Stay healthy by paying attention to what you eat

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Fruits and vegetables include a diverse group of plant foods that vary greatly in content of energy and nutrients. Additionally, fruits and vegetables supply dietary fiber, and fiber intake is linked to lower incidence of cardiovascular disease and obesity. Fruits and vegetables also supply vitamins and minerals to the diet and are sources of phytochemicals that function as antioxidants, phytoestrogens, and antiinflammatory agents and through other protective mechanisms. In this review, we describe the existing dietary guidance on intake of fruits and vegetables. We also review attempts to characterize fruits and vegetables into groups based on similar chemical structures and functions. Differences among fruits and vegetables in nutrient composition are detailed. We summarize the epidemiological and clinical studies on the health benefits of fruits and vegetables. Finally, we discuss the role of fiber in fruits and vegetables in disease prevention.

Chef Mohammed Eliyaz, Chef de Cuisine at JW Marriott Hotel Bengaluru and Reshu Agarwal, Consultant, Internal Medicines, Manipal Hospitals, Whitefield, share tips on how to stay healthy while at work:

Agarwal said: “If you start feeling fatigued, irritable and low on energy, even before half the day goes by, you need to have a re-look at what and when you are eating. Some of the numerous benefits of healthy eating habits are increased focus, energy levels and productivity, improved immunity and better digestion.”

These are a few tips to stay active and healthy during the day:

* Avoid prolonged sitting.
* Take the stairs whenever possible.
* Learn some desk stretching exercises.
* Avoid skipping your breakfast.
* Avoid long gap between meals.
* Hydrate yourself.

Eliyaz said: “I have seen a lot of people who tend to skip their lunch; whether they are my own colleagues, college students rushing to classes, people trying to lose weight, or employees trying to have the work completed within the time frame. However, this is a bad habit to develop.”

Here’s why lunch is an important meal of the day:

* Food is what gives you energy. Lunch raises your blood sugar level in the middle of the day, making you to be able to focus for the rest of the afternoon.

* It has been proven that people who don’t eat lunch tend to gain more weight because they overeat during dinner time to compensate for lunch.

* Lunch also contributes to the aspect of social networking as you can connect with multiple people while they are feeling slightly relaxed when not in their busy schedule.

* Lunch is even more important because this is when we receive our vitamins and nutrients for the day. If we don’t get the supplements on time which bodies demand, our mental and physical development can suffer.

* Having a healthy lunch provides energy and nutrients to keep the body and brain working efficiently throughout the day. Your body has evolved for survival, and if you go too long without eating you begin to get very hungry and all you can think about is food and your next meal. This leads to deterioration in your performance at work.

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