“Health is the greatest wealth”
We all love our family. We want our loved ones to stay fit and healthy. Good nutrition and regular exercise are an important part of adopting a healthy lifestyle. We all know that making the right food choices can prevent many serious health problems such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Being a homeopathic physician and mum of two young kids, I believed in a concept of natural living, real food and a holistic approach to health care and I always try to find simple and smart ways to boost the nutritional value of the routine diet.
As a general rule, a healthy and balanced diet is a diet that contains the right amount of all the food groups. It includes carbohydrate, protein, vitamin, minerals, fat and fibres inadequate amount. And we should always try to include these important nutrients in our routine diet for staying fit and healthy. But it is not as easy as it sounds.
During routine life, hectic work schedule and limited time are often creating a challenge for preparing a healthy and balanced meal. Making a healthy and balanced meal for a limited time definitely requires a pre-preparation and some smart strategies’. Sometimes, few simple but smart eating (and cooking) changes in our dietary habits, can optimise the nutritional value of our routine diet.
Each nutrient in a balanced diet performs a distinct function and necessary for the proper functioning of our body. Fibre is one of the most important nutritional element of a healthy and balanced diet. Consuming enough Fibres in your diet can have many health benefits.There are mainly two types of fibre:
Soluble fibre- it gets dissolve in the water easily and becomes a soft gel in the intestine. They help in lowering blood sugar level and cholesterol level. Oatmeal, apple, beans are the good source of soluble fibre.
Insoluble fibre- it remains unchanged and speeds up the food’s trip through the digestive system. They promote the bowel regularity and helps in the treatment of constipation. Wheat, whole grain, brown rice is the good source of insoluble fibre.
The daily recommended intake of fibre is 25-35 gram, but according to National Institute of Health, most of the people eat only 5-20 grams of fibre a day. And this reduced intake of fibre increases the risk of digestive disorders, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. So it is best to make keep a watch on your diet and try to do some dietary changes to include the recommended portion of the fibre in your diet.
Here I am sharing some of my favourite and simple ways to boost the fibre intake in the routine diet.
Make a weekly menu planner- pre-preparation and menu planning is the first and best thing to make a healthy and balanced meal in limited time. I always prefer to sort out some healthy and quick recipes during a weekend for upcoming weeks. And try to select those recipes that cover the recommended daily requirement of each nutrient. With a little preparation, planning your meal in advance can help you eat a more nutritious and well-balanced diet during busy weekdays.
Shop smartly- smart shopping is my second important strategy to make a balanced meal. It is the best way for providing safe and healthy food for your family. Usually, we tend to buy and eat same food products over and over again. And it may be a major cause of nutritional deficiency in our diet.
So, I love to be a little adventurous for changing the settled routine. I always try to buy and eat the variety of fruits and vegetable. Read labels and select the appropriate product is another simple strategy that helps in healthy shopping. For example, try to find a cereal that contains at least 5 gram of fibre and tops it off with fruits and raisins is a good idea to add the fibre in routine breakfast. Here is a complete list for basic healthy shopping skill for proper guidance.
Start a main meal with a vegetable platter- this is another simple but effective way to include the more fibre in your routine diet. I always start my main meal with an attractive vegetable platter (preferably raw) with some healthy dressing. This step allows me to fill up sooner and help in eat less in the following meal. It is a simple way to maintain our vegetable (as well as fibre) requirement for the day. It helps in adding fibre in diet and also a great source for healthy weight management.
Healthy snaking with fresh fruits and dry fruit- I had observed that unhealthy and processed food snack is the major cause of unnecessary calorie intake and may cause obesity and metabolic disorders at the young age. Eating a nutritious and healthy snack can boost your daily intake of essential nutrients such as fibre and antioxidants. So I always try to eat whole fruit (without peeling) and dry fruits as a snack for getting the adequate fibre and nutritional benefits of fruits.
Replace the white bread and white rice with brown bread and brown rice- scientific studies suggested that brown rice and brown bread both are higher in the finest source of vitamin B-complex, fibres and proteins. While white bread and white rice made with the refined flours. Refined carbohydrates are low in essential nutrients and have been linked with the range of health problems such as diabetes, cardiovascular disorders and obesity. So why not replace the white bread and white rice with brown bread and brown rice? It will increase our fibre intake and help us feeling full for a longer period of time.
Add beans to soups and stews- beans and legumes are one of the finest sources of fibre. Just 1 cup of cooked black beans offers 15 grams of fibre. Adding beans in soups and stew is an excellent way to boost the fibre intake. Do not afraid to be a little experimental while cooking. To maintain the fibre intake, add beans in soups and stew is really an easy option. It tastes great; satisfy hunger and helps in a healthy weight management.
Here I love to share my breakfast menu with some simple changes and result is awesome by doing that.
· 1 cup orange juice or apple juice= less than 1 gram fibre
· 1 cup cornflakes= 1 gram
· 1 slice white bread= 1 gram fibre
This breakfast provides me total less than 3 gram of fibre and as a result, I was not feeling well and then I had made some simple changes to make a high fibre breakfast and that is:
· 1 whole fruit of my choice (instead of fruit juice) = approximate 3-4 gram fibre
· 1 cup raisin bran= 8 gram of fibre
· 2 slices whole wheat bread with almond butter and fruit toppings- more than 10 gram of fibre
And by doing these simple changes in my breast, I am on the way to meeting my fibre goal of 20-35 grams a day.
So these were the tiny steps to boost the fibre intake in routine diet. What is your secret ways to include the healthy ingredients in your routine diet, please share with us. Until then eat healthy and live well!