Tips For Healthy Eating During The Holidays

Healthy Eating

The holidays are a favorite time for everyone regardless of age. People get a short break from their hectic work schedule or studies, and can spend quality time with their family and friends. The holidays are the time for parties and feasts. Most people enjoy food and often end up eating much more than they should during the festive season. This invites various health related problems after the vacation, such as diabetes, cholesterol – the list goes on. The secret to maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle during the holidays is mindful eating.
Here are some practical tips for healthy eating this holiday season:

  • Healthy breakfast: You start your day with breakfast, so make sure it’s healthy. Include healthy food like eggs, oatmeal, whole wheat bread, berries, smoothies, and so on in your breakfast plan.
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables: Whether homely meals or parties, make room for fruits and vegetables in your menu as they are full of fiber. Always try to include leafy vegetables in your chart as they are high in protein. And include them in your party menu as salads. Make attractive fruit and vegetable trays to tempt people to eat them.
  • Prepare nutritious food at home: Self-cooking is the safest way to eat healthy food. You can try nutrient substitutions and healthy makeovers of everyday boring recipes. At the same time, try to reduce fat and calories without compromising on taste. Cooking at home always beats takeouts and helps you enjoy quality time with your family.
  • Drink lots of water: In winter, you may not feel as thirsty as you feel in summer. To avoid dehydration, make a conscious effort to drink enough water. However, try to avoid calorie-rich drinks like juices, sweet ice tea, soda, and so on.
  • Don’t skip meals: Make sure every meal at the right time. Skipping a meal can cause health issues like gastritis. Even though you are empting your stomach for a party, you may not feel comfortable. For that, try to take a small meal like fruits before going for a party.
  • No alcohol on empty stomach: Avoid alcohol on empty stomach. It will increase your appetite and you will lose control over how much you eat. Sip smarter – drink water and alcohol alternatively to balance your thirst. This will help you stay hydrated while slowing down your drinking.
  • Eat slowly: Consuming food slowly aids digestion and also helps stimulate your taste buds. Savor each and every bit of your food.

Don’t ignore exercise during the holidays. Staying physically active is essential to burn calories. Maintain your regular exercise routine. This is important as there’s a chance that you will overeat and all that you eat may not be healthy. Staying active will help you stay fit even if you consume high calorie food.

Health is wealth. Even though vacations are days where you get a break from hectic daily schedule, you should take steps to eat healthy. Take care of your health and enjoy life to the fullest. Happy Holidays!

Top Six Nutrition Trends to Watch in 2021 and Beyond

Six Nutrition Trends

The year 2020 has brought major changes in behavior in people across the world. Their everyday habits and behaviors have changed dramatically. With unprecedented access to research-based information, consumers now have a better understanding of the link between nutrition and wellness. This is leading to greater personalization of diets.

According to experts, the following trends in nutrition will dominate in the year 2021 and beyond:

  • Cooking at Home: Being in lockdown with limited social movement has reactivated people’s interest in cooking. They are unable to enjoy their favorite restaurant foods, unless it is takeout. As a result, more people have begun or returned to cooking at home and are finding it an enjoyable experience. Cooking at home allows people to personalize their food choices, which is healthier and less expensive. Preparing food along with family members also promotes family bonding and creates a more intimate experience than eating in a crowded restaurant. Cooking at home provides families with quick, healthy, and cost-effective recipes that are also tasty.
  • Focus on Food Quality: Consumers wants more transparency in the foods they consume. They want to know where and how their food is grown and if any alterations were made to a product before it gets to the table. People have discovered new foods or have found alternatives to the foods they usually purchase. They are also becoming interested and knowledgable about the ingredients and nutritional content.
  • Focus on Foods for Immune Health: The COVID-19 impact has made people understand the importance of nutrition for a healthy immune system. According to market research, in 2020, over 50% of consumers reported taking more supplements to support their immune health. In 2021 also, this interest in the health and wellness industry is expected to grow. People are focused on eating right to develop a strengthened immune system.
  • Importance of Vitamin D: Vitamin D plays a crucial role in the functioning of the immune system. It supports positive mood, brain function, cognition, lung health, healthy weight, healthy pregnancy, bone health, etc. Achieving optimal levels of Vitamin D between 30 and 50 ng/mL through supplementation is vital to experience its full benefits. So, talk to your doctor, understand your vitamin D levels and include the supplement to your healthcare routine.
  • Achieve Healthy Blood Sugar Balance: There are many options to support a healthy sugar balance. Avoid sugar-sweetened beverages, eliminate added sugar, etc. You can also add supplements that support your routine blood sugar balance based on your physician’s recommendations. This can help balance your blood sugar resulting in a better mood, more balanced energy levels, and overall long-term health.
  • Climatarian: Consumers are shifting to buying organic to boost personal health, a trend described as “climatarian”. It means a person making food choices with the intention of changing how our food is grown- changing from a chemical-intensive model to one that promotes soil health, biodiversity, and healthy ecosystems, which is a crucial way to address climate change.
  • Mental Health: Eating a minimally processed diet that is rich in a variety of nutrients can support mental health. Foods rich in antioxidants, vitamins, fiber, minerals, healthy fats like omega-3, etc., are linked to mental well-being. It is noticed that, in 2021, more food and beverages companies are coming out with products that contain ingredients to reduce stress and improve sleep, which is also linked to mental health.

The world will face a huge shift in the food industry in 2021. COVID-19 has changed people’s lives, and people will tend to focus more on eating food that has a purpose and boosts health. Focusing on healthy nutritious food and proper exercise can boost your immune system and improve health and quality of life.

Malnutrition Awareness Week – October 5-9


According to the World Health Organization (WHO), malnutrition refers to “the deficiencies, excesses, or imbalances of a person’s energy or nutrients intake”. Malnutiriton results from having a diet that does not contain a sufficient amount of healthy nutrients.

The American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (ASPEN) sponsors to raise malnutrition awareness and its adverse effects on individuals and health care costs. Each year, Malnutrition Awareness Week takes place from October 5 to October 9. It is an annual, multi-organizational campaign created by ASPEN to:

  • Educate healthcare providers about early detection and treatment of malnutrition
  • Educate patients about the importance of discussing their nutritional status with the healthcare providers
  • Raise awareness about the role of nutrition on patient’s recovery

Types of Malnutrition

There are two types of malnutrition:

  • Undernutrition: Undernutrition is when a person does not get enough growth nutrients. It manifests as low height for age (stunting), low weight for height (wasting), low weight for age (underweight), and micronutrient deficiencies (a lack of essential vitamins and minerals).


    People with malnutrition have one or more of these symptoms:

    • Fatigue
    • Weight loss
    • A swollen stomach
    • Difficult to concentrate
    • Irritability
    • Depression and anxiety
    • Dry hair and skin
    Some types of undernutrition have significant effects. They are:

    • Marasmus: This occurs when body tissues and fat degenerate at an alarming rate to compensate for nutrient deficiencies. As a result, the body’s internal process and the immune system’s activity slow down very fast.
    • Kwashiorkor: This is a severe protein deficiency that causes fluid retention and swollen abdomen. As a result, under-nourished children may look plump.
    • Marasmus-kwashiorkor: This is characterized by severe wasting along with fluid retention.
  • Overnutrition: In this form of malnutrition, nutrient intake exceeds the amount required for normal growth. It occurs due to the over-consumption of fast and processed foods that contains high calories and fat but low in other nutrients. Overnutrition can result in obesity and diet-related non-communicable diseases like heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes. A study of 17,000 adults and children showed that those who had fast food had significantly lower intakes of Vitamin A and Vitamin C and higher calorie, fat, and sodium consumption than those who didn’t have this type of food.


    • Overweight or Obese
    • Heart problems
    • Type 2 diabetes
    • Hair loss
    • Difficulty in walking
    • Bleeding
    • Diarrhea
    • High blood pressure

Both of undernutrition and overnutrition can lead to health problems if not addressed.

Preventing Malnutrition

Dietray changes are the primary treatment for malnutrition. As we observe Malnutrition Awareness Week, here are some ways to prevent malnutrition:

  • Eating a healthy and balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, protein-rich foods, and starchy foods.
  • Eating “fortified” foods that contain extra nutrients
  • Eating healthy snacks
  • Taking extra nutrients in the form of supplements

This October, organizations across the U.S. will join the fight against malnutrition by becoming an ambassador to raise awareness about the consequences of malnutrition and learning how to intervene.

Get a Beach-ready Body with a Nutritious, Balanced Diet

Balanced Diet

Having a beach-ready body is everyone’s desire and to achieve this body you have to follow a good nutritious diet. Good nutrition is an important part of leading a healthy lifestyle. A balanced diet along with physical activity can help you reach and maintain a healthy weight and reduce your risk of chronic diseases. Eating more fiber-rich food is the best option as it fills you up faster and prevents your body from absorbing some of the calories in the foods that you eat. The ideal volume of gram intake for women is 25 grams, and for men 38 grams.

Here are some summer foods that will help you achieve a toned and fit body.

  • Strawberries: Strawberries are full of vitamin C and antioxidants that will make you skin look younger. A cup of halved strawberries contains 3 grams of fiber and around 50 calories. Strawberries can be used in smoothies, salads etc.
  • Green beans: Green beans are a good source of vitamin K that helps in maintaining healthy and strong bones. Green beans can be added to soups, stir fries and salads. A cup of beans has 44 calories and 4 grams of fiber.
  • Raspberry: A cup of raspberry has 8 grams of fiber and 64 calories; the main advantage of raspberry is that it helps lower cholesterol.
  • Corn: Corn is an excellent choice of food that helps with weight loss and provides good bacteria in your gut. A cup of boiled corn contains 127 calories and 3 grams of fiber. Boiled corn can be eaten as snack or added in soups, salads, salsa dip, and pizza toppings.
  • Zucchini: A cup of cooked Zucchini contains 3 grams of fiber and 30 calories. Zucchini is a healthy vegetable that contains two antioxidants – lutein and zeaxanthin – that prevents age-related macular degeneration. Zucchini is a great substitute for noodles or it can be even grilled and added to summer casseroles.
  • Leafy greens: Leafy greens are rich in vitamins A, C, K, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and fiber. It can be added to soups, salads and even smoothies.
  • Peppermint: Peppermint helps reduce bloating and indigestion and soothe the GI tract. This can be added to tea, drinks or even to plain water.
  • Salmon: Salmon is high in omega-3 fatty acids and low in calories. It has saturated fats, protein and sodium. It also has anti-inflammatory advantages.
  • Raw nuts: Raw nuts contain healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that help to minimize the risk of heart disease and possibly prevent breast cancer.
  • Quinoa: Quinoa is similar to grains and it is rich in protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
  • Greek Yogurt: 6 ounces of Greek yogurt has no fats and 18 grams of protein. It also contains probiotics and supplies 20 percent of your calcium needs. This is a gluten-free, diabetic dietary healthy product that can be used in salads, or smoothies.
  • Eggs: Eggs are full of amino acids and an excellent source of protein that prevents you from overeating. Eggs are incredibly versatile and can be added to almost any meal or snack.
  • Red Bell peppers: Red Bell peppers contain antioxidants like vitamin C and beta carotene that stimulate the digestive system and boosts metabolism.
  • Steel cut oats: This is the least processed type of oats that are full of fiber and protein, and helps reduce cholesterol and maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
  • Asparagus: Asparagus is a good source of vitamin K, C and beta carotene and it is a slow releasing food that helps to normalize blood sugar. It also serves as a stimulant to liver and kidney that helps with minimizing water retention and bloating.
  • Pineapple: Pineapple is a tropical fruit that contains bromelain, a digestive enzyme that can help reduce gas, and keeps your healthy.
  • Celery: Celery or celery stick is a great snack that helps reduce fluid retention and fill up your stomach without adding many calories to your daily total. It has high levels of Vitamin K, A, C and vitamins B-2 and B-6.

High-fiber rich food tends to be more filling than low-fiber food which means that you’re likely to eat less and stay satisfied longer. Similarly, high-fiber foods tend to take longer to eat and are less energy dense, so that they have fewer calories for the same volume of food. It also helps to control cholesterol and blood sugar levels. If you are planning to reduce your weight, then a balanced diet is essential. A balanced diet that contains a full range of vitamins, minerals, proteins, antioxidants and nutrients not only helps you get a beach-ready body but also improves your immune system. This helps prevent health conditions like cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and other health concerns.

The Immunity Boosters: Vitamin D and Omega-3

Immunity Boosters

We need to build a strong immune system to stay healthy. We can build immunity from vitamins and minerals through variety of foods and sunlight. The COVID-19 has put the spotlight on the role of nutrition in boosting or strengthening the immune system.

The immune system is made up of different organs, cells, and chemicals that fight infection (microbes), and protects your body from outside invaders, like bacteria, virus, fungi, and toxins. To build a strong immune system include the following foods in your diet, keeping in mind that it is better to avoid supplements.

  • Vitamin C– Leafy green vegetables such as spinach and kale, bell peppers, sprouts, broccoli, papaya, citrus fruits like orange, grapes, lemons, etc.
  • Vitamin E– Spinach & broccoli, peanuts, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, etc.
  • Vitamin A– Carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and squash, contains carotenoids which are converted into vitamin A by the body. They contain antioxidants which fight free radicals, cell damage, and inflammation, and vitamin C which strengthens the immune system.
  • Vitamin D– Known as the sunshine vitamin, vitamin D is produced by the body when the skin is exposed to sunlight. It occurs naturally in foods such as fatty fish, fish liver oils, egg yolks, canned tuna, fortified milks, fortified cereal, and some mushrooms.
  • Folic acid– Peas, beans, leafy green vegetables and in some fortified foods.
  • Iron– Dried fruits, raspberries, asparagus, dark leafy vegetables, chicken liver, etc.
  • Selenium– Garlic, broccoli, sardines, tuna, beef, poultry and grain products.
  • Zinc– Oysters, crab, poultry, baked beans (w/o sugar), yoghurt and chickpeas.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids– Walnuts, flax seeds, fatty fish, etc.

All these are needed to build a healthy immune system, but here, we highlight two critical nutrients that are vital to boost immunity – vitamin D and Omega-3 fatty acids.

Vitamin D – When exposed to sunlight, the body makes vitamin D from cholesterol. We need vitamin D to absorb calcium and phosphate, the two minerals in our diet that are essential for maintaining strong and healthy bones.

A recent report noted that 28.9% of U.S adults are Vitamin D deficient and another 41.1% are Vitamin D insufficient. This means that approximately two-thirds of U.S population have low levels of Vitamin D. Deficiency or insufficiency of vitamin remains extremely common due to the changes in lifestyle – most indoor workers get too little of sunshine and most people use sunscreen when they go out. Using sunscreen will protect you from skin cancer, but it can block the UV rays needed for vitamin D synthesis.

Your immune system needs Vitamin D to function properly and its deficiency make you more prone to infection and disease. That’s why it’s important to focus on foods that are good sources of vitamin D daily, including fatty fish, fish liver oils, egg yolks, canned tuna, fortified milks, fortified cereal, and some mushrooms. As Vitamin D is oil soluble and needs fat to get absorbed properly, make sure you eat some fat too.

Vitamin D promotes immune response, it has both anti-inflammatory and immunoregulatory properties and is significant for the activation of immune system defences. According to a study mentioned in a article, vitamin D supplements decreased the risk of at least one acute respiratory infection (ARI) by 12% in both those who were deficient in vitamin D and those with adequate levels. The review found that vitamin D supplements are more effective against ARI when taken daily or weekly in small doses than when taken in larger, widely spaced doses.

Omega-3 fatty acids

Omega-3 fatty acids help boost the immune system by enhancing the functioning of immune cells. It not only prevents disease by reducing inflammation, but also enhances the activity of white blood cells. They are essential fatty acids, means the body cannot make them from other fats. The only way to get a sufficient amount of omega-3 is to consume foods high in omega-3 fats.

The main types of omega-3 fats are:

  • EPA & DHA from fish and algae (which enhance the function of B immune cells)
  • ALA- mainly from plants

Benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids:

  • Reduced cardiovascular disease
  • Fight inflammation (decrease CRP, IL-6 and TNF-α levels which are all markers of inflammation)
  • Fight autoimmune disease
  • Fight depression and anxiety
  • Improve eye health
  • Reduce symptoms of metabolic syndrome
  • Improved immune system

According to the report, in the last 60 years, the standard American diet has shifted from being fairly balanced in Omega-3 (anti-inflammatory) and omega-6 (pro-inflammatory), to being very high in Omega-6 and very low in Omega-3 fatty acids. The immune function can suffer and the inflammatory markers can become elevated when this ratio is skewed. Aim to minimize the consumption of omega-6 rich foods such as corn, sunflower, cottonseed and soybean oils, which are also found in many processed/packaged products. Focus on consuming Omega-3 rich foods such as:

  • Fatty fish
  • Pastured eggs
  • Seaweed
  • Algae
  • Walnuts
  • Hempseeds etc

Omega-3 is vital for optimal health. If you don’t eat fatty fish, talk to your physician about taking an Omega-3 supplement.

Keep in mind that a proper medication for COVID-19 is not yet available. The only way to reduce risks of this infection is to maintain social distancing and follow the recommended hand-washing advice, and boost your immune system by eating the right foods. Experts also recommend wearing a mask when outside,

Ten Foods to Boost and Strengthen Your Immune System

Immune System

The immune system is the body’s defense system that works to protect it against germs, infections and other pathogens. It does an extraordinary job in combating illness and keeping us healthy. Several factors could weaken the immune system, such as a stressful lifestyle, poor sleeping pattern, age, smoking, underlying health conditions, medications, pregnancy and a diet that lacks essential nutrients. Boosting and strengthening the immunity of our body has become more important than ever before in the face of the challenging and complex coronavirus pandemic.

According to Everyday Health, beyond precautions like hand-washing and avoiding people who are ill, a good immune system can fight off COVID-19 and other viruses that you may be exposed to. The World Economic Forum says that as and until a vaccine is available, “our immune systems will need to adapt unaided to COVID-19.”

The body make proteins called antibodies that destroy abnormal cells. To produce these antibodies, you have to follow a diet that provides you with necessary nutrients. According to Harvard Health Publishing, “healthy immune system warriors need good, regular nourishment. Scientists have long recognized that people who live in poverty and are malnourished are more vulnerable to infectious diseases.”

Here are 10 foods that can help boost the body’s immune system:

  1. Citrus fruits and red bell peppers: These foods are loaded with Vitamin C, which is well-known for its role in supporting the immune system. Vitamin C is also thought to increase the production of white blood cells, which are key to fighting infections. As almost all citrus fruits such as grapefruit, oranges, clementines, tangerines, lemons and limes are high in vitamin C, add any of them into your meal a day. However, while vitamin C might help you recover from a cold quicker, there’s no evidence yet that it’s effective against SARS-CoV-2.
  2. Fatty Fishes: Fishes like salmon, tuna, mackerel boost your immunity because they have Vitamin D, which have a very important role in boosting the body’s immune system. Research shows vitamin D supplementation may reduce the risk for viral infections, including respiratory tract infections, by reducing production of pro-inflammatory compounds in the body. Increased vitamin D in the blood has been linked to prevention of chronic diseases like tuberculosis, hepatitis, and cardiovascular disease.
  3. Kale: This leafy vegetable boosts immune system with two critical ingredients – fiber and antioxidants.
  4. Broccoli: One of the healthiest vegetables, broccoli is packed with vitamins A, C, E and also has potent antioxidants.
  5. Garlic: A must-have for your health, garlic has immune-boosting properties. It may also slow down hardening of the arteries, and also help lower blood pressure. Add fresh garlic to cooked veggies, soup, or broth.
  6. Ginger: Ginger has anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties and is believed to offer many health benefits.
  7. Probiotic foods: Up to 80% of your immune system is housed in the gut or belly. Probiotics are fermented foods that contain good bacteria which help in healthy digestion. Wholesome fermented items such as yogurt, sauerkraut and skimmed milk can help maintain heart and brain health and boost the immune system.
  8. Pomegranate: This fruit supports immunity via its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory activity. The flavonoid antioxidants found in pomegranate have also been shown to combat viruses, and decrease the length of a cold by as much as 40% (
  9. Sunflower seeds: A rich source of vitamin E and an antioxidant, sunflower seeds can make a tasty addition to salads or breakfast bowls. Vitamin E improves immune function by fighting off free radicals which can damage cells.
  10. Sweet potato, carrots, and green leafy vegetables: All these foods have Beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant that can reduce inflammation and boost immune function by increasing disease-fighting cells in the body.

Whatever you eat, make sure that you drink lots of water throughout the day. Staying hydrated is very important to boost your immunity. Besides vitamins and minerals, there are a lot of factors that go into enhancing the immune system. Diet benefits do not happen overnight and take time to build up. So, start today!

Take Your Fitness to The Next Level with Effective Nutrition

Nutrition has a great impact on our overall fitness. Using food as medicine has become a popular theme for improving general health.

Fitness to The Next Level with Effective Nutrition

There are two types of nutrition:

  • General Nutrition

It is the process of obtaining the food necessary for health and growth, i.e. using nutrition to keep you alive and functioning.

  • Optimal Nutrition

Eating the right amounts of nutrients on a proper schedule to achieve the best performance and longest possible lifetime in good health, i.e. using nutrition to maximize health, happiness and wellbeing.

Optimal nutrition can reduce the risks of developing diseases and disorders like cancer, diabetes and heart disease. It helps to reduce fat mass and gain muscle mass. It also helps to improve joint health and support growth and development as well as cognitive functions like focus, and quick decision-making skills. It also improves the exercise capacity, and reduces the risk of injury. Importantly, the quality of sleep can be improved.

The Principles of Optimal Nutrition

  • Eating Schedule

It is not that the schedule you follow, it is the consistency you maintain that is important, i.e. whatever schedule you choose, make it consistent. Pick a routine you know you can follow on a day-to-day basis.

  • Key Nutrients

The key nutrients to include in your meals are:

  1. Proteins
    They are the building blocks of our body (muscle, bones, organs, tissue, brain) and can also serve as a fuel source.
    Your body uses protein to build and repair tissues.
    Increases muscle mass and strength.
    Increases fat burning and boosts metabolism.
    It keeps the body healthy and strong, and supports growth and development.
  2. Carbohydrates
    Carbohydrates provide energy for daily tasks and exercise, and are the primary fuel source for your brain’s high energy demands. The body breaks down or converts most of the carbohydrates into the sugar glucose (which is the main energy source), and it is absorbed in the bloodstream, and with the help of insulin it travels into the cells of the body where it can be used for energy. Carbohydrates provide soluble and insoluble fibers that support gut health and cardiovascular health, and also help in digestion by providing our intestine with nutrients for the good bacteria.
  3. Healthy Fat
    Healthy fat supports joint health and it has anti-inflammatory properties. It reduces the risk of arthritis and other chronic joint issues, enhances cognitive function and thereby keeps the brain healthy. It enables the body to absorb essential vitamins (A, D, E, K).
  4. Vitamins, Minerals and Antioxidants
    Vitamins and minerals support every vital function in the body. They keep the immune system strong and healthy, keep diseases away, heal wounds and repair cellular damage. Antioxidants help to reduce inflammation which is the leading cause of many diseases. Powerful antioxidants in leafy greens and vegetables remove harmful chemicals and thereby help to detoxify the body. Antioxidants protect your cells from free radicals, which may play a role in cancer, heart disease and other diseases. It also prevents a chemical process called oxidation which damages cells and can lead to the development of diseases like Alzheimer’s. Include all the key nutrients in every meal. It helps to improve health, performance and day to day functioning.
  • Food Selection
Protein Carbohydrates Fat
Lean Meats, Dairy & Plant Proteins Grains Fruits &Vegetables Nuts, Seeds &Oils
Eggs Oats Apple Almonds
Fish/Seafood Barley Oranges Flax Seed
Beef Quinoa Pineapple Olive oil
Cheese Wheat Berries Avocado
Beans Wheat Sweet Almond Butter
Pork Pasta Potatoes Sunflower seed
Milk Brown Rice Squash
Yoghurt Corn
Tofu Carrots
Lentils Pumpkin

These Protein, Carb and Fat food sources will provide the vitamins and minerals needed for the body. The foods that contain antioxidants include cranberries, red grapes, peaches, cherries, orange, mango, watermelon, onions, garlic, carrots, spinach, eggplant etc. When building out a meal, getting something from each one of these categories ensures that by the end of the day you will achieve the nutrient targets.

  • Hydration

The human body is 75% water. Small changes in hydration can impact the body. Proper hydration is one of the most important aspects of healthy physical activity.

Hydration is important

  • To regulate the body temperature
  • To keep joints lubricated
  • To prevent infections
  • To keep organs functioning properly
  • To improve sleep quality

Dehydration can cause

  • Headaches
  • Constipation
  • Impaired cognitive function
  • Reduced athletic performance
  • Joint and Muscle pain
  • Fatigue
  • To know your daily requirement of fluid source, you divide your weight in pounds by 2. For instance, if you are 150 pounds you should consume 75 oz of calorie-free fluid every single day.

    • Best fluid sources
      • Water
      • Coffee/tea (no sugar/cream)
      • Lemon water
      • Unsweetened iced tea

    Foods You Should Avoid to Stay Healthy

    • Sweetened breakfast cereals
    • White bread
    • Fired, grilled or broiled food
    • Pastries, cookies
    • French fries and potato chips
    • Sugary drinks
    • Processed meats
    • Diet soda
    • Be consistent in your diet. Choose the proper foods and consume the right portion size. Make sure that you are hydrated throughout the day.

General Guidelines for a Healthy Diet

General Guidelines for a Healthy Diet

A healthy diet is a balanced diet that provides important vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to keep the body and mind strong and healthy. Eating healthy protects against malnutrition and minimizes risks of various diseases and health complications. However, increased production and consumption of processed foods, rapid urbanization and changing lifestyles have led to a shift in dietary patterns. People nowadays consume more foods high in energy, fats, free sugars and salt/sodium, and do not eat enough fruit, vegetables and whole grains. Unhealthy eating patterns along with lack of physical activity health are the reasons for many serious diseases. Unhealthy lifestyles are a major global health risk and switching to a healthy diet is more important than ever.

According to World Health Organization (WHO), healthy dietary practices should start early in life, that is, with breastfeeding. Breastfeeding promotes healthy growth and improves cognitive development and may also provide longer term health benefits such as reducing the risk of becoming overweight or obese and developing non-communicable diseases (NCDs), including such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer later in life.

Eating the right amount of calories to balance the energy you consume with the energy you use is the key to healthy and balanced diet. A balanced diet means eating foods from the five major groups: vegetables, fruits, grains, protein and dairy. A healthy diet also includes a wider range of options that includes legumes, seeds and nuts, fish and even plant oils. It is recommended that men have around 2,500 calories a day (10,500 kilojoules) and women have around 2,000 calories a day (8,400 kilojoules).

Here are the general guidelines for healthy eating:

  • The most important rule of healthy eating is not skipping any meal, especially breakfast. Skipping breakfast lowers your metabolic rate.
  • Eat more raw foods such as salads, fruits and vegetable juices. This will also make meal preparation more easy and simple.
  • Eat a variety of vegetables, especially dark green, red, and orange vegetables (3 or more servings a day).
  • Try to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables every day.
  • Reduce or eliminate refined or processed carbohydrates; instead, eat whole grains, high-fiber breads and cereals.
  • Try to use variety of foods in the menu because no single food has all the nutrients.
  • Avoid eating an unhealthy snack when hungry by keeping healthy snacks handy.
  • Consume low-fat milk and low-fat dairy products.
  • If you eat meat, avoid red meat and consume white meat.
  • Reduce intake of saturated fats and trans-fats as much as possible.
  • Use vegetable oils such as olive or canola oil instead of solid fats.
  • Reduce daily intake of salt or sodium to less than 1,500 mg. per day if you are older than 50, or have hypertension, diabetes or chronic kidney disease.
  • Restrict or eliminate sodas and other sugar-added drinks that are high in calories and contain few or no nutrients.
  • Limit caffeine, alcohol and refined sugar from your diet.
  • Carry a homemade lunch to work and limit the consumption of junk foods.
  • Read and understand the nutrition facts on food labels.
  • Stop eating when you feel full.

A balanced diet is one that provides around 60-70% of total calories from carbohydrates, 10-12% from proteins and 20-25% of total calories from fat. Medical News Today notes, “Dietary guidelines change over time, as scientists discover new information about nutrition. Current recommendations suggest that a person’s plate should contain primarily vegetables and fruits, some lean protein, some dairy, and soluble fiber.”

Vitamins and Minerals Essential for Athletes

Vitamins and Minerals Essential for Athletes

Essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals contribute to our overall well-being. However, due to their high activity levels, athletes need more nutrients than less-active or sedentary people. To build an athletic body and keep their energy levels high to beat fatigue and ensure the best performance, athletes need to follow a balanced diet that includes specific vitamins and minerals. These essential nutrients are crucial for a variety of activities in the body such as turning food into energy and keeping bones healthy.

According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, while some research suggests high activity levels in athletes may increase their vitamin needs, there are no official guidelines for vitamin recommendations specific to athletes at this time. For instance, as athletes lose more electrolytes such as magnesium, potassium and sodium through sweating, they would need more of them. Similarly, they would experience wear and tear due to intense activity which may increase the need for antioxidants such as vitamin E that to protect the muscle cells from oxidative damage. A deficiency of these nutrients can likely will take a toll on an athlete’r performance.

Here are the top seven nutrients essential for athletes:

  1. Vitamin D: Athletic activity puts a lot of pressure on the bones and joints. Vitamin D is essential for building and maintaining healthy bones. While sunlight is the best natural source of Vitamin D, there are foods rich in Vitamin D like egg yolks, tuna, salmon, soy milk, cheese and so on. If your body isn’t getting enough of Vit D, discuss taking vitamin D supplements with your doctor.
  2. Omega 3: Omega-3 fatty acids allow the maximal amount of oxygen-rich blood to reach your working muscles ( However, as these essential fats is not produced by our bodies, we must obtain them through diet. The best food sources of omega-3 fatty acids are fish (mackerel, salmon, herring and so on), chia seeds, flaxseed, and also dietary supplements such as fish oil.
  3. Magnesium: This major mineral controls neuromuscular, cardiovascular, immune, and hormonal functioning. If you lack magnesium, it can lead to muscle weakness and fatigue, injury and eveb affect your mental well-being. To get the magnesium you need, eat bananas, figs, avocado and raspberries, nuts and seeds, legumes, seafood and vegetables like peas, broccoli, brussels, sprouts, and green leafy vegetables.
  4. Vitamin E: Though Vitamin E has no role in improving overall athletic performance, it is an important antioxidant to prevent oxidative cellular damage. Vitamin E helps promote a healthy immune system, thereby reducing the risk of picking up viruses from public spaces. It increases your anaerobic threshold and eases muscle cramps. Good dietary sources of vitamin E include nuts, such as almonds, peanuts and hazelnuts, and vegetable oils, such as sunflower, wheat germ, safflower, corn and soybean oils.
  5. Vitamin C: This immune-boosting vitamin is essential for athletes training outdoors as it prevents airborne viruses and common colds. Food sources of Vit C include citrus fruits and strawberries, and vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and capsicum among others.
  6. Potassium: An important electrolyte, potassium is an important mineral in your blood, urine, and bodily fluids. It contains an electric charge which helps your cells communicate with each other and gives you the ability to taste, see, smell, touch, and hear. Nearly 70% of the potassium in your body is found in bodily fluids like plasma, blood, and sweat, while the rest is stored in your bones. Sweating heavily during intense exercise can lead to loss of potassium. Low potassium levels can cause muscle cramping and cardiovascular issues along with reducing your energy and endurance. Consume potassium-rich foods such as bananas, citrus fruits, melons, leafy greens, broccoli, fish, meats, milk, sweet potatoes, legumes (lime, kidney beans) each day.
  7. Iron: One of the major functions of iron is to carry oxygen to the cells in your body, which makes it essential for athletic performance. However, exercise may cause some iron loss or decreased absorption. In fact, iron deficiency is a common problem for athletes and runners, especially in female athletes, endurance athletes and vegetarian athletes Not having enough iron in the body will cause fatigue and impact physical performance. The need for iron may be 30% greater in those who engage in regular intense exercise. Good food sources of iron include clams, turkey breast, fortified breakfast cereals, beef, beans, spinach, and oats.

Make sure that you include these best vitamins and minerals in your diet or as supplements. Along with them include vitamin A, B vitamins, thiamin, niacin, creatine, zinc, sodium and selenium too. A registered dietitian or nutritionist who is specialized in sports nutrition can provide you with an individualized nutrition plan that meets your vitamin and mineral needs.

Post-Workout Nutrition: 12 Muscle Recovery Foods to Snack On

Many people put a lot of effort into their workouts to achieve their goal of building muscle as they lose weight. However, intense workouts could lead to post-exercise soreness. Proper attention to post-workout meals can prevent muscle soreness, improve immune system functioning, and build glycogen stores, which are all key building blocks in preparing for future workouts.

Post-Workout Nutrition

Consuming the right nutrients after you exercise is just as important as what you eat before. Certain muscle recovery foods boast specific nutrient profiles which lessen next-day soreness. One expert recommends aiming for a 2:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio, since protein is best absorbed with a “carbohydrate co-transporter” ( In addition helping to rebuild your muscle proteins and glycogen stores, getting the right nutrients after exercise can stimulate growth of new muscle. Here are 12 muscle recovery food options that can boost strength, speed post-workout recovery, and get you back to the gym faster:

  1. Berries: Blueberries and raspberries have higher antioxidant content than other members of the berry family. They can help your muscles repair themselves after workouts, reduce inflammation, and prevent free radical damage to the cells.
  2. Eggs: Eggs are rich in protein and an essential building block for muscles. Including eggs in your post-workout nutrition can fight inflammation and support healthy muscle development. Eggs are an important source of leucine which is associated with muscle recovery.
  3. Oatmeal: Oatmeal is quick and easy to prepare. It provides a complex carbohydrate source, which will help replenish exhausted muscles and work along with the protein to aid in muscle growth and recovery.
  4. Watermelon: This juicy fruit has energetic amino acids, l-citrulline, which can calm painful, tender muscles. Moreover, the natural sugars present in watermelon will also supply protein content into the muscles and refill their low glycogen stores. This high water content fruit also helps prevent dehydration and muscle-cramping.
  5. Bananas: Loaded with both carbohydrates and potassium – two muscle-friendly post-workout nutrients – bananas replenish carbohydrates burned for fuel during exercise, along with potassium, an electrolyte lost in sweat.
  6. Spinach: Along with other cruciferous vegetables, spinach is rich in Vitamins A B, and C. This nutrient packed muscle recovery food helps stave off inflammation. This antioxidant super food fights free radicals in your body, helps you quickly rebound from strenuous exercise, and also reduces risk of diseases like cancer and heart disease.
  7. Chia seeds: Chia seeds have all nine essential amino acids, making this food a great option for muscle recovery after strenuous exercise.
  8. Green tea: A rich source of antioxidants and polyphenols, green tea helps regulate oxidative damage that occurs during training as well as due to lifestyle reasons. According to Health, a study found that men who supplemented with 500mg of green tea extract reduced markers of muscle damage caused by exercise.
  9. Taro Root: This starchy root vegetable is a great source of carbohydrates and fiber. Experts recommend pairing it with a protein to make it an ideal post-workout meal. This recovery meal can provide the raw materials you need to heal from the wear-and-tear that exercise puts on the body, and make you strong and fit.
  10. Meat and Fish: Workouts can lead to muscle tearing that can be restored only with proper protein. Meat and fish, especially beef, chicken, and fish, are packed with protein. But keep in mind that meat and fish have higher fat content which means higher calories, which could work against you if you are trying to lose weight.
  11. Cottage Cheese: With two different kinds of protein, casein and whey, cottage cheese is packed with live cultures (good bacteria) that help break down and absorb nutrients. The whey protein helps in replenishing muscles speedily after training while the case in protein is a slow-acting one that makes cottage cheese a perfect snack.
  12. Turmeric: A powerful food recognized for its injury and wound healing properties, turmeric is called the “golden spice”. Curcumin, an active ingredient found in turmeric, can reduce the pain associated with delayed onset muscle soreness and improve recovery of muscular performance.