While its true that our life expectancy has increased over the years, but so has the incidence of chronic ailments. Let’s face it, our generation is at a higher risk of developing heart trouble or vision problems or arthritis at a much younger age now than before. This is indicative of the fact that a lot of lifestyle changes have taken place since our grandmother’s time that may not be in our favour and could be increasing our health risks. Our diet, for instance, is far from what our grandmothers would have had or recommended. So, given the current scenario where childhood obesity and juvenile diabetes are top global health concerns, it would really help to rethink the way we lead our lives and try and go back to the basics.
Your body needs good quality nutrition to attain optimum physical and mental health. Ayurveda is an ancient system of life. According to it, the three pillars of life that form the foundation on which you can build good health and achieve longevity are – diet, sleep and self-mastery. You diet plays an important role in maintaining a balance of energies within your body. When we eat the right food it fills us with positive energy, helps us manage our weight, improves our body functions and promotes overall well-being. Ayurvedic Expert Dr. Ashutosh Gautam suggests that the following foods are essential for a long and healthy life.
1. Indian Goose Berry or Amla
Amla is one of the most widely used herbs in Ayurveda. It helps in maintaining a perfect equilibrium between the three doshas or body types – vatta, pitta andkapha. It is one of the best sources of Vitamin C which is known to build your body’s defense mechanisms against diseases and infections. It is believed to be a powerful antioxidant that delays ageing and promotes longevity. In one of the most popular Hindu scriptures, Padam Purana, it has been mentioned that Lord Shiva regarded Amla as a holy fruit that prolongs life.
Amla is known to maintain a perfect balance between all the three doshas. Photo Credit: Istock
The primary health benefits of ginger are mostly due to its high antioxidant content. It is believed to contain at least 25 different types of antioxidants. Antioxidants fight disease-causing free radicals in the body and protect against a host of degenerative diseases heart trouble, diabetes, arthritis and even cancer.
Ginger contains at least 25 different types of antioxidants. Photo Credit: Istock
According to Chinese tradition, drinking cardamon tea is known to be the secret to longevity. Cardamon tea helps in flushing out toxins and keeps your internal systems clean. It is rich in essential oils, improves digestion, regulates your blood sugar levels, boosts blood circulation and thereby, maintains vitality and keeps your energy levels up.
Cardamom tea is known to boost blood circulation. Photo Credit: Istock
Ajwain seeds are good for your heart and great for digestion. Photo Credit: Istock
Jeera or fennel seed is one of the best natural remedies for all your stomach problems. Jeera is an excellent source of iron and dietary fiber. It stimulates the production of gastric juices and also soothes the nervous system. It is often recommended to start your day with a glass of water in which jeera has been soaked overnight. It improves your digestion and keeps your metabolism up through the day.
It is very healthy to start your day with jeera soaked in water overnight. Photo Credit: Istock
Cloves are anti-fungal, antibacterial, antiseptic and analgesic. Need more reasons? Clove is a super spice with amazing healing properties. Cloves are full of manganese which helps in managing your metabolism and keeps the nervous system stable.
Cloves help in regulating your metabolism. Photo Credit: Istock
7. Black pepper
It is one of the most common spices used in different cuisines around the world. You may have not known but this humble spice has some great hidden medicinal qualities and has a rich mineral content. Another interesting fact about black pepper is that it enhances the nutritive value of turmeric. Black pepper is the secret ingredient that you must add in turmeric milk to make it healthier. The piperine in black pepper facilitates the absorption of the active ingredient in turmeric called curcumin. This phenolic compound – piperine can be credited black pepper’s powerful health benefits. It also helps in making your digestive system stronger.
Black pepper makes your digestive system stronger. Photo Credit: Istock
Honey is considered to be one of the top superfoods. Honey has always been used as a great beauty ingredient that can help slow down signs of ageing. Turns out, it has some wonderful benefits for your health too. It is full of many natural minerals and living enzymes that fortify your immune system. Just a teaspoon of raw honey daily infuses your body with strength and vigour. A study carried out by Professor Nicolal Vasllievich Tsitsin from Russia shows that the longest living people in the Caucasus Mountains of Russia who lived for more than 100 years regularly consumed honey that they harvested fresh from honeycombs.
Honey contains living enzymes that can build your immune system. Photo Credit: Istock
The main purpose of a healthy lifestyle is to lead a vibrant life for as long as possible.Good nutrition and healthy habits help in contributing to this.