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The Healthy Diet: Basic Nutrition Lesson

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We are as healthy as our body is whole, fault-free, and fully-functional. For every inch of us that lacks comfort and wellness, we are experiencing disease. Most of us are born in ‘perfect’ health and our state of wholeness changes as we grow and age. But, it is not our aging that is responsible for most of our ailments and complaints, but our lifestyle or habits.

Our lifestyle includes the way we dress, the food we eat and our physical activities. However, because the food we eat is the fuel for our bodies, it is our diet (regular food) that really determines our wellness.
To be healthy, our food needs to supply us with the chemical compounds and elements that our bodies are made of: water, carbohydrates (sugar, starch, fiber), proteins (amino acids), and fats. Other essential nutrients are vitamins and minerals.
Energy comes from carbohydrates, proteins and fats and we can get them all from plant-based foods. The Power Plate is a dietary guideline developed by Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) to promote overall health and well-being. The Power Plate contains four food groups to choose from:
1. Whole Grains e.g. rice, bread, pasta, corn, bulghur, roti, etc.
2. Vegetables e.g. carrot, breadfruit, okra, tomato, yam, onion, callaloo, etc.
3. Fruits e.g. banana, mango, jackfruit, sweetsop, pineapple, naseberry, etc.
4. Legumes e.g. red peas, coconut, cashew, soy milk, TVP, gungo peas, etc.
These food groups are the sources of all the energy and other essential nutrients that we need.
Please note that it is recommended that we supplement our diet with a good source of Vitamin B12 if we choose to consume no animal products.

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