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The Cost of Health

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By Azara – Bella Naija Beauty Editor

Is it really more costly to eat healthy food? By saving money in this tight economy are you jeopardizing your health?

Well if the economy is causing you to jeopardize your health then you need to think about what the long term cost of cutting corners will do to your health.75% of what we look like and feel like comes from our nutrition, and every time we choose to cut corners, we are only cheating our health. Take for instance a breakfast of bagel and coffee that contains about 350 calories but with very little nutritional value as opposed to a bowl of fruit salad, with the same amount of calories but with more vitamins and minerals, as well antioxidants that will work to reduce the aging process.
As Women, we spend a lot of money on cosmetics, facial lotions and cleanser when we can achieve our desire of healthy skin and youth rejuvenation simply by what we put in our mouth.

In this rapidly moving society, we often believe we are being economically smart by going for the cheapest and quickest foods when we feel hungry, but do you know that you are incurring more expenses than you think?. Most people pay more attention to what they look like on the outside than how the feel in the inside. Most diseases like that of heart, diabetes and cancer are actually a direct result of what we put into our body. Often times our habit of going for the cheapest and tastiest food often become a deadly habit that is very hard to break, thus making it difficult later on in life when we need to, to become healthy eaters. The reality of the situation is that food first and for most is there purely for energy. Everything we put into our body is counted in calories which our body needs to perform its daily duties, but because we have programmed ourselves for a life of ‘food pleasure’ we often stay away from what our body needs.

Have you ever satisfied a craving for chocolate or chips because you felt your body wanted it? This in actuality is the illusion created by our taste buds and not stomach. Do you find that you still feel hungry after eating a heavy meal? That is because most of the time our body is making a request for water and we mistake it for food. Also, satisfying our cravings are due to the addictives that are put in some of our favorite junk foods that keep us coming back for it. Have you ever looked at the ingredient part of ice cream, cookies and chips to find words that you can’t say? If you don’t know what it is why do you put it in your mouth.

Think about the food you have in your house right now, how many processed and packaged food do you have in your cupboard or fridge? If you have more processed food in your cupboard than you have fresh fruits and veggies in your fridge, then it’s time for a health makeover. Changing your eating habits to that of a healthier one is actually easier than we think. There are two important things to remember, 1. Food should not be processed, try to have more fresh food inside the fridge than outside and 2. If you don’t know what the ingredients in your favorite food are, then don’t put it in your mouth. Set a goal of eating more fruits and vegetables while cutting down on empty nutritional food and see what results you get.

Processed foods, as mentioned above, usually contain less minerals and vitamins and when consumed, deplete the nutrients in your body. Additives and preservatives often put heavy burdens in our liver(breaks down food compounds in order for your body to get rid of them) due to the fact that it is unnatural, and often times when the body can’t break these compounds or use them, it usually stores them as fat which can also be found under your skin thus often causing inflammations.
Another self assessment test to take to ensure that you are giving your body what it wants, is to ask yourself how you feel after you eat. After eating a meal, are you thirsty? Do you feel bloated? Do feel heavy? Are you happy? Questions like these can help us determine how food makes us feel, thus prompting us to fuel ourselves better. So instead of spending money on expensive creams to get rid of breakouts, while you stuff yourself with white rice, while not save money by buying fruits and vegetables; take an inventory on where your money goes, and make sure you have your priorities set on addressing your ‘insides’ instead of you outside appearance.

2 Comments

  1. Etibensi

    October 16, 2008 at 11:52 am

    Your piece on “The Cost of Health” is refreshing. The lower animals don’t visit doctors, hospitals etc yet they face the challenges of the environment with ease. We are progressively increasing the cost of our health through our mouth. Like the popular saying goes “gabbage in gabbage out” determines the state of our health. What do Naija people crave for now in terms of feeding. To get an insight, visit any of the big fast food joints and watch from outside. What did you notice? A greater portion of our youths cannot do without those junks.

    I am always pained when I realise that most of the patrons of the junks are young girls some of who cannot boil ordinary rice at home. Why? Why do we look at our nutritious local food with contempt. Why this “indominisation” of our young ones!?

    Why do we have increasing rate of cancers and other strange diseases. Like people say what is sweet at the beginning usualy ends up bitter. STAY HEALTHY EAT RIGHT

  2. Bridget Otubor

    November 21, 2008 at 8:39 am

    well you are right about spending so much on comestics than on health food. Eating health food can be quite diffcult be can be achieved since it is sure way to prevent frequent illness.

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