It is encouraging to know that more and more people worldwide are taking control of their health learning about their bodies, questioning the quality of their health care and demanding a lot of information on food and health products
This is attributed to the bitter truth that more and more people of all age groups are either developing maladies like heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, etc., or are at the risk of developing these debilitating conditions. But there's lots you can do to safeguard your health and quality of life right now. Here are a few basic things you should not forget everyday to get a disease free future.
1) Eat wisely
The less fat you eat, the less fat will clog your arteries and put you at risk for heart disease, stroke and hypertension. So forget fatty foods such as red meat, fried foods, whole dairy products, etc., from your daily diet and opt for whole grains, low fat dairy products, fresh fruits and vegetables.
2) Break the morning fast
Never, ever eliminate breakfast. If you usually start your day with just a cup of coffee, your metabolism is sluggish, burning fewer calories than it should from subsequent meals. Since our bodies burn calories at a slower rate while we sleep, breakfast acts as reveille for our metabolism.
3) Trim down
Studies have linked obesity with increased risk of heart diseases, diabetes and different types of cancers. Also the heavier you are, the harder your heart must work to pump blood through your body and this extra effort is going to increase your blood pressure. The safest way to lose any extra weight is to adopt a programme of exercise and to modify diet after consulting a professional.
4) Take a walk
Regular aerobic exercise such as 20-30 minutes of brisk walking three or four times a week can lower existing high blood pressure (or prevent it from occurring) and help change your cholesterol profile leading to a reduced risk of heart disease.
5) Stop smoking
Not only does smoking top the list of risk factors for a number of cancers, it plays a huge role in raising blood pressure and increasing heart disease risk, too. If you are a non smoker, do your best to avoid exposure to tobacco smoke as living with someone who smokes or working eight hours a day in a smoky environment can raise your cancer risk, probably by 50 per cent.
6) Sip water all day long
Most of us cant process more than about a glass or two of water an hour but we have to aim much more than this and do not get bogged on if you have to rush to the toilet very frequently.
One of the most perceptive health problems in today's world is dehydration and the most common signs are dry skin, muscle cramps, constipation, fatigue, headaches and a few different kinds of symptoms that we might not typically associate with dehydration like feeling flushed, anxious, depressed, heavy-headed, having irresistible cravings, etc. So next time you have a headache or feel a little low, instead of reaching for a painkiller or a sedative, try pouring yourself a glass of water.
Monika Seth/Nutritionist and diet consultant specialising in weight loss at Al Raffah Hospital