We are all taught the food pyramid as children in school. This is often our first introduction to health and well-being. The images that we learn then, along with the food items, remain branded in our minds with the result that even after we are introduced to others food items and cuisines later on in life, we often feel bereft when we do not follow the ‘balanced diet’ of our childhood days. Here are some alternate sources of essential nutrients that may better suit the busy lifestyle that we lead today.
Carbs and Starch
Bread and pasta were the primary sources of carbohydrates and starch when we were younger. Today however, there are plenty of other sources that can give us starch. Rice, both red and white, is a good source of carbohydrates and merely requires boiling in order to be prepared. Because of its high starch and carb content, you only need to eat one cupful to feel full. Other items like rotti, naan and Arabic flat bread, as well as rice noodles from the Far East countries all provide alternate sources of carbs that contain less gluten than bread and other products made of wheat flour.
Calories and Energy
These are mostly derived from protein contained in meat, poultry and fish. If you are a vegetarian who does not eat any of these items you can consider the best vegan protein powder or soy items. Tofu (bean curd), soy sauce etc. have a lot of plant protein in it. Indian dhal is also a good source. Those who still eat eggs can enjoy the nutritional value they give because eggs are a super pack of energy nutrition.
Vegetables and fruits are the main source of vitamins and minerals and skipping your vital greens is never a good idea. The only alternate source of these is pills and supplements. While doctors may prescribe you enough supplements for a few weeks depending on a deficiency, it is not advisable to depend on pills for your vitamin intake as they can have adverse effects on the liver and kidneys. Ingesting these vitamins through food gives the body time to break it down into ‘bite size’ chunks, while taking them directly through pills does not. Long-term use can result in serious health issues.
Scientists and doctors now theorize that calcium is not absolutely essential for the body externally, but as long as we still drink milk there are few popular alternatives out there. Soy milk and almond milk are the two alternate sources of calcium that currently dominate the market. They taste slightly different and have less punch than the animal milk available for popular consumption, but they also have less fat and oil, and is a better option for those battling high cholesterol levels.