Beat these lifestyle challenges with the Indian way of nutrition this Women’s Day  |  Photo Credit: iStock Images
New Delhi: This year’s Women’s Day theme ‘choose to challenge’ is bang on the mark. It is time to change the way we look at ourselves and begin practising more self-love. Simply translated: your needs matter more.
One of the ways in which women often ignore themselves is in the way they eat. While some do pay attention to what they eat, most women might need the proverbial nudge to switch over to more beneficial food sources and focus on following the Indian ways of nutrition.
Whatever may be the case, here are five simple challenges to take head-on today onwards, through your diet. These simple steps will substantially help you benefit from Indian food wisdom, boost your health, and make you feel all-powerful.
It is impossible to just cut stress off from your life, but you can learn to manage it by solving problems that are under your control. There are enough surveys proving women to be ace problem solvers. Now, use this skill for the benefit of your health, by changing your diet.
The Solution: Besides the well-known benefit of boosting immunity, turmeric can help keep depression at bay too. Curcumin in turmeric is known to actually help lift levels of neurochemicals such as norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin, which make us happier. Since curcumin is the all-important compound in turmeric that delivers these benefits, source turmeric from a brand that delivers the 3% curcumin guarantee.
Dark circles under the eyes, low energy, and fatigue are common telltale signs of wrong sleeping patterns. But the damage runs deeper. Chronic sleep deprivation can result in health issues like diabetes, blood pressure, heart problems, stroke, obesity, lower sexual drive, depression, and ultimately affect your work too. So, correct this imbalance the right way.
The Solution: Always eat combinations of proteins and carbohydrates like dal chawal, hi-fibre poha and raita, or multigrain khichdi for dinner. These combinations not only give complete (all amino acids) protein, but also lead to better sleep and a calmer mind. That is because eating carbohydrates (from poha, rice, roti) with tryptophan-containing foods (lentils, dairy) makes this calming amino acid more available to the brain to manufacture sleep-inducing substances, such as serotonin and melatonin. Hi-fibre poha in particular has the additional benefit of being easily digestible and easy on the gut.
If lethargy and despondency are the bane of your life and are eating away your efficiency slowly but surely, it’s time to challenge and fix that immediately.
The Solution: Begin your day with a high-protein breakfast like besan cheela or sprouts chaat. These protein-rich foods contain the amino acid ‘tyrosine’, which perks up the brain, busts the lethargy, and keep us charged for a long time. Always source lentils that are unpolished and so that they deliver higher nutrients, while besan should also be sourced from a trusted packaged brand to score maximum benefits.
Challenge Skipping Meals
Skipping meals serve no purpose and certainly do not deliver the aspirational thin waist coupled with a lower weight. In fact, it might lead to multiple deficiencies and prime you up for myriad disorders.
The Solution: If time constraints or lack of preparation is the cause, then opt for healthy, packaged, quick-to-make options such as multi-grain khichri from a trusted brand that uses quality grains. It’ll get made in a jiffy and deliver oodles of good health.
Challenge Heart Health
It is imperative for women to get heart smart, as heart trouble is no longer just a ‘male’ problem. Even though breast cancer is considered to be a bigger threat, statistics prove that heart diseases kill more women every year, worldwide. So wake up and smell the reasons that are leading to it- modern-day stress – dual pressure of working outside and also at home, changing food habits, excess weight, and rising problem of diabetes – and begin taking care of your heart proactively.
The Solution: Include chickpeas in your diet at least three times a week. The potassium, B vitamins, iron, magnesium, and selenium in chickpeas all support heart health. Plus, it is a nil cholesterol food that will keep your heart happy.
Now, you are all set to challenge your lifestyle issues with a new approach- through your food!
Kavita Devgan is a guest contributor. Views expressed are personal.