When the word food is mentioned, what comes to our mind?
I will like to define food as anything that nourishes the body when consumed. By now, you should know that food is needed for the growth and development of body tissues and cells.
Food is basically meant to be good and fit for the body but when it becomes bad, it causes havoc to the body.
We have six classes of nutrient in the food we eat there are specific groups of food that provide the body with these nutrients.
1). Carbohydrate : this can be gotten from cereals and grains
2). Protein : this can be gotten from legumes and pulses
3). Fat and oil: this can be gotten from unsaturated oils
4). Vitamins: these can be gotten from fruits and vegetables
5). Minerals: from fruits and vegetables
6). Water: clean water
When these food are eaten in their right proportion, it keeps the body strong and makes it function effectively. This is reffered to as ADEQUATE DIET.
Ever heard this slogan ”you are what you eat”.
Our body is a biological machine and is built to function efficiently with healthy substances, it is also designed to eliminate toxic waste through various means e.g kidney, liver, lungs, the GIT (gastrointestinal tract) and also the sweat gland. Our body needs substances known as nutrients to function well.
There are foods that produce good nutrient while some foods produce bad nutrients or no nutrient at all. We can categorize them as JUNK FOODS.
Having a good eating habit is beneficial to the body in so many ways, some of which will be highlighted below.
BREAKFAST: The most important meal of the day is the breakfast. It helps keep the body fit for the days activity. As it is called ‘breakfast’, our body literally goes through a phase of fast through the night and like every other normal fast, it should be broken with healthy and energy giving food.
The common habit of skipping breakfast meal is very bad for the body. This can lead to unstable blood glucose level and can also diminish mental alertness for the day.
Some people prefer junk foods for breakfast like sausages, processed foods (empty calorie food) e.g white bread, high calorie food e.g eba, yam, rice (when in high proportion), high saturated fat (margarine) soft drinks and coffee.
All these foods pose a threat to your health and should be avoided like plague. Foods containing less fat, high fibre rich foods are good for consumption and fit to start the day with. e.g oatmeal, boiled egg, wheat bread, pap, fruits should also be incorporated into the meal and of course a glass of clean water.
LUNCH : Most people are active in the afternoon, so the bulk of the days meal should be taken in the afternoon.
Energy giving foods such as grains, tubers, bolus, nuts can be taken in the afternoon e.g rice, yam, eba or pounded yam, as desired by the person taking the meal. Also, including fruits and vegetables during a meal is very important.
DINNER: The lightest meal of the day should be taken at night. This is so because the body is going into a phase of rest and should not be over loaded with food.
It is always advised not to go to bed immediately you take dinner because this might slow down the process of digestion and pose a threat to the health of your body.
A meal is termed light based on the quantity consumed.
An example of a meal you can eat at night could be 2-3 slices of wheat bread, a small portion of rice with vegetables and a piece of fresh fish.
Again i say to you, ”you are what you eat” you should note that the quantity and quality of food matters a lot in our diet.
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You will be surprised to know that whatever ill health we experience in our body is as a result of an unhealthy eating habit which causes malfunctions inside the body.
Do you know that nothing appears in our body without first been generated from the inside. So in other to have a healthy and fit body, we should re-construct our diet to be adequate and fit for consumption.
Nutritionist worldwide say “A fruit a day keeps you away from the doctor” because it will help build our immunity against diseases.
The major foods that kills cells in the body cells are junk food(e.g pastries, ice-cream), processed and canned foods, fries and roasted foods. Fresh foods and fruits in season are best for consumption.
As a take home gift, you can use the example given below as a prototype of what your meal should look like in a
*Breakfast: 2-3 slices of wheat bread + one boiled egg+fresh orange fruit
*Lunch: 10-11 desert spoons of boiled white rice + vegetable + a glass of clean water
*Dinner: 2 wraps of solid pap(eko) + 1 wrap of bakes beans (with little oil) + an apple fruit with a glass of clean water.
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Ebunoluwa Adeoye is a dietician by profession. She loves to counsel people on their health. Her passion is to encourage others to live a healthy lifestyle. She also enjoys reading articles related to health, fitness and children. She can be reached on Facebook and instagram