BY ELIZABETH AMONGIN
All foods that we eat have specific benefits and nutrients that are important for the body. However, over-consumption of a particular food could increase the risk of some lifestyle diseases. Thus it is important to create a balanced diet. For example, red meat and other fatty foods are nutritious but they should be consumed in small quantities.
According to Dr Paul Ngobi, of the International Medical Centre Mukono, plant products are healthier to eat since they contain fewer fats, helping to prevent cardiovascular diseases.
He also recommends fish and chicken (white meat) to be consumed because they contain fewer fats.
However, he emphasized that the chicken skin should be left out because it is fatty.
Other foods he recommends are leafy vegetables like Doodo and nakati, among other vegetables. “Nevertheless, fruits are also good for the body since they contain vitamin C nutrient. For example, apples and some of the citrus fruits like oranges should as well be part of one’s diet,” Ngobi says.
Dr John Wasswa, a medical doctor at Rakai Hospital, recommends green and non-green vegetables like carrots.
“The beta-carotene nutrient which is found in the carrots is important in fighting against vision problems,” Wasswa emphasises.
Medical experts from Mayo Clinic, a medical practice and research group in Minnesota USA, say that apples and broccoli are some of the foods that should be part of one’s diet. Broccoli is a vegetable that is not commonly eaten by most people in the urban areas yet it contains nutrients that protect people from vision problems.
They also emphasise that apples are a good source of soluble fibre which lowers the blood cholesterol and glucose levels thus reducing chances of cardiovascular diseases.
Spinach contains a high level of vitamin A that is said to help in boosting the immune system. The experts from Mayo Clinic also clarify that spinach contains beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, which specifically protect us from vision diseases like night blindness.
Beans as well are a good source of iron and phosphorus which is important for the body.
Experts from Medical News Today, a health news blog, emphasize that apples, broccoli, and leafy green vegetables are excellent sources of anti-oxidants which combat free radicals.
Free radicals are substances that are generated in the body that cause undesirable changes and diseases.
These foods also reduce the levels of cholesterol which is also responsible for causing heart diseases.
Another food in this category is avocado. It contains vitamin B nutrient which is vital for lowering blood cholesterol.
It is important to have leafy vegetables and fruits as part of one’s diet to resist illnesses and infections.
Therefore, try to balance your diet with foods that are good for your heart and that boost your general physical health.