“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 mom of two young kids, I believed in a concept of natural living, real food and a holistic approach to health care. 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 carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, minerals, fat and fiber in a proper 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 schedules and limited time often creates a challenge for preparing a healthy and balanced meal. Making a healthy and balanced meal with limited time definitely requires pre-preparation and some smart strategies. Sometimes, few simple but smart eating (and cooking) changes in our dietary habits, can optimize the nutritional value of our routine diet.
Each nutrient in a balanced diet performs a distinct function and is necessary for the proper functioning of our body. Fiber is one of the most important nutritional elements of a healthy and balanced diet. Consuming enough fiber in your diet can have many benefits. There are mainly two types of fiber:
Soluble Fiber- They gets dissolved in the water easily and becomes a soft gel in the intestine. They help in lowering blood sugar level and cholesterol level. Oatmeal, apples, beans are the good source of soluble fiber.
Insoluble Fiber– They remains unchanged and speeds up the food’s trip through the digestive system. They promote the bowel regularity and help in the treatment of constipation. Wheat, whole grain, brown rice is a good source of insoluble fiber.
The daily recommended intake of fiber is 25-35 gram, but unfortunately most of the people do not consume the recommended intake of fiber and this reduced intake of fiber 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 fiber in your diet.
Here I am sharing some of my favourite and simple ways to boost the fiber intake in the routine diet.
1. Menu Planning– Pre-preparation and menu planning is the first and the 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.
2. Smart Shopping– 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 a 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 fiber and top it off with fruits and raisins is a good idea to add the fiber in routine breakfast. Here is a complete basic healthy shopping skills list for proper guidance.
3. Start the main meal with a vegetable platter– this is another simple but effective way to include the more fiber 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 fiber) requirement for the day. It helps in adding fibre in diet and also a great source for healthy weight management.
4. Healthy snacking 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 intakes of essential nutrients such as fiber and antioxidants. So I always try to eat whole fruit (without peeling) and dry fruits as a snack for getting the adequate fiber and nutritional benefits of fruits.
5. Replace the white bread and white rice with brown bread and brown rice– scientific studies suggested that brown rice and brown bread both are 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.
6. 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 fiber. Adding beans in soups and stew is an excellent way to boost the fiber intake. Do not afraid to be a little experimental while cooking. To maintain 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.
So these were the tiny steps to boost the fiber intake in the routine diet. What are your secret ways to include the healthy ingredients in your routine diet, please share with us. Until then eat healthy and live well!
Surbhi is a qualified doctor (B.H.M.S.) with 5 year of teaching and clinical experience. She started her writing journey at the age of 17 and published various articles in famous news paper and magazines. The most incredible experience of her life is being a mommy of two cute dolls. Recently she started her own blog Positive Parenting. She loves to write on crafting, parenting issues and kids activity and wants to share my parenting journey with others.