08 Oct Poor Nutrition in Modern Living
A Balanced Diet?
Fruits, checked. Greens, checked. Meat, checked. You got the right formula of a “balanced” diet, but there are many aspects to good nutrition besides piling your plate with a mix of greens and proteins.
Eating the right food in the right amount matters.
You may be eating plenty of meat and grains but still lack in micronutrients that are found more substantially in certain fruits and vegetables. Despite the abundance of food choices, many Singaporeans especially the seniors are reported to have poor nutrition.
Only 1 in 3 Singaporeans are eating enough greens  and 1 in 2 are eating enough fruits on a daily basis. Asking for more greens in your burger or fishball noodles, usually equivalent to a few pieces of lettuce, or grabbing a sliced watermelon, are not enough to meet your daily needs.
Serve You Right
While you are recommended to eat a minimum of 2-3 servings of fruits and vegetables, you are strongly encouraged to go for 4-5 servings of each per day to improve your immunity and overall health.
As a general indication, one serving of vegetables is equivalent to ¼ plate of cooked greens or ½ cup of raw lettuce and one serving of fruits is equivalent to a small apple, a large banana, or 12 grapes.
Besides eating enough of the right food, making dietary adjustments based on your lifestyle, age and medical condition is also a crucial component of good nutrition. For instance, you can reduce your caloric intake but need to consume more vitamins as you age.
It is easy to overlook poor nutrition at an early stage since it does not pose an immediate threat to your daily life, but there are warning signs you need to identify before it worsens.
5 Signs of Poor Nutrition
- Frequent illness
An average adult catches 2-3 colds in a year while a child around 7-8 colds. If you find yourself falling sick way too often, there is a high chance that you are lacking in some essentials vitamins that keep your immune system strong. Apart from external factors like stress and sleep, you can improve your immune functions with antioxidants like vitamins A, C, E.
- Slow recovery
Besides falling sick often, taking a much longer time to recover is also an unhealthy sign. Notice your wounds are unusually slow to heal? This is also a sign that you are not having enough proteins and vitamins that help your body to repair and recover.
- Unexplained fatigue
If you are generally well-rested but still feel tired throughout the day, you should look into your diet and consume more fruits and vegetables that are rich in iron for an energy boost.
- Brittle Hair and Nails
Excessive hair loss, dry or brittle hair are signs of your body lacking in protein, healthy fats and vitamin B. Having nails that are easily ridged and broken suggest that you are not taking enough vitamin A, B6, C and D.
- Dull complexion
It is great to invest in facial care and treatments to improve your skin complexion, but a good diet gives you the natural glow you desire! A diet rich in carotenoids and antioxidants like vitamin Cs help to brighten your dull skin and make it look more radiant.
It is important to understand the real meaning of a balanced diet and good nutrition to keep yourself in optimal condition. However, if consuming a variety of whole fruits and vegetables is not always accessible, you can complement your diet with natural fruit-based beverages or juices that serve as a healthy alternative.
Start loading up on your daily intake of vitamins and other nutrients. Eat right for better nutrition today!