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With almost half the people in the UK addicted to fast food, it is often questionable whether we get the essential nutrients and vitamins needed to live a healthy life full of vitality. With many of us on a hectic schedule, traveling back and forth from work and school, we fail to invest appropriate time in our diets. This leads to many of us neglecting our nutrition and end up eating convenience foods or not eating at all.
Almost ¼ of adults in the UK are obese or overweight and many of us are suffering from a variety of health related problems such as heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes etc. This is a big factor as to why we should make it a priority to eat healthily. You don’t have to give up the foods you love so for you chocoholics out there, you can still eat your chocolate but in moderation. Your body is an Amaana from Allah so take care of it as you will be answerable for how you have treated it.
You may be wondering what foods you should consume to stay healthy below is a quick guide to get you on the right track:
5 quick steps to get on your way to being healthy:
- Eating FIVE portions of fruit and vegetables- Notice the word ‘and’ is highlighted, it is so important to get your daily intake of fruit and vegetables; they are packed with enormous amounts of essential vitamins and minerals which have so many health benefits. So for example during the blessed month of ramadhan we are consuming dates to break our fast. Dates are rich in many vitamins and minerals such as calcium, iron, phosphorous, they contain high amounts of Vitamin B complex which have immense benefits to the body, the main ones being; boosting the immune system and help regulate metabolism. Dates are an excellent source of energy as they are made up of many sugars such as glucose and fructose; they also contain very high content of fibre which is good for the intestine. Many studies have found that dietary fibre may be an important factor in combating the obesity epidemic as well as protection from particular cancers. Dates also contain high levels of antioxidants, which are primarily used to prevent cancer.
- Limiting sugar intake and saturated fat in your diets- Sugar has been found to be the primary cause of people becoming obese and suffering from diabetes. Studies have shown that people in the UK eat too much sugar. Look out for products that have added sugar in them, as this is the sugar one should be avoiding. Go for foods that contain natural sugar such as fruits.
Saturated fats are commonly known as ‘bad fats’. These types of fats usually cause cholesterol and increase heart problems and are commonly found in cakes, cream and butter etc. The fats we should all stick too are unsaturated fats known as the ‘good fats’ these are commonly food in oily fish and vegetable oils etc.
- Cut down on salt- the daily intake of salt for a person is no more than 6g per day, however it is surprising how many of us go way beyond this. High salt in foods can cause high blood pressure. High blood pressure can lead to heart disease or stroke. A great tip when cooking, instead of using salt substitute it with lemon or spices. Same taste but way healthier.
- Keep yourself hydrated by drinking water- It is recommended that we all try and drink 6-8 cups of water per day which is 1.2litres to prevent dehydration, water is essential for many things in the body for example digestion and for keeping the skin healthy.
- Keep yourself fit and active- physical activity is really important to maintain your ideal weight. Not only will it help you build strong muscles but will give you a lot more energy in your life to banish those mid-afternoon slumps. Check out the sunnahfit videos on how you can keep yourself active.
Sanaa Ahmed (ANut) | Manager of SunnahFit