NUTRITION FOR TEENS
What to eat? What not to eat?
The fast food industry is thriving and so is the incidence of obesity, dental problems and hormonal imbalances amongst teenagers, says a recent report by the Medical Council of India. With growing economy and changing lifestyles, our young population is getting increasingly lured into a diet rich in junk foods; simply because it is convenient, filling, economical and typically ‘a social affair’. However, these junk foods are not only nutritionally void but also often packed with saturated and trans fats and empty calories.
A teenager will never understand the importance of nutritious food at that age. Nutrition is pivotal during these years and what one eats will emulate in their growth and wellbeing. So, parents should be mindful of what their teen is gobbling up or gulping down. Also, students should themselves make conscious choices to lead a healthy lifestyle. Pay a visit to an Apollo clinics centre to get more information about the importance of nutrition for teens and how as a parent you can give your teen tasty yet nutritious food.
Whether you are a parent or a student, the following information will help you deal with the turbulence of adolescence:
There is no replacement to healthy eating. Daily intake of all nutrients in adequate quantity will propel the final growth spurt of puberty. It will also help maintain one’s nutritional status into adulthood to be fit, fight stress, obesity and other lifestyle disorders. To bolster vital nutrients such as folate, vitamins A, C and E, iron, zinc, magnesium, calcium and fibre in our bodies, it is essential that each day we consume foods like:
- Whole grains
- 2 glasses of low fat milk
- 1 to 2 cups of pulses
- 4 to 5 cups of fresh or cooked veggies
- 2 to 3 varieties of seasonal fruit
A balanced wholesome breakfast improves cognition and elevates academic performance.
An alert mind along with a sharp memory and analytical reasoning can accomplish a lot. Snack your way to enhanced mind power by incorporating foods which contain:
- Omega-3 (flax and pumpkin seeds, walnuts, roasted soya beans, avocado, oily fish (tuna, mackerel)
- B complex (curd and sprouts)
- Antioxidants (berries, green tea, tomato, broccoli, dark chocolate)
- Choline (eggs and groundnuts)
- Folic acid, magnesium, calcium, iron (milk and green leafy vegetables)
- Plain water (enhances the intellect)
With rising incidence of obesity and abnormal lipid parameters in teenagers, one ought to moderate the following foods:
- Refined grains
- Junk food
- Saturated fats
Balanced food, regular exercise (at least 60 minutes each day) and sound sleep (7 to 8 hours) will catapult you from illness to wellness.