Saturday, August 8, 2020

Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta News: Why Healthy Eating Matters

Good health is the best thing an individual can have. This can only be possible by choosing a healthy lifestyle. The first move to a healthy lifestyle is checking what goes into the stomach. The easiest way to monitor what goes into our system is to be conscious of what class of food we consume. 

In that way, one would gradually and unconsciously imbibe healthy eating habits. One of the vital keys to eating a balanced diet is selecting a variety of plant-based diets whose colour, texture, taste and flavour add interest to the diet while the foods are best consumed in their natural state.

Whole grains should be of interest to everyone and choosing a variety of foods ranging from legumes, nuts, seeds, cereals, grains, fat, oil, salt and others are healthy ways to tap from the basic class of food each day. Planning our daily meals help to make the right choice towards a healthy diet as consuming a variety of foods ensures the availability of wide range of nutrients to support a healthy body. Eating good foods not only improves our health but the texture, colour and taste also enhances our eating pleasure.

Although, we all require the classes of food nutrients present in every meal, there are some important components of our healthy diet that need to be eaten only in small quantities. These include fat, oil and salt. Salt is required to maintain our electrolyte while fat is required for the provision of fat-soluble vitamins as the body only needs a small amount to function properly, which when in excess, can lead to a negative health condition. 

It is very vital that we make conscious effort to monitor our daily nutrition. It is equally important to consume food in their natural state, not pulled apart or refined. Refined foods usually have a large amount of its nutrients removed and this should be avoided. Most importantly, foods and beverages like alcohol, coffee and sodas lack nutritional values and should be totally avoided. Physical exercise is very important as there is the need to strike a balance between the amount of energy we consume and the energy we expend, if we are to remain at a healthy weight. 

Similarly, water is also highly essential as it aids the body purification and detoxification process. The importance of sound health cannot be overemphasized as it is only healthy men that acquire and enjoy wealth hence, the need to imbibe healthy eating habits because we are what we eat. Good food is the dream and desire of all but what is good for one may not be good for another. Therefore, there is the need to find the food that is suited for one. It is good not to join the bandwagon to eat whatever comes one’s way. We should be mindful of what we eat.  Eating healthy entails eating well-balanced meals not necessarily being expensive but containing little vegetables and fruits.

The fact is that when fruits and vegetables are consumed, the body gets lot of minerals and vitamins, which build and boost the body’s immune system to withstand attacks against any kind of disease even the deadly Coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Eating healthy is like a life investment, which can be enjoyed when one can no longer invest.  What this means is that all the healthy food eaten at our  younger age would be of benefit at old age such that a healthy eating fellow would enjoy all-round health even in old age. Though we are bound to be ill from time to time, however the rate of recovery would be faster when compared to someone who only eats to keep the body and soul together.

Here are some healthy eating tips for everyday: Breakfast is one meal that should not be missed. As the name implies, one has to break the fast. It is assumed that one fasted all night and when morning comes, it is expected that the fast should be broken.  Aside from that, eating a healthy breakfast helps fuels and supplies the brain with necessary energy required for the day’s task. What makes or passes for breakfast depends on individual’s culture and job descriptions but simple meals for breakfast is helpful. 

After the breakfast comes lunch, which many people patiently and eagerly wait for, having skipped breakfast.  These meals, at times, serve different purposes. For instance, the breakfast is to fill the already empty stomach and give the brain and body the energy to start-up the day’s work while lunch is to refresh and refill whatever that has been used up in the course of the morning task, thereby leaving the energy level filled to the brim and the individual bursting with life. 

The last meal for the day is the dinner or super, which can be eaten in the early or late evening.  It is important to know that dinner should not be eaten late in the night from 7.30pm because it has been discovered by researchers that late night food is one of the major causes of high blood pressure, which could later result in stroke, especially among the aged people. It is interesting to note that if there is any meal to be skipped, it is the dinner.  Once the meal is late, it is best to drink some water, a cup of juice or at most, some slices of fruits to bed rather than load the system and make it work while asleep.  It is also important to remember that any drink should be taken at least two hours before sleeping.

The following are some rules of healthy eating: Eat only when hungry, avoid eating very fast or rushing the meal, try not to drink while eating, be sure to eat four hours before bed time, do not take alcohol, avoid genetically-modified foods, eat only organic foods and children should be taught how to eat healthy food from childhood so they can grow to become healthy and responsible adults. In summary, we are the reflection of what we eat.  Deliberate efforts should be made in daily meal planning. This would go a long way in reducing the cost of planning each meal at a time. It is also important to remind ourselves that it is impossible to eat healthy for few days and remain health forever. This has to be done consistently.

Eating right is one of life’s healthiest habits which every individual should endeavour to cultivate as the habit of eating the right proportion of any class of food, in the right combinations, and at the right time will give rise to a healthy generation.

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