Eat Right and Eat Mindfully

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

There is no denying the fact that every living being including the human being needs food to eat in order to grow and survive. We also know that except human beings all other living creatures on this earth are in need of a limited variety of eatables. We, in fact, can’t think of a modern day living without a large variety of food items and its preparations, more for satisfying our tongue than for survival and for maintaining a better health. 

Maybe that is the reason why in today’s fast life a large section of city dwellers fall prey to eating highly spicy, oily, salty and sugary items often and that too in a hurried manner and in a state of anxiety or stress. 

Moreover, most of us do not eat our food mindfully or consciously. We just finish our plate while engaged in watching TV, talking on mobile, finishing tasks on laptop, arguing on insignificant matters or in such other activities which can very well be avoided or at least deferred for 15-20 minutes in order to eat properly and nicely.

Believe it or not, this is one main reason which makes them indisposed frequently. “One pill for every ill” syndrome complicates the situation further. This adversely impacts both their domestic as well as professional life in several ways.

Now before moving forward to dwell upon various dimensions of this interesting subject, let us begin with the basic question: do we live to eat or eat to live? 

Undoubtedly, the simple and most logical answer is, primarily we eat to live. If that is so, the next question must be asked and that is, what should be our diet in order to live well and healthy? 

Taking healthy food does mean eating a variety of foods that contain   nutrients we need to maintain our health and keep us going. These nutrients include protein, carbohydrates, fat, vitamins, minerals and water. 

Water forms about 70% of the body weight and is an important constituent of all body cells. All the chemical reactions and processes in the body take place in the medium of water. Sufficient quantities of water should, therefore, be ingested daily.

In other words, the crucial part of healthy eating is nothing but having a balanced diet. And a balanced diet - or a good diet - means consuming eatables from different food groups in the right quantities, because one single food group cannot provide everything an average healthy person needs. 

Nutritionists opine that there are five main food groups: 1) Fruits 2) Vegetables 3) Whole grains 4) Milk and dairy products and 5) Egg, fish, meat, nuts, beans etc. Unquestionably, eating seasonal fruits and vegetables in reasonable quantities regularly has added advantages.

Ok, fine. But is that all? No, besides the quality and quantity of what we eat throughout the day, it is equally important to keep in mind when to eat our food and how much. There is an age old saying which goes like this: take the breakfast like a king or a queen, take the lunch like a prince or a princess and take the dinner like a pauper or a beggar. The message is quite loud and clear. Nonetheless, putting it briefly in simple words, our day should start early with highly nutritious items in good quantity. The lunch should be lighter than the breakfast and dinner the lightest, preferably taken before 9 pm.  Maintaining a time gap of 4-5 hours between two meals is a healthy option. One point of caution which needs no emphasis is to consume moderate or little quantities of refined sugar and common salt.

It has been discovered that even factors such as how you eat your food can influence how many calories get into your system, which is very important in any case. Medical experts opine that the longer you chew your food, the more calories the body retains.

Yes, the number of calories we need (from the food we eat daily) can depend on several factors like our age, size, height, sex etc. As such, the normal requirement may vary from 1800 to 3000 calories per day. To say, an active older man will require fewer calories than an active young man. 

One more thing is to always keep in mind that we can’t control everything in our life, but we can control what we put in our body. To say precisely, we should avoid junk and processed food and also aerated drinks, as they contain less nutrition, yet more quantity of fat, sugar and salt. Instead, it’s far better to have homemade food cooked or prepared by using natural ingredients. Surprisingly, such food items prepared and consumed consciously from a health point of view in a routine manner can  compensate for the requirement of medicine, if at all we’re about to fall sick.  

To put it differently, it can be said that we don’t have to eat less; we have to eat right and eat mindfully instead. Truly speaking, healthy eating is a way of life, which everyone should follow and practise in order to remain fit and fine. And who should know it better than any person working in today’s competitive environment that the healthier he is, the better he will perform and achieve his goals. 

Before signing off, it is interesting to find what Thomas Alva Edison said in this regard long back, “The doctor of the future will give no medication, but will interest the patients in the care of the human frame, diet and in the cause and prevention of disease.”

As always, I'm keen to know what you think on this subject. Hence, request you to post comments to share your views and experiences.   

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