Sunday, 3rd December 2023

The healthy living equation

By Olusola Malomo
06 February 2020   |   3:04 am
Johannes Bircher in his work titled “Towards a dynamic definition of health and disease”, views health as a dynamic state of wellbeing characterized by a physical

Johannes Bircher in his work titled “Towards a dynamic definition of health and disease”, views health as a dynamic state of wellbeing characterized by a physical, mental and social potential, which satisfies the demands of life commensurate with age, culture, and personal responsibility.

Good health is a fundamental human right and a key indicator of sustainable development. Poor health threatens the rights of children to access good education, limits economic opportunities for men and women, and increases poverty within communities and countries around the world.

In addition to being a cause of poverty, health is impacted by poverty and strongly connected to other aspects of sustainable development, including water and sanitation, gender equality, climate change, and peace and stability.

As validated in many research studies, good health is something an individual should strive to maintain to achieve a good life. The earlier you adopt good habits, the more likely you are to thrive throughout your years and suffer from minimal health problems.

Pause for a minute and think about the following questions:
• How would you rate your general health and that of your family?

• Is there anyone in your immediate circle suffering from major health issues?

• If so, can you think of some of the diets and lifestyle choices that may have led to health problems?

A lot of factors play a role in staying healthy. Eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and getting plenty of rest is key to maintaining good health. In turn, good health can decrease your risk of developing certain conditions, including heart disease, stroke, some cancers, and injuries. So here comes the big question, what can you do to maintain good health and wellbeing?

Guides to a healthy diet
Maintaining good health and wellbeing can be achieved by a commitment to a healthy diet and good, healthy habits. This goes beyond just avoiding certain categories of foods, but also following the guides for a healthy diet such as:
• Eat a variety of nutrient-rich foods. Your body actually needs more than 40 different nutrients for good health, and there are multiple sources for them

• Eat moderate portions. If you keep portion sizes moderate and reasonable, it is easier to eat what you want, and maintain a healthy and balanced diet.

• DO NOT skip meals. Skipping meals can lead to out-of-control hunger and frequently results in over-indulging.

• Snack properly. Snacking between regular meals can help if you are pressed for time. Just make sure you have at least two balanced meals a day.

• DO NOT eliminate certain foods. Because our bodies require diverse nutrition, it’s a bad idea to eliminate all salt, fat, and sugar from our diets, unless told to do so by a medical professional.

• Be active. Get at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day.

• Stay organized. Keep yourself organized to eliminate unnecessary and preventable stress.

Food is made up of specific nutrients – proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water – all of which are necessary for life, growth, body function and tissue repair. Any one food may contain several of these essential nutrients, together with the substances needed to assist their absorption. Recommended sources for nutrients intake

As humans, to balance the healthy living equation, we rely heavily on the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals derived from our daily food consumption to stay healthy. One of the best measures for building and sustaining a healthy lifestyle is to regularly complement mealtimes with 100% fruit juice and antioxidant-rich foods. These pure fruit juices are market-ready in sterile packs as 100% fruit juice. This juice is important because they contain bioactive compounds with antioxidant properties. Thus, fruit juices have the potential to improve the antioxidant status of the body.

Consumption of fruit juices in moderate amounts (around 150-200ml per day) and as part of a balanced diet could help consumers achieve recommended daily potassium intake levels and support the maintenance of normal blood pressure.
It will be beneficial for health-conscious individuals to consume more of pure fruit juices as established by the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines. The Guideline has noted that 100% fruit juice is a part of the fruit group and that up to half of daily fruit intake should come from it.

The commitment to healthy living is an oath we all must take. Our focus should always be to add essential variables (i.e. 100% fruit juice intake, healthy diets, and exercise) into our daily health equation to ensure that we enjoy a balanced, healthy year.

* Malomo is a clinical dietitian (@malomoolusola)