Keeping a Healthy and Nutritious Option

By Christian Joy Salas, RN

The month of July makes me remember my school days. That whenever this month starts, it is also the time to prepare for nutrition slogans, cook for healthy dishes and decorate the classrooms with fancy and exaggerated fruits and vegetables. I bet you do remember that!

July is Nutrition Month – and every school year won’t be complete without us paying utmost homage to these nutrient filled and vitamin enriched food that makes us strong and ready for anything.

This year’s theme, as set by the Department of Health and National Nutrition Council, “Ugaliing Magtanim, Sapat na Nutrisyon Aanihin”, encourages gardening at your own backyard and harvesting the freshest of fruits and vegetables from there. Your own harvest will be your ingredients for a healthier food on the table.

Remember the song “bahay kubo”? A favorite amongst us, right? The song tells of a story of a very humble place with a garden that includes a number of fruits and vegetables. This is what this year’s theme is all about.

The “bahay kubo” song should serve as an inspiration to plant, plant and plant. That despite us having an urbanized community, there are way wherein we can plant fresh produce that need not take a lot of space. DIYs and crafty ideas abound the world wide web and most of them use recycled materials. Not only are you enabling your body to be healthy but more so, help lower carbon footprint.

Becoming healthy or being healthy isn’t easy for many. For the majority, to be healthy becomes a resolution that needs to be fulfilled than a necessity for the self. True, health is wealth. And that has remain constant since time in memorial – not just a mere resolution at the beginning of every New Year.

“Picky-eaters” are more common in children — but has extended even to adults. Yes, handy food has become a staple amongst kids that is taken until adulthood. Eating vegetables gives off that particular “yuck factor” for some thus eliciting a warding off attitude when it comes to veggies.

Personally, I am not such a big fan of vegetables. Well, for one, I am used to eat a lot of fried food. Being that fried food is very easy to prepare, it is also very easy on the palate. More so, it is readily available anywhere and everywhere. And school lunches are nothing but a haven for fried food lovers.

Today, things have changed. Green leafy vegetables and fruits are among my most sought after dishes whenever I hear my tummy growl. Indeed, there comes a time where you realise the importance of vegetables in your diet. And yes, it is never too late to make that healthy switch.

Many are becoming fitness enthusiasts only during their late teenage years and sometimes, late adult years. Primarily, health becomes a concern when sickness are felt. Yet, in the absence of being sick, we opt to stuff ourselves with processed foods, crisps and chips and the likes.

True to reality, we reach that particular point where we go beyond the superficial aspects of food and talk about the nutritional value it possess. Yes, that is part of “adulting”, but it should have been practiced as early as childhood.

Nutrition has the greatest influence to our health. The thing that we should remember about nutrition: there has to be a balance of everything. Carbohydrates, proteins and fats are among those that need to be balanced. You cannot remove one or have more than enough.