruits & Vegetables

Few tips for the people who do not enjoy fruits and vegetables: Anything which is not liked can be given in a hidden form, for example — green peas may not be liked in form of a vegetable but when incorporated in tikkis, they can go away unnoticed.

2. 3 glasses of non-fat/ low-fat milk/ yogurt/ cheese/ soy beverages: Dairy products are very good sources of calcium, phosphorus, vitamin A, carbs and proteins. They should be incorporated daily in diet in various forms like flavoured milk/ flavoured yogurt/ etc. Those seeking to completely restrain from dairy products (vegans)can include soy products to compensate for the vitamins, proteins and minerals. Soy milk fortified with calcium, vitamin D and FOS (Fructose Oligosaccharides- a type of fiber) is an excellent alternate for dairy products.


3. 2–3 servings of dals/dry beans (pulses)/ soyfoods (tofu)/ nuts/ fish/ poultry/ eggs: Proteins in our body are comparable to fuel for vehicles. For smooth functioning, vehicles need adequate amount of fuel. Likewise to be able to perform its functions to optimal levels, body needs proteins.

Protein rich sources should be incorporated daily in our diet, especially during this pandemic period to build a strong immunity. Immunity arises from anitbodies and antibodies are produced from proteins. Hence, an adequate intake of proteins in the form of dals/ pulses/ eggs/ fish/ chicken, soy is extremely essential.

4. Avoidance of foods with high amount of SFAs and trans- fatty acids: SFA (Saturated Fatty Acid) is a type of fat. They are usually obtained from fat rich dairy products (buffalo milk), fatty cuts of meat, fats like oils like coconut oil, palm oil, , ghee, lard, margarine, butter, creams, etc and all items containing these products.

Unhealthy Food

SFAs are a threat to heart as they increase the risk for clogging arteries. They lead to an increase in cholesterol and triglyceride levels (a type of harmful fat) which further increases chances of heart attack. Hence, next time you lick your fingers after eating creamy desserts or cheesy balls, stay cautious!

Junk Food
5. Limited intake of refined carbohydrates: Refined carbohydrates refers to maida based items like breads, biscuits, noodles, pastas, pizzas, etc. Refined carbohydrates, as the name suggests are refined in a way to make the wheat flour as fine as possible. This process of refining leads to removal of the outer layers of wheat which contains its maximum nutrients; mainly fiber, vitamins and minerals. When wheat loses its fiber and nutrients, all it is left with is plain carbs.


Also, these plain carbs serve as excellent sources for showing culinary creativity — for eg, in baking breads, cakes, etc and they taste great. Hence, it is very difficult to stop oneself from limiting its use. These excess carbs get converted into fats when not utilised by the body (sedentary lifestyle) and gradually they give rise to obesity and/ diabetes and when combined with high levels of stress it can lead to high blood pressure too.


6. Avoid excessive intake of salt and sugar: Salt is an essential component but is needed in minute quantities (6–7 grams). Sugar is not essential but when consumed in less quantity, it adds to a feel good factor, mainly as sweets and desserts. However, we tend to eat both in surplus amounts than needed and end up with health concerns. Hence, it is ideally essential to use them in moderation.

Good Hydration

7. Good hydration: It is extremely important to drink adequate amount of water as water serves as the chief source of all body fluids. Incase of lack of sufficient supply of water, body looks forward to retain water in order to maintain its perfect balance. If sufficient amount of water is not supplied, body starts making concentrated urine. Dehydration is a major threat and dehydration amongst infants and children is extremely life threatening.

Stay Hydrated

Adequate amount of water should be consumed daily and intake should be increased with exercise. However, caution should be maintained by patients suffering from heart/ kidney ailments. They should check the amount of fluids permitted from their doctors.

Do not just \’Eat to live\’ but eat to stay healthy and live longer!


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