This article was originally written by Lala Balattan
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It is a must for all of us to be conscious of the proper nourishment that our body needs. While all of us are aware that it is important to have an intake of three complete meals per day, with at least snacks in between, many, though, are not very conscious of meeting the body’s daily nutritional needs, while attending to their daily menu. Knowing the importance of balancing each meal according to the necessary nourishment needed by our body will help greatly in minimizing risks of disease, sickness or infections. It would also minimize even physical, mental and emotional stress.
Now that we realize that proper strategizing of our daily meals to meet up with the required nutritional needs of our bodies, let’s begin going back to the lessons we have learned about the GO, GROW and GLOW FOODS way, way back in our childhood education.
To meet our body’s daily energy needs, in order to minimize risks of chronic disease, adults should get 45% – 65% of their calories from carbohydrates, 20%-35% from fat, (the GO foods of our childhood studies), and 10% – 35% from protein. This is from the newest report on recommendations for healthy eating from the National Academies’ Institute of Medicine.
We must also watch out for the size of our protein portion. Most women need a daily intake of only about 6 ounces (cooked) of meat, chicken, fish or a substitute like cheese or eggs. Each one should look out for their daily consumption of protein. Excess protein can mean extra fat, and high amounts of protein may increase calcium losses in the urine.
Raw food and fresh juices have remarkable cleansing and regenerating effect on the entire system, as they retain all their nutrients, which might get destroyed while processing and cooking. And of course, it is very important to keep track of our natural vitamin intake. Eat 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day, especially those high in Vitamin C, Vitamin A, beta-carotene, and fiber. In general, a serving is 1 small piece of fruit, half a cup of cooked or canned fruits and vegetables, or 1 cup raw.
Minerals in our body should also be part of our menu for our well-balanced constitution. Aim to eat one of the rich sources of iron two to three times a week. Body absorbs only 20-40% of the iron available in meat sources, but only 5-20% of the iron from vegetable sources and egg. If you eat a mixed diet including fruits, vegetables, meat and fish your body will absorb 15-20% of iron in the food.
So now, we remember the GLOW foods our youth?
A little tip for women: If you’re in your childbearing years, get at least 0.4 milligram (400 micrograms) of folic acid daily to reduce the risk of having a child with a neural tube defect. Excellent sources of this are spinach, broccoli, chickpeas, romaine lettuce, wheat germ, and fortified breakfast cereals (25 percent of the US RDA per ounce). If you’re pregnant, take a folic acid supplement. Women can be helped by diet and lifestyle changes in managing PMS like eating less refined sugar, drinking less caffeine, avoiding nicotine, avoiding alcohol, avoiding salt.
If you follow a diet, which is heavy on dark colored vegetables, unprocessed whole grains and lean meats, you can’t go wrong. Eat sufficient protein, lots of vegetables & fruits and minimal processed carbohydrates. There’s absolutely no magic here, folks, just intelligent, planned & scheduled nutrient consumption.