10 Commandments for healthy living

Life can be a bed of roses if you could make it a point to adhere to some simple yet valuable commandments it has ordained you to do or desist from. What allows us to walk with our heads held high and with confidence bursting at its seams is only a fit mind accompanied by an equally fit physique. These can be achieved in a number of ways some of which go as follows:wellness

Exercise regularly

Probably the most direct road leading to good health is exercising on a regular basis – at least four times a week. Aerobic activities such as brisk walking, cycling, jogging, and swimming are excellent cardiovascular exercises that help strengthen the heart and lungs, tone up muscles, improve blood circulation, boost the immune system and, as it burns calories, helps weight loss.

Cut down on red meat

Public domain photograph of various meats. (Be...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

While red meat could actually be beneficial to growing kids as it contains lots of protein, it could be detrimental to an adult since it causes cholesterol levels to rise. If you must, once in a while, then try lean red meats trimming all visible fat and cooked by baking or broiling instead of frying.

Go for the veggies

Vegetables (including legumes such as soybeans and other soy products, peas, chickpeas, beans, and lentils) contain antioxidants that may protect LDL (low density lipoprotein) from harmful oxidation. Vegetarians have lower blood pressure than do people who eat meat. This occurs partly because fruits and vegetables besides being rich in fiber contain potassium – a known blood pressure-lowering mineral. Vegetables are most nutritious when eaten raw.

Go for the fruits

Unlike vegetables, their high water content allows most fruits to be eaten without cooking. It’s by far the most easily consumable and digestible edible commodity whether taken whole or had as a juice. It is imperative to consume juices fresh, within 15-20 minutes of being prepared. Fruits have a cleansing effect on the digestive system. Depending on which fruit you have, they should preferably be eaten with their peels.

Some fruits like oranges, limes, lemons, pineapples, grapefruits, sour apples, sour plums, sour peaches, sour grapes and tomatoes supply the body with the required citric acid, which is a detoxifier. Watermelons are rich in iron. Bananas are a source of potassium, iron, fiber, and vitamins. Bananas, tomatoes, and cucumbers contain essential amino acids. Almost every fruit contains vitamin C but a substantial amount of it will be found in oranges and all other citrus fruits, strawberries, blackberries, mangoes, guavas, and papayas.

Cut down on processed, fatty and fried foods

These “bad” fats cause major heart and health problems. Reduce free radicals. Left unchecked, they can damage cells. Eating fried and processed foods cause free radicals to float in the body, attach to cells and cause cancer. Less of these the better. Luncheon meats, salami, ham and bacon besides some canned foodstuffs packed with preservatives constitute some of the avoidable processed foods. Exercise restraint on fatty foods such as burgers, French fries, and ice cream.

 Consume only the necessary amount of sugar

It is important to note that many sugary foods (e.g., pastries, biscuits, cakes and soft drinks) are of low nutritional value. They are also often significant sources of saturated fat, and therefore should be eaten in moderation or better still not at all. Sugar is also responsible for tooth decay but a more rational reason to limit its use would be to mitigate the chances of it leading to diabetes.

Consume only the necessary amount of salt

Some studies have found that consuming more than the required amount of sodium a day (around 500 to 600 mg or about a little bit more than a quarter of a teaspoon) thickens the blood and may raise the risk of high blood pressure.

Drink lots of water

Around 7-8 glasses of water in a day. Water is the primary component of the body and is essential for nutrient digestion, distribution, body cooling, joint and membrane lubrication, waste disposal and fighting disease.

Recent dubious reports on so-called bottled mineral water don’t make them reliable and so must be less depended upon. The most hygienic form of water is the scientifically approved ‘boiled water’ which eradicates all forms of contamination.

Limit intake of alcohol

A small peg of whiskey or brandy or preferably some red wine every day according to findings is good for the heart. That, of course, must not be used as an excuse for uncorking the bottle. If you do drink, make sure the peg is small in the truest sense of the word. Anything over this will produce the opposite effect. A liver that is diseased from alcohol toxicity results in liver cancer and cirrhosis.

Avoid cigarettes, gutka or any other form of tobacco

Tobacco use remains the leading preventable cause of death in most countries. Smoking is known to cause chronic lung disease, heart disease, and stroke, as well as cancer of the lungs, larynx, esophagus, mouth, bladder, cervix, pancreas and kidneys. Researchers have identified more than 250 chemicals in tobacco smoke that are toxic or cause cancer.

Dangers faced by gutka addicts are cancer of the mouth and pharynx, leukoplakia (white sores in the mouth that can lead to cancer), gum recession or peeling back of gums, bone loss around the teeth and abrasion of teeth.

It’s great if you are one of those who knows and understands how to respect your quintessential self. But if you have not followed life’s healthy commandments religiously, you need to do some serious rethinking. The few dos and don’ts that have just been enumerated are truly easy to incorporate into your lifestyle. But first of all, promise yourself not to resort to excuses.

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