As societies have become more urbanized and developed, so the number of people suffering from the effects of heart diseases, strokes and cancer has increased. At the root of these changing health patterns is the move away from a diet based on grains, fruits and vegetables to one based processed foods, fat, sugar and animal produce. The scientific evidence is clear : if we want to have healthy bodies, we should change our focus and put fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, pulses and whole grains back in the centre of our plates (supplemented by fresh, organically reared meat and fish according to taste).
Here are some of the most important components of a healthy, energy-full diet.
Calcium : Crucial for building and maintaining healthy bones and teeth, calcium also plays an important role in the function of nerves, muscles, enzymes and hormones. Most plant foods contain calcium – spinach, watercress, parsley, dried figs, nuts, seeds, molasses, seaweed and soya are all rich suppliers. Gram, bean curd (tofu) contains four times more calcium than whole cow’s milk.
Proteins : The building blocks of the body, proteins consist of long, folded chains of amino acids. It is not widely known that plant foods contains protein and that vegetables, grains and pulses are all good sources.
Complex Carbohydrates : Complex carbohydrates are made of sugar molecules linked together into long, branched chains. Found only in foods made from plants, they are a major source of energy in our diet and have beneficial effects on the way we absorb and use other nutrients. Foods containing complex carbohydrates, such as bread and pasta are usually rich in vitamins, minerals and trace elements.
Antioxidants : In the process of metabolism, our body’s cells produce molecules called free radicles, which can attack and harm cell membranes. Antioxidants, such as beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E and selenium, neutralize these unstable chemicals, in turn protecting our cells. Fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains are the main sources of antioxidants in our diet.
Essential fatty acids : Two polyunsaturated fatty acids, linolenic acid and alpha-linolenic acid, are known as essential fatty acids because they can be obtained only from the food we eat. They are necessary for normal growth of the fetus during pregnancy, and play a central role in blood-clotting and healing wounds. They also help to maintain the health of the brain and the cells of other parts of our bodies. Important sources include green leaves (such as lettuce and cabbage) and vegetable oils (for example, sunflower, safflower, wheat gram and corn oils).
Have a great life. !!!