“Eat this for healthy skin”, “Five foods that will give you luscious hair!”, “Avoid these foods & look younger”, chances are that all of us have gone through at least one such article out of sheer concern for our health. All these articles have one thing in common, it thrives on your fear of lack of nutrition by stating the cause & providing solutions. Most of the time, these solutions are far-fetched, have little or no concern for the modern lifestyle or we just run out of motivation. But most importantly, simply stating the problem & providing the solution simply does not help. The human brain has to understand things rather intimately. It's only when a person understands the cause & the effect, implementing the solution becomes super easy. When you “reverse engineer” the problem you can come up with innovative solutions of your own, making the process a whole lot easier.
With that being said, let’s get into the details of a healthy diet, the problems, the cause & everything you need to know about the science of nutrition for healthy hair, glowing skin & most importantly a happier you.
Bad & Good vs Sustainable
“Eating fresh Raspberries is extremely beneficial for skin health”, which is definitely true but if you are a concerned Indian reading this statement, one of these things is bound to happen- Your concern is converted into action & you’re on the lookout for fresh raspberries OR you’re wondering why Raspberries cost so much & why it's so difficult to get fresh Raspberries. Either way, the advice was right but it wasn’t “considerate”. The internet is mostly bloated with inconsiderate advice that focuses solely on getting the result. There’s no utility of such advice, it's just stating the obvious with almost no understanding of the reader’s lifestyle. Simply put, there’s no such thing as a good diet and the only diet that works is a sustainable one.
With that being said, let's start with the “bad” things first. We live in a world where almost everything you do, eat or drink in a day is bad for you. But understanding why something is bad & how it messes your body up has far more impact than just knowing about stuff that’s bad for you. Here are some simple things that can be labeled as “Bad”:
Lack of sleep
The first thing you do in the morning & the last thing you do at night is open & close your eyes for a peaceful sleep. Things could be disastrously wrong if you lack good quality sleep on a consistent basis. When we sleep, our body goes into overdrive & this is the time when it repairs, restores tissues & cells all across the body and the organs as well. A good sleep also means better immunity & metabolism. Lack of sleep can affect your mental health, cognitive function, hormonal regulation along with your overall performance and productivity as well. Hence, make it a habit of ending your day early & getting that much deserved goodnight’s sleep CONSISTENTLY!
Eat what Nature gives you
Everything is processed these days, sure it might be a good thing for the companies making it but not so good for your health. Processed foods can be classified as “edible food substitutes” given their nature of ingredients. The thing with processed food is the alarming research that proves the long-term effect of it on our health. Regular consumption of processed foods has been linked to nutrient deficiency, skin conditions along with a long list of health complications. The simplest way to counter this & eat right is to stick to whole foods like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, etc. Overall, consuming a diet that is high in processed foods can have negative impacts on both short-term and long-term health. Prioritizing whole, nutrient-dense foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins can help to promote optimal health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
Your life, your choices
It’s your life & your choices influence the trajectory of your life. But try to understand no matter how much you seek individualism there are certain choices that are undeniably good or bad for you. Let’s start with lifestyle choices like preferring to drink, smoke or eat junk. There’s concrete evidence that all these choices have a direct effect on your health. Alcohol and caffeine can dehydrate the skin, leading to dryness and dullness. It can also cause inflammation and redness in the skin, while caffeine can trigger acne breakouts. Smoking can cause premature aging of the skin, as it damages collagen and elastin fibers, leading to wrinkles and sagging skin. Smoking also restricts blood flow to the skin, making it look dull and tired. Avoiding all these things completely would be ideal but instead of quitting cold turkey, start introducing moderation in your life.
What is a good lifestyle?
A good diet is one that provides your body with all the necessary nutrients and energy to maintain optimal health and function. This includes a balance of carbohydrates, proteins, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. Carbohydrates are important as they provide energy to the body. However, it is important to choose complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, vegetables, and fruits over simple sugars such as candy, soda, and processed snacks. Proteins are essential for the growth and repair of the body. Good sources of protein include lean meats, fish, poultry, eggs, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Healthy fats are important for brain function, hormone production, and the absorption of vitamins. Sources of healthy fats include avocados, nuts, seeds, olive oil, and fatty fish. It is also important to consume a variety of fruits and vegetables as they are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Aim to include a range of colors in your diet as different colors provide different nutrients. In addition to choosing healthy foods, portion control is important. Eating too much of any food, even healthy foods, can lead to weight gain. It is also important to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day.
Finally, a good diet is one that is sustainable and enjoyable. Include ingredients that are easily available, locally sourced & sustainable as per your lifestyle so that your diet seems less like a diet & more like a lifestyle.
We live in a time where a lifestyle can be best described as “fast-paced” & when you’re living in the fast lane paying attention to your own health can be a task. It also leads to a deficit in nutrition and gradually affects your health which snowballs into complicated illnesses. It’s ironic when you think about how obsessed we are with skincare as a generation yet we completely ignore the basics. A healthy lifestyle is the most important thing you need to inculcate before anything else. It’ll not only make you feel healthy but you’ll look healthier & feel younger as well. Know that it’s your life & you make the choices here, we’re just helping you make the right ones.