( By Dr Tejinder Singh )
The food that you consume serves a variety of purposes. It helps in growth and maintaining life. The basic elements of our diet can be classified as
- Micronutrients like vitamins and minerals.
Carbohydrates provide energy, proteins provide the building blocks for the body and fats provide the "packing material" in addition to being a reserve source of energy. Vitamins and minerals serve a variety of functions. Iron is required for making of blood cells while calcium is needed for healthy bones and teeth. It is not our intention to go into the finer details of various dietary principles. What we want to emphasize is that you are at a very crucial stage of growth and the foundations that are built now are going to persist throughout your life.
For a healthy growth you must consume a balanced diet. A balanced diet is one, which provides all the nutrients required by the body in addition to providing little extra for reserves. If you eat adequate amount of various foods like wheat, rice, pulses, green leafy vegetables, cheese and curd, your body will get adequate amounts of these nutrients. You should be aware that during this age, most of you might appear slightly obese-the solution to doesn't lie in drastic dieting. Rather, you should try to cut down on fried foods, chips, chocolates, ice creams and cold drinks. If you starve yourself, you may become deficient in essential nutrients.
Adequate amount of homemade diet usually provides full requirements of various nutrients and if you are consuming such a diet, you don't have to be bothered about consuming vitamins and tonics. The only exception to this is the supplementation of iron, even for apparently healthy persons. If you look at your tongue in a mirror, it should have a slightly pink color. If it looks pale, it indicates presence of anemia. In such cases, it is advisable to consult your doctor, who will get certain blood tests done and prescribe appropriate medications.