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Ageing is influenced by our genetics to a certain extent, but most of it depends on our lifestyle choices. The age to which you live need not be determined by how long your parents have lived. You can reshape your health problems, provided you know how to go about it. Eating food at least three times a day has a profound effect on almost every aspect of your mind and body. It affects your enzymes, your hormones, and, therefore, your mood, blood, organs, bones and health in general.

But how many of us think about the quality and health benefits of food before putting it into our mouths? Some foods accelerate the ageing process, and cause cancer, diabetes and heart disease. It is also the same food which leads to obesity and weakens the bones.

When you change the food you eat, the difference that it can make to your health can be astonishing. Some problems that you may have thought were genetic may vanish. Your success at eliminating health problems greatly depends on your motivation levels. If you are motivated and willing, you can gain a new level of health and a new body. Fortunately for us, the human body is very forgiving. The best time to start eating healthy is now. At any given age you can let the natural power of foods work for you. Here are 10 tips that may help.

  • Eat at least two fruits a day. Choose deep-coloured fruits over less coloured ones like pomegranates, watermelons, strawberries, oranges, apples and papayas.
  • Eat at least two calcium-rich foods every day – namely curd and whole beans (like rajma and channa), leafy vegetables, tofu, soyabean, almonds and sesame seeds.
  • Drink at least one glass of vegetable juice daily. This could be made from different combinations of vegetables, for eg: spinach+tomato+carrot; or cucumber+tomato+onion; or tomato+beetroot+carrot; or coriander leaves+tomato; or orange+tomato+carrot.
  • Limit your oil intake to 3-4 teaspoons in a day.
  • Give up smoking and limit your alcohol consumption to not more than 3-5 drinks in a week, not exceeding two drinks at any given occasion.
  • Avoid maida-based foods completely like white bread, brown bread, naan, rumali roti, pastries and cakes.
    Avoid table sugar completely and indulge in the natural goodness of dates, black raisin and fruits.
  • Eat more fiber as in jowar, bajra, oats, whole wheat, whole dals such as chowli, whole moong and black dal.
  • Take multivitamin pills and increase your intake of raw foods like carrots, cabbage, cucumber, onions, capsicum, and tomatoes.
  • Walk briskly for 30-40 minutes for at least four to five days in a week.
  • Remember that there is no vitamin pill or drug that can influence your health as profoundly as your diet.

(As published in Hindustan Times dated December 23, 2019)

December 23, 2019

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