Food Habits and Health

indexFood has always influenced and even regulated the health of humans. The construction of the body structure in the womb starts with the food taken by the mother. On birth, the pre-natal diet of the mother is replaced by breast feeding and then by other foods taken by the infant. Food provides the building blocks. There is certain minimum program of food which must be followed by everyone to remain healthy. Certain food habits must also be followed. But, if, because of heredity, environment or taste, there is a danger of any disease, then certain special foods must also be taken or given up for preventing that condition and for overcoming the problem. Food alone cannot provide absolute protection from all health problems. Certain habits and style of life also play some part in determining the state of health. But, by following the minimum program of food out-lined below, however, chances of living a healthy life can considerably be increased.

1. Minimum Salt: Salt is one of the biggest culprit. It should be reduced drastically. Also, canned and preserved foods have lots of salt. So they should be avoided altogether.

2. Minimum Sugar: Sucrose, i.e. table sugar has no sugar except calories and carbohydrates. It produced acidity. For its digestion, body needs calcium which may have to be obtained from the bones, if inadequate in the diet. For sweetness, honey or jiggery should be used. Use of white sugar should be reduced drastically.

3. Minimum Fat: Intake of excessive fat is the main cause of 2/3rd of the ailments. It should be reduced drastically. Only those oils should be used which have a very high proportion of poly unsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids. Fried foods should be completely deleted from the diet altogether.

4. No Smoking: Smoking should be restricted for good health.

Following food items should be taken regularly and religiously everyday: a) Freshly crushed raw garlic b) Raw Onions c)  Raw salads with lettuce, cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, radish, cucumber. d) Honey e)  Lemon f)  Freshly extracted juice of fresh seasonal fruits or vegetables. g) Brain supplements i.e. oat bran, wheat bran.

Intake of following foods should be reduced:

1. Non-vegetarian foods: Intake of all red meats should be stopped immediately.

2. Whole milk and its products: Skimmed milk should be taken better taking yogurt. Processed cheeses must be replaced by low fat cottage cheeses.

3. Tea and coffee: Not more than two cups of tea or coffee are to be taken in a day. Herbal teas are fruitful.

4.  White flour and its products: These should be replaced with whole grains, whole wheat or soya breads, unpolished rice etc.

Water Intake: 1. Flush your system by taking water copiously.

2.  Start the day with at least one glass of water which has stayed overnight in a copper utensil.

3. No water within half an hour before a major meal or for two hours after such a meal. If necessary, hot or warm water can be taken.

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