There is always so much speculation around health and food that it often clouds our mind and makes us forget the basics. Everything from the new, upcoming diets to superfoods may be good for us, but that’s not an excuse to give up on our traditional wisdom. On the occasion of World Health Day, we asked our Diabetes Care Expert, Sampada Kulkarni, to chalk out important points one must follow daily.
So, what are the simple habits you can easily stick to?
We often tend to complicate things switching to our lazy side when it comes to taking care of our health. But, a few simple things can go a long way to ensure your good health.
Start and end your day right: Paying attention to the first thing you do after waking up and the last thing while going to bed is a must. It is recommended to start your day with a glass of lukewarm water. Drinking water first thing in the morning flushes out all the toxins and also helps put off some weight. It also purifies the colon and improves the stomach’s chances to absorb nutrients properly. You can also add a teaspoon of lemon juice in it to enhance your metabolism.
People with diabetes have increased thirst sensation especially when the sugars are not under control. Hence, it is recommended to keep a glass of water beside your bed in case you wake up feeling thirsty to avoid dehydration throughout the night.
Go seasonal: The best way to a healthy lifestyle is by eating seasonal fruits and vegetables. Choose seasonal, locally grown foods which are nutritious. Summer is a great time to indulge in a lot of fresh fruits like Guava, Papaya, Pears, berries and Plums and vegetables like green leafy vegetables, Cucumbers, Pumpkins, Ladyfingers etc. Opting for colourful fruits and vegetables has great benefits as they are nutrient and antioxidant-rich making them one of the healthiest food options.
Get your daily dose of Vitamin C: While focusing on the macronutrients, we often tend to miss out the essential micronutrients. Vitamin deficiencies, infections and allergies have become so common these days; therefore, it is important to get your daily dose of Vitamin C. Since Vitamin C is not produced or stored in the body, one needs to derive it from the food they eat.
You can have a glass of fresh amla (gooseberry) juice or just amla in the morning. You can even sip on fresh lime water to get enough Vitamin C and to keep yourself hydrated. Apart from these, citrus fruits (oranges, sweet-lime), cabbage, capsicum are good sources of Vitamin C too.
Free radical attack and inflammation in the body are responsible for various complications including type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular complications. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant which fight against free radical attack and reduces inflammation. Indirectly, it helps in the prevention and control of these complications.
Stop neglecting protein: Proteins are unknowingly, the simplest (yet important) nutrient that people tend to ignore. Try to sneak in more of lentils, pulses, paneer, curd and other good quality protein. Safe non-vegetarian protein options are lean cuts of chicken, fish and eggs. Protein consumption helps boost metabolism, makes you feel fuller and also reduces your appetite.
Carbs are important: Yes, you heard that right! When we talk about carbs, it doesn’t only include simple carbs but also complex carbs – the healthier version. Good carbs, likewise known as complex carbs, which are loaded with the goodness of fibre. It offers a multitude of health benefits ranging from weight loss to healthy cholesterol levels and sugar control. These include wholegrains and cereals, lentils, fruits, leafy vegetables etc.
Balance is the key: It is no secret that you need to strike a balance between all the essential nutrients your body requires daily. Make sure to eat a healthy, well-balanced breakfast regularly. Focus on the proteins and keep your dinner light. When it comes to fats, the key is to distribute them throughout the day evenly. Half of it should consist of your visible fats such as oil, butter and ghee and the other half should come from fatty foods such as nuts and seeds, dairy, avocados, etc.
Drink enough water: Drink plenty of water- most basic advice, no matter the complication. Water helps in detoxification of the body which is important for good health, skin and even hair.
Make the water healthier by adding slices of fresh fruits like orange, watermelon or cucumbers. You can also add a tea bag in one litre of water. This infused water will help add taste and necessary nutrients to the diet. Infused water is also helpful in weight management and blood sugar reduction.