Balance on a plate

Balance on a plate

The modern working woman, dons several hats and has many roles to play! She is a leader, she is a creator, she manages responsibilities as a parent and as a spouse. She pursues her creative passion, she plays a sport and she knows how to have fun!

The idea of having a full life, is to be able to experience all of these different aspects. Balance is not always easy, but eating a diet, that creates health, consistent energy, good immunity and a hormonal balance, can help us aspire for it and support our ambitions.

So, is there a diet that can ensure consistent energy, immunity and hormonal balance? There are two aspects to designing a diet for overall health. These factors will help you, tweak your meal plan, making it healthier - 'foods to eat more of' and 'foods to eat less of'.

Let's look at the foods we need to eat more of:

Seasonal Fruits: Eat more colourful fruits everyday. Three to five portions of fruit each day will boost the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. The easily digestible sugars in fruits, along with the natural fibre, ensures a consistent blood sugar level and energy throughout the day. The most common mistake people make with fruit, is to not eat enough of it. Start your day with a fruit and snack exclusively on fruits, whether as a mid-morning snack or a 3 pm craving, this will ensure easier inclusion of fruits in your daily diet.

Leafy Vegetables: Calorie for calorie, dark green leafy vegetables are the most nutrient-dense foods in the world. They are rich in bone-strengthening minerals like calcium and magnesium, they are highly alkaline and boost immunity. Loaded with nutrients, dark greens are beneficial in every possible way. They keep diseases at bay and protect the body against different types of cancers. It helps the body detoxify more efficiently, impacts digestion and absorption of nutrients. What's more, leafy greens also keep the skin healthy. They help beat the impact of environmental stress on our body.

Seeds: Sesame, flax seeds, chia seeds and nigella seeds are a powerhouse of nutrients. Seeds are the under appreciated in our diet, but are true superstars of the plant world. They provide essential omega-3 fatty acids and they are dense in minerals, which offer bone protection, skin rejuvenation, hormonal balance through phytoestrogen and are a fantastic source of dietary fibre.

Now that you have seen what's good, it's about time you found out what is bad for your system:

Sugar: Refined white sugar is a toxic substance. In its pure form, devoid of fibre or any other nutrient, the body doesn't recognise sugar! Apart from being a terrible assault on the digestive system, sugar is also acid causing. It disturbs the pH balance of the body, making it more acidic, which is a prerequisite for infections and other ailments. To process a toxic substance, the body has to get more calcium and other minerals from the blood stream. A diet rich in refined sugar (sweets, candies, biscuits, cola, mithai etc), means the body starts leaching calcium from the bones, just to be able to process all the refined sugar.

So the question is what to replace the white sugar with? Foods like jaggery or palm sugar are slightly better than white sugar, because they still contain some trace minerals etc., but are not for daily consumption! Sugar from whole sources like fruit, dates, figs are absolutely fine and good for us, because they come in with their natural fibre and nutrients.

Processed Foods: Any food that contains chemicals, preservatives, artificial colours, artificial flavours, additives etc., needs to be avoided completely. These are not foods, they are food-like substances. These chemicals, once ingested in the body, are stored as toxins and are hard to get rid of. Many of them are carcinogens.

Hydrogenated Oils: To make packaged foods last longer and their production cheaper, hydrogenated oils are used for making an extensive variety of food products like biscuits, chips, wafers, cakes etc. Hydrogenated oils or trans fats clog our arteries and are a huge factor in cardiovascular disorders.

(The author is Health & Wellness Coach at CureFit)

 

5 superfoods for every woman

 

1. Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli should be an important part of every woman's diet. These vegetables are great for hormone balance and are naturally rich in several minerals, that boost bone health. The cruciferous vegetables also offer skin protective benefits.

2. Sesame Seeds are super rich in calcium and magnesium. These small seeds are superheroes for strengthening our bones and protecting against osteoporosis.

3. Adding coconuts as a part of the daily diet, by using coconut meat, tender coconut water and extra virgin coconut oil, we get quality fats, that help the body produce hormones and with cellular repair. This good fat also helps keep the skin moisturised and hair shiny.

4. Chickpeas and beans are high in fibre and are low GI foods. The low glycemic index and high mineral content along with the phytoestrogens, make these truly superfoods and should be eaten every day!

5. Beetroot with its gorgeous colour, comes with a whole army of phytonutrients, that offer heart health benefits. They help protect the endothelial cells in the blood vessels, help reduce cholesterol and even have cancer fighting ability.

 

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