A balanced diet is the kind of diet that incorporates all of the dietary foods that our body needs including minerals, vitamins, carbohydrates, fats, water, and proteins. It is important to consume a balanced diet so that our body gets all that it needs. If there is a lack of anything, our body will not be able to perform at its optimum level, resulting in weight loss or weight gain, fatigue and even illnesses. Moreover, an excess of certain nutrients can also cause havoc. In fact, it can even affect growth and development in children. This shows the importance of consuming a balanced diet, something you should care about.
What Is A Balanced Diet?
A balanced diet is one in which foods from some of the main dietary groups in the right amount are included to provide optimum nutrition.The main aim of the diet is to provide sufficient energy to a person and to ensure that all the dietary requirements of a person are fulfilled naturally.This diet consists of fruits, vegetables, dairy, grains, proteins, oils etc.
What To Eat:
These food groups make a balanced diet:
Fruits: Fruits are sugar rich. Since the sugar in fruits is natural, it has no side effects unlike the products that come with added sugars. However, if you have diabetes then go for fruits that are low in sugar, but only after your doctor’s suggestions. Other than that, fruits are great provider of fiber. They are fat-free and also low in calories. Eating a variety of foods can help get a diverse range of minerals and vitamins that are essential for the body.
Vegetables: Vegetables are rich in minerals and vitamins. Moreover, they have the least amount of calories.Veggies like spinach, kale, broccoli, green beans, collard greens and Swiss chards are all a great source of nutrition including potassium, fiber, folate and many other.
Grains: As per USDA, refined white flour is consumed the most than any other grains by Americans. Refined white flour is associated with poor nutrition value because the outer covering (the hull) is removed in the process of refining. Switching from refined white flour to whole grains is your best bet as it is prepared using the hull. They are more nutritious. So, make sure that you replace white bread and pasta and start eating whole grain products.
Protein: Meats and beans are good protein providers; they also help in improving brain and muscle development. however, make sure to keep the meat consumption low because it can increase your cholesterol levels. Other than that, lean meat such as chicken and fish are beneficial too. Make sure to remove the outer skin of the meat before you eat it to reduce the amount of fat and cholesterol in it.If you have a heart condition then switching to nuts and beans is a good option. They are perfect alternatives for meat since they are rich in nutrients and do not affect your cholesterol levels and cause you heart problems.Lentils, sunflower seeds, peas, beans and walnuts should be added in the diet on a daily basis for amazing health results.
Dairy: Calcium and vitamin D are essential for bone health. While dairy from cows is common, switching to plant-based milk which are fortified with calcium can help strengthen bones and serve as a great alternative for dairy products from cows. Other than that, cheese and yogurt should be fat-free and should be consumed in low amounts.
Oils: Many people prefer vegetable oil, however, switching to olive oil is more healthy. It not only helps to reduce weight but also keeps your heart healthy.
Benefits Of A Healthy Diet
There’s a reason why expert nutritionists emphasize on taking a balanced diet. There are countless benefits of following a diet that fulfills the overall requirement of nutrition. These include:
Improved Immune System
Lack of nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, zinc, iron and selenium etc., can cause deficiencies in the body and weaken the immune system.To keep the immune system strong, one must take the diet into consideration and opt for a balanced diet that includes every nutrient that is required by the body. A balanced diet also helps to fight the germs and bacteria that cause diseases in the body.
Energy is needed to stay fit and carry out daily routine tasks. A balanced diet is the perfect source of energy since it includes minerals, vitamins, carbohydrates and proteins. Eating foods like fish, chicken, fruits, veggies, nuts and beans never makes you feel energy deprived and keeps you going for the entire day.
Better Heart Health
One of the main focuses of a balanced diet is to improve the heart health because the heart is the core of the body, orchestrating various functions in the body. Whole grains(unrefined), fruits and veggies are best for a person who has heart issues since they provide fiber, minerals, proteins and vitamins without affecting the cholesterol in the body. However, consumption of meat should be cut off or reduced to keep the heart health in check.
Since a balanced diet is aimed to keep a balance between the dietary needs of the body, the chances of obesity are reduced. In fact, various studies have shown that a balanced diet can even help you lose weight when coupled with exercising.
Balanced Diet Recipes To Know About
Here are some delicious recipes that you can make:
Quinoa Breakfast Bowl (30 minutes)
- Eggs (4)
- Quinoa (1 cup)
- Olive oil 2 tbsp.
- Black pepper and kosher salt.
- Chopped avocado (1)
- Smoked salmon (6 ounces)
- Lemon juice
- Sliced scallions
- Cook the quinoa as indicated on the backside of the package. Now, take 2 eggs and boil them in a container. Drain and peel.
- In the meantime, warm 1 tbsp of oil in a skillet by giving it medium heat. Beat the remaining eggs and cook for 2 to 4 minutes to have runny yolks. Add ¼ teaspoon of salt and pepper.
- Now take the quinoa in a separate bowl and drizzle with the remaining 1 tbsp. of oil. Top with fried eggs you prepared in step 1, add avocado, and salmon. Pour some lemon juice and top with scallions. Enjoy!
Barley And Lentil Soup ( 60 Minutes)
- Canola oil 2 tbsp.
- Chopped white and green scallions (6)
- Chopped garlic cloves (4)
- Finely chopped ginger 1 tbsp.
- Tomato paste (2 tbsp)
- Curry powder (1-½ tbsp)
- Coconut milk (1 ounce)
- Dried red lentils (1 cup)
- Yogurt (1 cup)
- Kosher salt
- Take a large pot and heat the oil over on medium heat. Include garlic, ginger and the scallion whites. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes and keep blending frequently, until they turn soft. Add curry powder and tomato paste as well. Keep cooking and stirring for a minute or two until the point that the tomato paste becomes darker.
- Add coconut milk, 4 containers of water, lentils, grain, and ½ teaspoon salt. Now, heat to the point of boiling.
- Lower the heat and stew for 35 to 45 minutes, stir a few times, until the point that the lentils and grain become soft.
- Serve with the scallion greens and yogurt
A balanced diet keeps a person well fed with all the necessary nutrients that are required to stay healthy.