Ever thought to yourself that “why is something amiss in my health even though I am following such a healthy diet?” If you are one of those people who retrospectively think about what is missing in your diet in spite of all your efforts to eat healthy, then this article is for you. The smaller things that we tend to ignore or just end up missing in our daily mission of eating healthy are the things that can work magic once included in the diet.
So let's see what these missing secret ingredients are:
Think about it. How many of us actually eat one whole fruit a day without fail? Most of the answers to that will be “I added a fruit to my breakfast smoothie” or “I had it with lunch/ after dinner” or “I had an orange juice”.
Why are fruits important :
- They are super rich in vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants
- High fiber content and low in calories
- High in water content and provide hydration to the body
- Great source of natural sugars which keeps cravings at bay
How to consume fruits for maximum benefits: Fruits are best had early morning on an empty stomach for better absorption of the nutrients. Fruits are a great snacking option between your main meals. Avoid having fruits with or immediately post your main meals. Eat them whole, avoid fruit juices.
Pre and Pro-biotics:
The good gut flora is what plays an important role in maintain good gut health and keeping the bad or harmful gut bacteria away. Eating the right balanced amount of pre and pro-biotics is what ensures you have a healthy gut microbiota and therefore great health
Sources of food for pre and pro biotics:
Pro-biotics: One important pro biotic is curd which also works for lactose intolerant individuals as it contains live bacteria which helps break down the lactose. But we recommend to avoid it as it increases the pitta in the body which tends to aggravate hair fall. So instead of consuming curd, it is advised to consume buttermilk in the afternoons and not at night. Other sources are sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, kefir (dairy and non dairy), pickles and pickled vegetables (unpastaurised).
Pre-biotics: found in most fruits, vegetables and legumes, especially those that contain complex carbohydrates, such as fiber and resistant starch. These carbs are not digestible by your body, so they pass through the digestive system to become food for the bacteria and other microbes. Some good options are banana, onions, leeks, garlic, oats, berries and beans.
Dietary fiber is a non-digestible carbohydrate found in foods, classified as soluble and insoluble fiber. Today, thanks to the increased consumption of packaged, processed and ready to eat foods, our diets are seriously lacking in fiber.
Importance of dietary fiber:
- Provides satiety and fullness, in turn helping you achieve your weight loss goals
- Helps lower blood sugar levels and cholesterol. Reduces risk of heart disease
- Helps maintain good gut health as it is also food for the healthy gut bacteria
- Normalizes bowel movements by providing better roughage. This makes the stools soft and bulky and easier to pass
- Whole-grain products
- Beans, peas and other legumes
- Nuts and seeds
Proteins are the main building blocks and the structural element of your body. Almost every function of your body requires adequate amount of protein. It helps build muscle mass, provides strength and structure, aids all biochemical reactions in the body, integral component of all antibodies that provide immunity and of hormones, maintains ph balance of the body and transports nutrients in the body.
Sources: Egg whites, lean meat, sea food, skim milk, beans, dals, pulses, sprouts, paneer, tofu, soya, quinoa, ragi, yogurt, nuts and nut butters.
This is the most underrated element of our diet. More than often, we forget to drink enough water. 70% of the body is made up of water. Water is required for almost each and every function in the body. Adequate hydration play an important role in giving you glowing skin and healthy hair, maintains body temperature, aids digestion, urine output, fluid balance of the body, nutrient absorption and in blood circulation in the body.
In an attempt to follow diet trends or to maintain a healthy diet, we tend to overlook simple important things. Maintaining a healthy, wholesome and sustainable diet is the key to a healthy life. So make sure to include the above mentioned things in your daily diet, rather than focusing on eliminating or restricting food groups.