Nurturing a nutrient-rich routine- The New Indian Express

Express News Service

CHENNAI: It is now clear that nutrition is influenced separately and cooperatively by both extrinsic (food, xenobiotics, environment) and intrinsic (sex, age, gene variations) factors. External factors are important in dictating the efficiency of nutrient metabolism and health outcomes, including physical cues such as photoperiod and temperature. Intrinsic factors affect the efficiency of nutrient metabolism.

The gut microbiota represents an important interaction link for extrinsic and intrinsic factors affecting the metabolism of nutrients. A healthy diet is essential for good health and nutrition. It protects you against many chronic non-communicable diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Eating a variety of foods and consuming less salt, sugar, and saturated and industrially produced trans fats are essential to a healthy diet. To facilitate and support these factors, it is essential to provide our bodies with the appropriate nutrients to prevent the onset or risk of certain diseases.

1. Protein
Protein is an essential macronutrient that supports muscle functioning and growth and provides strength. It aids in protein acid-base balance, cell repair and growth, and acts as an enzyme and transport carrier. Protein is also essential for blood sugar control and hair health. Protein can be obtained from both vegetarian sources (beans, legumes, nuts, soy) and non-vegetarian sources (animal, poultry, seafood).

2.Omega 3 Fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are a group of polyunsaturated fatty acids that are important for a number of functions in the body. These fatty acids are good fats that are beneficial for heart health. They also help relieve the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. The omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA are found in seafood such as fatty fish (eg salmon, tuna, and trout) and shellfish (eg crab, mussels, and oysters). A different type of omega-3, called ALA, is found in other foods, including some vegetable oils (for example, canola and soy). Omega-3s are also available as dietary supplements.

3. Calcium
Calcium is an essential nutrient required for many functions in human health, including delaying aging. Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body, with 99% found in teeth and bone. Adequate calcium intake can reduce the risk of fractures, osteoporosis, and diabetes. Calcium is involved in vascular contraction, vasodilation, muscle functions, nerve conduction, intracellular signaling, and hormonal secretion. Calcium is found in milk and dairy products, green leafy vegetables, figs, calcium-containing soy drinks, and lady fingers.

4. Probiotics
Probiotics are live microorganisms that provide health benefits to the host when administered in adequate amounts. They help prevent or treat diarrhea caused by infection and antibodies, can improve irritable bowel syndrome symptoms and prevent intestinal dysbiosis. Probiotics help digest lactose and can reduce inflammation and allergies. They are beneficial for improving lipid and cholesterol levels. Sources of probiotics include yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kombucha, tempeh, miso, fermented oats or rice, and apple cider vinegar.

5. Antioxidants
Oxidative stress plays an important role in the pathogenesis of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases and cancer. The modern lifestyle associated with processed food, exposure to a wide variety of chemicals, and lack of exercise play an important role in oxidative stress induction. However, the use of herbs with antioxidant properties has been abused for their ability to treat or prevent various human pathologies, one of the causes of which seems to be oxidative stress. Antioxidants play a vital role in these defense mechanisms. Protection from the harmful effects of reactive oxygen species in healthy organisms is achieved by maintaining the delicate balance between oxidants and antioxidants. Strenuous exercise, long workouts, overtraining syndrome, and overtraining as a stage of the initial onset of overtraining syndrome cause a significant response to oxidative stress. Sources of antioxidants include strawberries, broccoli, citrus fruits, moringa leaves and nuts etc.