How Can We Change Our Diet By Choosing Nutrients Rich Foods To Improve Our Health?

Nutrients Rich Food And Health

How can we Change our diet by choosing nutrient rich foods to improve our health? Is it possible? Yes. But How?

Let’s just cut to the chase, I would rather eat pizza and ice cream than eating oatmeal and a salad. Do you agree also? Or are you one of those people who actually likes eating healthy?

Ever since I was younger, I loved food. I had my special foods. I was a very picky eater. Sometimes my mom would get mad at me for not eating what she made, and sometimes she would make a separate dish for me. As I got older, I was embarrassed to admit that I barely knew how to cook anything. The most that I could do was make the pizza rolls in the oven or reheat something in the microwave. 

Then the pandemic hit, and I found myself eating processed junk food a lot. It was a hard time for everyone. The ice cream and chips comforted us. They might have comforted me a bit too much though, because I gained an abnormal amount of weight in a short period of time. My menstrual cycle also began to suffer due to my weight gain. My depression and anxiety worsened. It was a vicious cycle, because I ate to alleviate my sadness and would feel insecure and guilty for overeating right after.

Health Specialist

With the help of my mother, we found a women’s health specialist for me to see. She helped me figure out ways to track what I was eating and lose weight. It was not easy at all, but being aware of my calories made me less prone to overeating. She also urged me to eat lots of healthy low-calorie foods, such as fruits and vegetables. She said it was fine for me to snack on my favorite junk foods, as long as I did not try to fill up on them. I also joined a gym and began to attend regularly. Before I knew it, I lost 10 pounds and my period became regular again.

This was in no way shape or form something that everyone can do with ease. Even now I still struggle with overeating. It is good to have some guidelines to adhere to, whether or not we can always meet them. For some people, calorie counting can make them really obsessive and be harmful for them. For some people, calorie counting may keep them from binge-eating. It is best to evaluate your own strengths and consult with a health professional before making any changes. I do not have anorexia, but if I did, an entire different plan would have been implemented for me. I can handle calorie counting. 

Get Ready And Make Decision

With that being said, the best way to make any decision is to be informed about it. We live in the digital age where we can look up things on the internet. We can call doctors and nutritionists and set up appointments with them. I barely knew anything about how to cook healthy meals and maintain a healthy weight, and it cost me. There are a ton of recipes online that are both easy, nutritious and delicious. If you are someone who does not know how to cook at all, I highly recommend experimenting with some of the trendy and cool recipes first. Then you can transition into stuff like salmon and rice. I remember during the pandemic, I learned how to make whipped coffee because of all the craze I witnessed on Tik Tok. Later on, Gigi Hadid’s pasta started to trend. I remember feeling so proud of myself for being able to chop the onions and make the sauce. I slowly worked my way up to much healthier dishes. A list of healthy food items can also be found online. Right off the bat I will recommend chicken breast, salmon, chickpeas, lentils, Greek yogurt, fruits, and vegetables. You can also choose whole wheat bread, pasta and brown rice rather than the white one. This is just stuff that I like to eat, but there can be many more options available after doing some research and consulting with a professional. Everyone’s body is different therefore everyone’s nutritional needs vary. A professional boxer has a different meal plan than a four year old. It can also be hard to break out of a junk-food binge cycle, and that will require additional help. Reach out to your doctors for eating disorder treatment. You are not alone and there is help available. 

Therefore, ask yourself what your goals are, and what possible steps you need to take to be the healthiest version of you.

Why Food and Nutrition Research is Important

Why Food and Nutrition Research is Important? We all know that things like instant foods or packaged foods are not real nutritious food. We got to be really careful about that because if we take a look at the packaging, we will realize how many chemicals these foods have. Most of the ingredients they show on the label are unrecognizable.

Common Misconception About Food and Nutrition

As we all know food is what we eat and drink and it can be plants and animals.

Nutrition is the science that explains food nutrients and how any food helps our body to grow and stay healthy. Nutrition tells us which food we need to eat to keep our body healthful. In order to avoid the misconception we need to know more about food and nutrition. Food and nutrition is not the same thing. Why do we need to understand the difference? We all know that we are what we eat. Are we all interested to stay healthy? Yes, off course. Then we need to understand about our food and its nutrients.

Food and Nutrition Research

In order to stay healthy we need to know about food nutrients. How can we do that? Why food and nutrition research is important?

First of all, why do we need to do the research? The answer is that food and nutrition knowledge is a science. If our objective is to know about our food then we need to be aware of the scientific research process. We are lucky that nutrition scientist are there to help us. They Follow the each step of the research process and develop a theory.

Secondly, how can we do the research? And of course, we all know how? Yes, it is true that we can not do it like a scientist if we are not one but we can study that research.

Food and Nutrition Information

So, we are aware of need of the research process. We can not just eat food. We really need to know about the science of our food and nutrition. How can we know about our daily food?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has updated the Nutrition Facts label on packaged foods and drinks. FDA is requiring changes to the Nutrition Facts label based on updated scientific information, new nutrition research, and input from the public. This is the first major update to the label in over 20 years. The refreshed design and updated information will make it easier for you to make informed food choices that contribute to lifelong healthy eating habits.

 

 

Nutritional Studies

Any food that we eat and drink has some nutritional value. We know what food nutrients are required to maintain our health. If you want to know more you can also read Food Nutrients – 6 Groups

Nutritional studies would become part of our daily routine in the case of getting aware and eating healthy food.

Using Knowledge of Research to Evaluate Nutrition Quality

Scientific research about food and its knowledge serves us in the process of choosing and eating healthy food. When we have an important piece of research work in front of us we still need to evaluate its quality. Most of the claims made on commercial websites are not always true.

How can we detect if the source of the information about our food is authentic? We need to know who conducted the research. If money is involved in the process instead of scientific knowledge then we should be skeptical about the product being evaluated.

Trustworthy Sources of Nutrition Information

When we are able to find the credibility of any source of information about our food and nutrition we can find the trustworthy sources of nutrition information. It is a whole process. Eating healthy is a science. And food and nutrition research is very important. It takes some time to know and apply the process. After some days it becomes easy and our habit. The most easiest way is to eat fresh vegetables and fruits. Packaged food is easy to prepare but we are never 100% sure about the nutrition information it provides on the label.

Trustworthy experts are educated and trained. Registered dietitian, licensed dietitian, professionals with an advanced degree in nutrition are some examples of trustworthy experts.

We need to also check the credibility of a website if it is providing scientific information about food and nutrition. For example writers of the information, date of the website, and web address is important to check. Credentials of the writer are important. Date is necessary because medical information is constantly changing. To check the web address credibility look at the three letters after the dot in the address. For example, gov, edu, and org are typically credible sources of information.

Government agencies and websites are mostly trustworthy. The National Institute of Health, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute on Aging, and US Food and Drug Administration are some examples of reliable sources.

Conclusion

We can conclude that not just nutrients but serving sizes and amount of calories are also important. How much food we should eat?

Figuring out how much to eat while achieving or maintaining a healthy weight can be difficult. Getting the proper nutrients and eating the right amount for your weight and activity level can contribute to healthy aging.

How many calories do you need and what is a calorie?

A calorie is a unit of measurement that describes how much energy is available when our body breaks down food we eat. Although calorie count alone does not dictate whether food is nutritious, thinking carefully about how many calories we need can guide healthy eating habits.

Serving and portion sizes matter.

A “serving size” is a standard amount of food, such as a cup or an ounce. Serving sizes can help you when choosing foods and when comparing similar items while shopping, but they are not recommendations for how much of a certain food to eat.

The term “portion” means how much of food we are served or how much we eat.

Thank you all for reading! Let me know if you have any questions please.

Your comments are most welcomed!

Best Regards,

Shahlla Anjum

Foods Nutrients – 6 Groups

Food provides us nutrients. These nutrients are in the form of chemicals in our daily food. All these Foods Nutrients -6 Groups are critical to our growth, health and function. Simply, we say food, when we talk about what we eat but what are foods nutrients? We enjoy eating different foods. What does our food contain? Eating food which provides the all essential nutrients helps maintain wellness and good health.

What are Nutrients, quantity to and Micronutrients

Our daily food is made up of different chemicals. Some of these chemicals are not useful for our body but others are very important for our good growth and daily life activities. These useful chemicals are called nutrients. The nutrients that our body needs in large quantity to help normal functions and health, are called macronutrients. On the other hand, the nutrients that our body needs in a small quantity are called micronutrients. Our bodies need micronutrients to regulate different functions. Vitamins and minerals are examples of micronutrients.

6 Groups of Nutrients and Their Functions

Foods Nutrients – 6 Groups are:

  1. Carbohydrates
  2. Proteins
  3. Fats and oils
  4. Vitamins
  5. Minerals
  6. Water

These 6 groups as foods nutritional elements perform important functions in our bodies.

  • Carbohydrates: They provide primary energy source for our body. Their chemical structure is composed of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. Fruits, vegetables, seeds and grains are the best source of carbohydrates.
  • Proteins: Proteins’ function is to support tissue growth and maintenance. Amino acids are molecules which connect to make proteins. Carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen form amino acids. Meat, dairy items, nuts, and legumes are best sources of protein.
  • Fats and oils: This nutrient is one of the main sources of energy. Chemically, they are made up of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. The Best food sources for fats and oils are vegetable oils, butter, and dairy products.
  • Vitamins: Vitamins help with availability of macronutrients needed to building and maintaining our bones, muscles, and blood. They also support our vision and immune system. The Best sources of vitamins in our food are fresh fruits, vegetables, dairy products, chicken and meat.
  • Minerals: Minerals organize amount of fluid and energy production in our body. They also help and maintain quality of our blood and bones. During the process of metabolism our body gets rid of harmful by=products with the help of minerals. Some examples of minerals are sodium, potassium, calcium, and iron. The Best sources are fresh fruits, vegetables, daily products, chicken and beef and mutton.
  • Water: Water is so simple but it plays the most important role in order to work all our body functions successfully. They keep fluids balance, help in nerve impulses regulation and muscles’ health. Water is chemically composed of hydrogen and oxygen. The Best sources of water are fresh and clean water, soups, fresh fruits, and vegetables.

How Much of Each Nutrient Do We Need?

Foods nutrients – 6 groups. Yes, right! We need all 6 nutrients in our food to stay healthy. But how much of each nutrient do we need? It’s always important to take just enough quantity of each food nutrient. Normally, a person who eats a healthy balanced diet that includes lean proteins, vegetables, fruits, complex carbohydrates, and water will get the nutrients he needs. For the more clarity, I found an awesome article about how much of each food nutrient do we need ?

According a scientific research, the daily amount of carbohydrates we need is 45% to 65% of our food. Daily estimated fats we required is 20% to 30% and the amount of protein our body needs is 10% to 35%. Estimated energy requirement is not same for each person on daily basis. We must know about our daily estimated energy needed. It will help us to maintain our body weight.

NIH website explains dietary guidelines and suggests eating:

  • Vegetables 2 to 3 cups
  • Fruits 1/2 to 3 cups
  • Grains 5 to 8 ounces
  • Dairy 3 cups (Fat free or low fat)
  • Protein foods 5 to 61/2 ounces
  • Oils or fats 5 to 7 tea spoons

It’s not just how much of each nutrient we should eat it’s also how much of food we should eat. What portion of any food is the best amount for us to keep our body well is also important. We can easily find out our daily estimated energy requirement. Knowing the amount of calories helps us to maintain healthy body weight. What we eat on daily basis, should also provide recommended nutrients to keep us healthy and well. It means we need to look at the nutrients and amount of calories in our food we choose to eat, to stay well and maintain healthy weight.

Mostly, we can find serving size for any food in order to understand the amount of calories or foods nutrients but portion of any food vary depending upon the person or the place where food is served. The portion of food can be small at home but it would be bigger at the restaurants. If we know how to manage our portions then there is nothing wrong to eat outside sometimes. For example, we can eat just small appetizers. We can also share our main entree with our friend. Another way is to eat half of our food and ask for the take out container for the other half.

Conclusion

We can now conclude, what do we mean by foods nutrients – 6 groups. Food is one of the most important needs of our body. It is also fun to eat. Enjoying and appreciating food comes with the responsibility. Food nutrients and their amount matters for our good health. The amount of food or portions are manageable if we have a good plan of eating healthy and staying well. So, get ready! I will continue my research and in my next blog, I will be discussing how we can adopt an organized approach in order to meet the requirements of eating healthy and staying healthy!

Let me know if you have any questions. Please comment for your suggestions and ideas.

Thank you,

Shahlla

Science of Human Body and Food – Are You Really What You Eat?

What is the relation and Science of Human Body and Food? Are You Really What You Eat? We all hear the saying, You are what you eat. Is it true scientifically? Our body cells are composed of molecules of food we eat. Molecules join to create cells. Cells join to form tissues and organs.

Thinking about Science of Human Body and Food- Are You Really What You Eat, initiates many other questions. Why do we feel the urge to eat? How the amount and type of food we eat play a role in our body? How does food travel and absorb in our body? We also need to learn about science of our food. What is food? How health and food are connected?

 

 

Food and Health are Connected

The food we eat goes into our body and changes into uniform dense liquid. It gathers again after it breaks down in our brain cells, bones, organs and muscles. Food is also main source of the energy our body needs. We are healthy if we have energy and our body organs, bones, muscles and tissues are working well. Our food is good for our health if it has all the important nutrients.

 

Vitamins and minerals are essential to keep us healthy did you know that they help us grow help us to see keep our organs bones muscles and skin healthy as well as help us to fight diseases vitamins and minerals can be found in all types of fresh fruits and vegetables

Calcium is an incredibly important mineral. It is stored in our teeth and bones and keeps them strong and prevents cracks and breaks you can find calcium in dairy products such as milk yogurt and cheese as well as leafy green vegetables nuts and seeds fiber is a substance that helps us with the organs inside our stomach this means it helps us to remove the waste from our bodies and stay healthy. It can be found in foods such as brown rice whole grain breads, cereals, nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables. Water is essential for helping your body digest and use the nutrients found in food.

The foods we eat every day require us to drink lots of water  to help with digestion process. It is very important to ensure that your daily diet includes a variety of all these foods.

Having a balanced diet and making sure that our bodies receive all the nutrients is really important.

We need to have energy to stay healthy and continue growing however sometimes we eat foods that are tasty but aren’t healthy. So we need to know: What kind of food we can eat and what is food.

 

What is Food?

Many people think that food and nutrition mean the same thing. But in actual they don’t. Food means plants and animals we eat. It provides the nutrients our body needs to maintain health and our growth.

 

Difference of Food and Nutrition

As we know food is what we consume and it can be plants and animals. Nutrition is the science that explains food nutrients and how any food helps our body to grow and stay healthy.

 

 

Foods are available in the market in fresh and packing form. In order to buy nutritious food we can read the package labels. The information that labels provide us can be very useful if we are aware of the food nutrients. Food packaging companies had to add a lot of chemicals in order to keep food from getting bad. We can avoid packaged food or buy less amount of it. But if it is necessary to buy then at least buy food that has less ingredients.

According to FDA,

the label reading skills are intended to make it easier for us to make quick and informed decisions to help us choose a healthy diet.

A Nutritious Diet Contributes to Good Health

We are what we eat. A good nutritious food helps us to stay healthy and well. The food we eat provides us the nutrients our body needs and energy required by our body to complete all tasks. Nutritious diet makes us able to live a quality life and stay healthy.

I will tell you that the idea of having formative years groomed in a healthy mindset yes which is I think what we are talking about is so important so that if you’ve got kids and if we are involved with teaching if you’re involved in a business where you can actually impact on kids think about the impact that you have now could actually influence their health 30 to 60 years from now and that to

all of us is big responsibility. lt’s a giant opportunity to make a better society that’s beautiful and healthy.

 

Is There a Link Between Food and Diseases?

According to,  a scientific research, a nutritious diet plays the key role in the absence or presence of health. The food we eat can be the cause of a disease. Deficiency of important nutrients in our diet can cause different diseases. Less nutritious food can impact negatively in the development of our bones and muscles. There is a direct link between health and food we eat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The risk of chronic diseases can be lowered by keeping check of all nutrients in our daily food. Obesity is the cause of many other health issues. By eating right food and doing required daily physical exercises keep the body weight in normal range.

Conclusion

In the end we can conclude that science of human body and food are related and we are what we eat. So, what do we need to eat? How do we know which ingredients are necessary for a health body and mind? how much we should eat? Can we stay away from diseases if we eat a balanced diet? Why fresh vegetables and fruits are important to include in our diet?

 

Please comment and answer these questions to get involve in this important topic!

 

 

 

Enjoy your food and be healthy!

 

Best Regards,

Shahlla

MONTESSORI LANGUAGE MATERIALS

Montessori Language Materials are the most important materials in any Montessori environment. Montessori philosophy is effective due to its whole child development approach. All learning areas in a Montessori classroom serve the purpose of developing the child emotionally, mentally, physically, socially and intellectually. What does the MONTESSORI LANGUAGE MATERIALS do? Before we answer this question, we need to know what MONTESSORI LANGUAGE MATERIALS are?

 

MONTESSORI LANGUAGE MATERIALS help to develop all four language skills…yes….listening, speaking, reading and writing. In my other post about Montessori I discussed about how Montessori method is a science of happiness and emphasizes upon using the scientific material. Like any scientific approach Montessori method is organized, measured and exact. All exercises are well-developed and thoughtfully selected. There is a logical sequence in all the lessons, a Montessori teacher prepares for the children in her classroom.

Listening skill is the most important skill in any language learning. A child starts listening when he is in her mom’s womb……Yes, long before he is born. You can find activities to develop listening skills in a Montessori classroom. There are some other exercises to develop speaking,  reading and writing skills. Each exercise or activity is connected with other language activities but at the same time its focus remains on one specific language skill. For example, story listening not just develops listening but also reading.

 

 

Montessori Environment

Montessori Language Materials serve language learning but language learning is happening in the whole Montessori environment every moment. How Montessori environment serves as a big collection of Montessori Language materials? Well, each Montessori environment has materials and objects….so you can guess how…. Yes the names of the objects and materials in the Montessori environment are the big source of Language materials we need in a Montessori environment or a class. Even the activities and the language to describe those activities also serve the purpose.

Reading Area

There are always some books in the classroom. In the Montessori classroom reading area has a very important role. Teachers can use this area to develop language and social skills. The collection of books is a huge opportunity for any teacher to keep the class interested and engaged. Children love to spend time in the reading area. Organizing our library area in such a way that serves all interests and all ages ( 3 to 6 years) performs a huge responsibility without adding extra effort. In the Montessori classroom the mixed age group works so well. All 5 years old can read to 3 years old. Children help each other in the all learning areas of the classroom. Book reading on daily basis helps to develop listening and speaking skills obviously. It also serves as the basic Language resource to learn other language skills like to read and writing. Children not just learn how to read but also initial language skills which are necessary to build a strong language learning foundation. For example:

 

  • knowing that words have meanings
  • reading starts from left to right
  • each word has sounds and so on.

 

Language Area

As we have discussed, the whole Montessori room acts as Language Materials, but the Language area in any Montessori classroom is specific for the Montessori Language Materials and language exercises.

  1. Language Exercises:
  2. Sand paper letters
  3. Movable alphabets
  4. Sound game
  5. Metal Insets
  6. Animal Farm
  7. Phonetic and Phonograms
  8. Sight Words
  9. Vocabulary Cards
  10. Classified reading cards
  11. Word Study
  12. Sentence Building

There are also recommended options to change and rotate the materials just to keep appropriate challenge for some children who learn quickly and for others who get bored easily.

The News period, Story time and Logical thinking are some other language exercises which can be done in small groups. Yes, there are a lot of one on one exercises and some small group lessons in the Montessori classrooms. Some teachers can include Show and tell if they want.

In the Montessori classroom, children have a choice so they can do reading, writing, tracing, matching in the language area. They can also work with the material as they have been taught or shown. After every presentation by the teacher, children are able to do the work independently.

That is the beauty of the Montessori classroom. It develops independence skill. It can not happen in a day or two or even some weeks. It takes a lot of practice. When we talk about practice, we can go to the next topic.

Practice

Yes, Practice, Practice and a lot of practice. Honestly, children can forget easily if they are not doing practice of their lessons every day. It is easy to provide practice time especially when the teacher is busy teaching any student. Most of the lessons are one on one so the Montessori teachers have to spare a lot of time for them. It’s great if some children are working independently.

Practice can be direct and indirect. We can also call it preparation. Long before starting working independently in language area or any area, children get prepared directly and indirectly. For example, they need to develop concentration skill before they engage in any activity for a long time. Their hands need to be prepared for holding a pencil and writing something. Some other examples of indirect preparation are learning sounds, letters and vocabulary words before to read and writing.

Integration of Different Learning Areas

The Montessori teachers can do amazing things and if you are choosing Montessori method and applying it to your wonderful class then you can do it too….. Integration of all learning areas in a Montessori classroom can do wonders…. Montessori classroom is a world…..a world like our own world. The skills and knowledge we learn in one area of our life in a real life actually helps in other areas of our life. Right?? In a Montessori world children spend their initial and basic learning years. The Montessori Primary and Montessori Assistance to Infancy/Toddlers years are the foundation years. The time and effort we can put to build a strong, healthy and happy foundation depends on our awareness. The knowing makes us powerful. Reading about developmental stages and learning skills to fulfilling needs and requirements of our children at the right time is the key to a successful and happy future.

The integration of all learning areas and taking care of all developmental needs are two most important hidden tools to empower a Montessori trained person. It can be a teacher or a parent. Language exercises can be interesting and engaging and can create independence and love of learning if children are already prepared through indirect preparation and other exercises of different learning areas.

Consistent and Organized

Last but not the least…. Yes, doing things at the right time consistently and maintaining discipline enrich the Language

learning to process. Practice and consistent work can not be compared to even highest quality of Language Material. Organization also means following the sequence in Language exercises. A child can only learn to read and writing when he knows sounds of the letters and he can read sentences when he is able to read words….and not just words but a lot of words….Yes!

In a Montessori classroom, there is enormous amount of Language material and the teacher keeps adding and rotating material to offer challenge and keep interest. Children feel excited to work or practice every day with the same and new materials. When a child graduates from the primary Montessori he is expected to know how to speak, read and write. He reads small story books, sign boards, calendars and names of different things. He writes one to 5 five or some times more extended sentences. Amazing! Right! All because of Montessori method and Montessori Language Material.