National healthy lunch day is celebrated almost across the world. It is held every year to encourage people to develop healthy lunch habits. The reason being, that lunch happens to be an important meal of the day. It should consist of healthy meals rather than calorie and sugar-filled items. Furthermore, this is a great way to encourage kids and young individuals to consider their daily diets so that unhealthy eating habits are avoided.
Countries like the United States pay special attention to meals that are provided during lunchtime to students at school. On the same hand, parents are also conscious of their daily intake at the same time. The aim is to feed the students, meals that are packed with essential nutrients. Since lunch is supposed to refuel and reproduce the energy lost till halftime, it needs to be beneficial to the body in every way. Therefore, let us discuss how important is the national healthy lunch day and how it should be celebrated.
What is a healthy lunch?
A healthy lunch is supposed to provide your body with all the essential vitamins and nutrients it needs during the day. These nutrients will help your body function normally and at the same time help it grow and reproduce. To get the most out of a healthy lunch, it should consist of the following items:
Your lunch should have a sufficient portion of fresh fruits, to begin with. Fruits contain anti-oxidants and other essential vitamins and nutrients that will provide energy to the body while reducing the calorie and sugar intake.
Whole grains are rich in fibers and nutrients. Furthermore, it has the potential to reduce the risk of heart diseases. Since you will be spending most of the day, working on a chair, whole grains will help with healthy digestion and bowel movements.
Proteins are important when it comes to repairing and growing muscles. In addition to that, it also sharpens brain cells, which improves our thinking process as well. Abundantly found in almonds, eggs, and chicken breast, etc. Proteins should be consumed both at breakfast and at lunch.
Although the idea of consuming vegetables at lunch does not settle well with many people but it provides several important benefits as compared to fast food and other meals people mostly prefer. Lunch is supposed to be light and provide maximum nutrients. If it is the other way around, the body will hardly benefit, instead suffer.
What is the role of calories?
A lot of people tend to get confused when it comes to calories. Furthermore, people are of the view that calories are always bad for health, whereas, in reality, it is not. The amount of calories present in food refers to the amount of energy it stores. Calories are required by the body to breathe, think, and carry out other important functions.
Furthermore, an average person requires 2,000 calories a day, however, it depends on the sex, age, and physical activity. In addition to that, people who tend to exercise require more calories as compared to those who do not involve themselves in physical activities. Therefore, calories are required by the body but that does not mean that one should consume excess unhealthy food items.
Things such as ice-cream, pizza, cakes, and cookies could be consumed every once in a while to match the daily calorie requirement. While consuming calories, make sure that you intake foods that are healthy and rich in other nutrients as well. You would not want to munch on food items that provide empty calories and result in weight gain.
Why is a healthy lunch important?
The body requires a healthy lunch to work efficiently and effectively. People who tend to skip lunch or prefer eating unhealthy meals are more vulnerable to fatigue, infection, disease, and poor performance. Therefore, a healthy lunch is important especially when it comes to kids and young individuals.
Children who are not provided healthy lunch may suffer from poor academic performance, growth, and developmental problems. More importantly, they are prone to developing unhealthy eating habits. While kids are, encouraged to participate in extra-curricular activities, it is important that they are fed healthy meals to develop their bodies and brain.
What does a healthy lunch look like?
A healthy lunch should be a balanced meal. What it means is that it should consist of every important nutrient such as proteins, carbohydrates, healthy fats, and vitamins & minerals. Furthermore, a balanced diet should consist of grains, dairy products, fruits, vegetables, and protein foods such as eggs, fish, legumes, and nuts. Unfortunately, the younger generation today seems to be more attracted towards junk food as compared to healthy meals.
This increases the chances of obesity at a very young age. As time and age progress, fighting such problems becomes difficult. Moreover, while this might not highlight the effects at a young age but in the long run, the body will suffer. Therefore, developing healthy eating habits especially when it comes to lunch is important.
Foods to avoid
While we have discussed what a healthy lunch looks like, it is necessary that we mention the foods to avoid as well. To begin with, highly processed foods and alcohol should be completely avoided. Munching on hamburgers with carbonated drinks will only make the day worst. At the same time, processed and red meat is not the ideal choice for lunch. Substitute such food items with fruits and vegetables that will keep you going for the rest of the day.
A healthy lunch is a meal that usually and mostly consists of fresh fruits and vegetables and limits the intake of unhealthy food items. If you are someone who has developed the habit of consuming unhealthy meals at lunch, it might be a bit difficult to substitute them for fresh fruits and vegetables initially. However, think of it as an investment. The better the investment, the better will be the outcome, which is a healthier body in the long run.