It’s a truth universally acknowledged that we are what we eat. In fact, we are the food we eat, fluids we drink, the thoughts we think, and the feelings we feel! And in today’s fast-paced world, it’s important that we know what we’re capable of doing with the food we eat. Especially as women who are multi-tasking, balancing their personal and professional lives, and are living life on the go.

To understand nutrition and healthy eating habits for busy women, we reached out to Nutritionist and Lifestyle Educator Karishma Chawla, and asked her to share her inputs with us. Read on to know her tips on taking care of your gut health, thyroid, and ways to plan your meals better!

1. Take Care Of Your Gut 

Take care of your gut with gut health-boosting foods. The gut has implications beyond digestion. 70% – 80% of the immune system lives in the gut (digestive system), 90% of the “feel-good hormone” or serotonin, which influences our moods and behavior, is produced in the gut. In fact, our brain health, cravings, and a healthy fat percentage, all are influenced by the gut. The gut is actually the size of a tennis court or a studio apartment hosting a large number of bacteria that weigh around 3.5 lbs, having the reputation of being called an organ by itself fending for us day and night.

So, how can we take care of our gut?

  • Consume 8 – 11 servings of fiber in a day. This includes whole grains such as oat, bran, amaranth, quinoa and millets along with fruits and veggies high in fiber.
  • Ensure you eat whole grains every 2 – 4 hours to stabilise energy and blood sugar levels.
  • Start the day with a green vegetable smoothie. You can also throw in fruit like an apple, pear, or orange. Add some protein powder to make it a great detox drink that will help to detoxify the liver and body, and up your energy levels.
  • Include 1-2 tbsp of fermented veggies like fermented cucumbers, carrots, cabbage, and cauliflower in your meals. These are loaded with beneficial bacteria that do all sorts of wonderful things in your body such as making immune-boosting compounds, synthesising vitamins and compounds that lower inflammation in the body and that prevent cancer.
  • Drink bone broth daily by itself or add it to your soups.
  • Sip on 1 tsp cold-pressed coconut oil with a pinch of black pepper and turmeric. It’s the best anti-inflammatory concoction you can indulge in.

2. Take Care Of Your Thyroid

Your thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped gland situated at the back of the neck. The happier your thyroid gland is, the better your bodies perform. The thyroid gland is responsible for the various functions in our body that include metabolism-influencing body fat percentage, regulation of blood pressure, immune function,  energy levels, proper digestion, cognitive function, detoxification, and hormone health. It’s highly beneficial for fertility in both men and women. In other words, when the thyroid isn’t happy, the body doesn’t function properly.

So, how can we take care of our thyroid?

  • Balance blood sugar levels by choosing the right type and amount of carbohydrates. When it comes to thyroid health, moderation is often key. Too much or too little can be problematic. Ditch all the simple carbs such as white sugar, refined flour, and packaged foods. Choose whole grains. A quick tip: drop gluten; it doesn’t make your thyroid happy.
  • Eat a diet rich in minerals. The thyroid is dependent on iodine and selenium. Deficiency in one or both of these minerals can cause thyroid issues. Iodine is found in sea vegetables like nori, seaweed, kombu, wakame, and wild-caught fish. Selenium can be obtained through Brazil nuts, mushrooms, chia seeds, and organic red meat.
  • Load up on fresh vegetables. Vegetables are good for your health, including cruciferous veggies; just avoid them raw. For thyroid health, these nutritional powerhouses should be eaten cooked or fermented and in moderation. Cruciferous vegetables include bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, and kale.

3. Plan And Prepare Your Meals

  • Stock on nuts, seeds, protein powders, fruits, and veggies.
  • Quick bites can include peanut salad, moong sprouts bhel, pumpkin fries, carrot, and cucumber sticks with guacamole or hung-curd dip.
  • Protein shakes (vegan or dairy-based depending on your body’s adaptability) can be had in water, skim milk, or almond milk with healthy nuts, almonds, walnuts, and cashews.
  • Prepare a weekly menu for all your meals. Remember to buy everything once a week.
  • You can cook once and eat twice. For example, if brown rice is cooked for lunch, you can use the leftover brown rice to make lemon rice or tangy tomato rice for dinner with veggies and soup.
  • Start the day with the liver detox drink as mentioned above.
  • Spend five minutes every night to create your to-do list, to save energy and time the next day.

What would you like to know about nutrition for women? Please share it with us in the comments below!

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