Plan healthy meals with this step by step nutrition guide

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To live healthy and avoid the risk of infections and diseases, we have to plan balanced diet meals. Basic food nutrients should be added in our everyday diet.

Increase water and reduce carbonated beverages

Water is one food we overlook in our daily meal plan because it contains “no nutrients” but we need to know that water is crucial for our survival. Everyday, a lot of water is lost from our bodies through urine, our skin (when we engage in activities or do exercise), and also from the lungs so we need to consume adequate amounts of water to stay hydrated. About 2.0-2.5 litres of water is required by our body daily though we will require more when exercising. Water, among its many functions, helps to transport nutrients throughout the body and is also very crucial for joint lubrication while consuming excess carbonated drinks will only lead to dehydration and an increase in blood sugar levels. Water, fruit juices, and herbal teas should be included regularly in our diet.

Fruits and vegetables should be taken regularly

Whether fresh, frozen, tinned, dried, or natural, fruits, and vegetables should be regular in our daily meals. Fruits and vegetables contain essential nutrients like vitamins and minerals that are important for the proper functioning of our body system and act as supplements to provide for us what the body cannot manufacture. A variety of vegetables like leafy greens, garden eggs, jute leaves, tomatoes, carrots, lettuce, cabbage e.t.c. should be consumed and fruits like apples, watermelon, pawpaw, banana and so on should be consumed. We can also take our fruits and veggies in the form of salads or as accompaniments.

Consume meat and meat products in moderation

Animal protein is the major source of essential amino acids and our body requires these amino acids because of the important functions they perform in the body, hence, they are called complete proteins. Protein performs various functions in our system, for example, protein helps in slowing down the absorption of glucose in the blood which in turn reduces insulin level in our body, making it a lot easier to burn off body fat. Meat and meat products like fish, skinless chicken, shellfish, turkey breast e.t.c. should, therefore, be included moderately when planning our meals.

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Cut down on fats and oils

Foods like butter, full-fat cheese, whole milk, ice cream, mayonnaise, egg yolk, cashew nuts, pastry, deep-fried chips, burgers e.t.c. should be largely reduced and avoided when planning our meals because these foods contain a high level of saturated fatty acid which when taken in excess accumulates and clog our blood vessels and arteries giving rise to high risk of heart-related diseases and strokes. Foods like this should be taken once in a while as snacks or desserts.

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