Years back, while working as a reporter with a newspaper based in Accra, Ghana, I worked with one of the finest sub-editors I had ever met. His ability to transform poor scripts into masterpieces in a jiffy was unbelievable. However, this man seemed only able to function when he was puffing on sticks of cigarettes. His craving for cigarettes had become so much that without it, he could not do his work properly.
Make no mistake, this man knew how dangerous cigarette smoking was to his health but he had become addicted to it. A strong stench of cigarette smoke permanently enveloped the air once you stepped into his office and because of my distaste for cigarette smoke, I was always in a hurry to exit his office. At least, if he wasn’t worried enough about his health to quit smoking, I was concerned about mine.
But my concern goes beyond the dangers of cigarette smoke or even alcoholic drinks, it also extends to so-called soft drinks, which have become so integral to some people’s daily diets. I practically don’t consume soft drinks at all now. I drink water instead. The reason is simple. There is actually nothing “soft” about those drinks. They, like alcohol, are not good for the human body.
It is indeed high time for Nigerians to begin to embrace a healthy lifestyle by kicking unhealthy cravings, especially in our diets. People should rather start craving for healthy foods instead.Several published researches have confirmed that a nutritious balanced diet, together with physical activity and refraining from smoking, is fundamental to enjoying good health.
It has also been severally proven that maintaining good dietary habits is vital to preventing many unfavourable health conditions and diseases. Diseases like diabetes and anaemia can be caused by poor diet. Also, health conditions like high blood pressure, weak bone, constipation, indigestion, stomach ulcer, obesity and heartburn can be caused or made worse by poor nutritional habits.
The American Diabetes Association in a recent online report confirmed that good nutrition is one of the best ways to prevent diabetes, while also noting that establishing a good nutrition and engaging in appropriate physical exercise can help prevent pre-diabetes state from escalating to full-blown diabetes.
It is thus imperative for us all to know that what we eat has far-reaching implications for our health. There are now increasing incidences of diet-related diseases in this clime and the only way to reverse this dreadful trend is to begin to eat right to ensure our well-being.
What should we be eating? Basically, fruits, vegetables and whole grains, food experts have said. These are the food items that have the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants properties that help maintain everyday body functions and prevent diseases.
The foods to be avoided, according to experts, are processed foods, fried foods, and sugar-laden diets. These are mainly the components of western-style diets, which we now consume daily. We need to curb our craving for these unhealthy foods and start craving healthy diet.