Food is a basic need that every person should get because it is one of the major aspects of the life of a human being. It is also a vital element of health as it plays a major role in boosting a person’s immunity and general wellness. However, you should eat healthily if you want to get good health and improve your life quality. For you to start eating healthily, you should start eating a balanced diet. Do you know the constituents of a balanced diet? This article will help you understand deeply about a balanced diet.
What Is A Balanced Diet?
A balanced diet is a diet made up of almost all the food groups, and when it is taken, it provides the consumer with enough nutrients that promote good health. There are various food groups. For you to take a balanced diet, you need to take some portions of each food category. It is called a balanced diet because the food is balanced as you do not take one food category in large quantities and ignore the other. At least in a day, a person should eat foods from five food groups.
What Are The Benefits Of Eating A Balanced Diet?
1. Increased Energy Level
For you to carry out your daily activities, you need enough energy in your body. Where will you get the energy from? It is obtained from the foods that we eat. Each food contains some amount of calories that it offers you. You should ensure that the amount of food you eat provides you with enough calories. Nutritionists and dieticians have specified the amount of calories that each food contains and the amount you should consume to meet the daily energy requirement. Carbohydrates should provide you with 65 percent of the total calories, while fats and proteins should take 15 percent and 20 percent, respectively. Not only do you need energy for you to carry out your daily activities, but also for your thinking. Your brain also needs the energy to function properly and make rational decisions.
2. Weight Loss
When you eat a balanced diet, you will get to consume various nutrient-dense foods that will benefit your health. You will get to avoid calorie-dense foods, which are the ones that contribute to weight gain. What causes weight gain? Weight gain happens when you have a habit of eating sugary foods and most processed foods, for example, biscuits, chips, cakes, and many other junks. These foods are rich in simple sugars that get digested quickly, and extra calories get stored in the adipose tissues, resulting in increased weight gain.
A balanced diet will allow you to eat carbohydrates like oats, vegetables, wheat grains, legumes, quinoa, and many others, which have a low glycemic index. Such foods that contain complex carbohydrates will help you stay full for longer hence not consuming junks. This will help you to maintain ideal body weight. If you are reducing weight, you ought to start feeding on a balanced diet.
3. Improved Immunity
Your body has its defensive mechanism that protects you from antibodies, causing infection and diseases. It is your immunity that will help you to stay protected from falling sick. A person who has a weaker immunity, he is susceptible to diseases and infections compared to the one who has a stronger immunity. Look at the case of a person who is HIV positive. Such a patient should practice proper nutritional practices that include eating a balanced diet to improve their immunity and lower the viral loads. A balanced diet is full of vitamins and minerals, which are essential in improving a person’s immunity. Examples of foods that will help you boost your immunity will be listed later in the article.
4. Improved Mood
Healthy eating is one of the major factors that contribute to the development of happy moods and positive vibrations. When you eat unhealthy foods, such as processed foods full of sugars, you will significantly increase your weight. It will reach an extent when you will become obese and not appreciate the way you look. This will make you moody as you succumb to stress and depression. Poor feeding practices can also be a cause of mental illnesses. When you eat a balanced diet, you will eat foods in their appropriate sizes, and you will have no worries afor increased weight or any other lifestyle diseases.
5. Improved Sleep
Good sleep is one of the factors that contribute to the better health of a person. However, insomnia is a condition that is affecting many people across the world. This condition is related to many factors including poor feeding habits. If you want to get enough sleep at night, you should practice proper nutrition practices which among them are eating a balanced diet. When you at a balanced diet, you provide your body with enough calories for the day an s well as enough nutrients. You will also be happy, and you boost your vibrational frequencies, thus getting enough sleep. A person, who eats recklessly, will provide his or her body with more than enough calories and unhealthy fats, which might compromise his or her health and cause emotional distress, which might contribute to lack of sleep.
Foods to Combine For a Healthy Diet:
1. Grain, grain products and other starchy foods
These types of foods will provide you with energy and other important minerals, such as iron and calcium. It is advisable to consume wholemeal cereals because they are healthy as they have a low glycemic index. They facilitate weight loss, and they also protect you from developing diabetes. Moreover, grain and grain products contain more other nutrients, especially trace elements. Examples of such foods include maize, wheat, bread, sorghum, millet, cassava, rice, potatoes, green bananas, etc.
Pulses are excellent sources of proteins and energy. The primary source of energy is carbohydrates, but proteins are used to provide the body with energy when they are not available. Not only are pulses good sources of protein and energy, but also vitamins and some other minerals. They should be part of your diet, especially when you want to substitute animal protein with plant protein, then pulses are the best option. Examples of pulses include beans, lentils, cowpeas, chickpeas, dry peas, dry beans, runner beans, among many other leguminous crops.
3. Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds are also good sources of proteins and vitamins. They are the types of foods that athletes are advised to eat because they help them burn fats and maintain ideal body weight. Nuts and seeds also contain some healthy fats, minerals, and fibers. Examples of such foods include cashew nuts, hazelnuts, macadamias, walnuts, almonds, flax seeds, sesame seeds, etc.
4. Milk and Dairy Products
Milk is a good source of protein though it contains some other essential minerals such as calcium and zinc, which are necessary for bone formation. The other dairy products are fortified, and they are mostly rich in phosphorous, potassium, zinc, vitamin A, vitamin D, Riboflavin, choline, selenium, and magnesium. Examples include yogurt, cheese, butter, ice-cream, frozen desserts, and many others.
5. Meat and poultry
Meat is dived into two, red meat and white meat. Both of the two types of meat are useful to the body, and they are the major sources of proteins. However, red meat should be consumed in liberal amounts, linked with many health conditions. Poultry is also a good source of protein, but it should also be consumed in limited amounts. Examples of such foods include beef, chicken, ducks, turkeys, fish, crabs, and lobsters, among many others.
Eggs are good sources of fat-soluble vitamins, which include vitamins A, D, E, and K. They are also sources of minerals such as iron, copper, and zinc, as well as trace elements such as selenium. However, eggs should be consumed in limited amounts of at most five eggs per week. They contain bad fat, which is a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases.
7. Dark green leafy vegetables
Naturally, vegetables are low in calories and fats, making them recommended for weight reduction. Besides, vegetables are good sources of potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin A and C and folic acid. Examples of vegetables include lettuce, spinach, amaranths, silver beet, pumpkin, cucumber, and many more.
Fruits are perfect sources of vitamins and minerals. However, they also provide some calories to the body. They also contain antioxidants making them beneficial for reducing the chances of developing heart diseases. Examples of fruits include apples, mangoes, oranges, avocados, pineapples, watermelons, etc.
9. Fats and oils
Your body needs a small amount of fats for it’s to function properly. Oils and fats provide your body with calories, and some of the fats such as the essential fats help your body absorb fat-soluble vitamins.
10. Sugar, honey, and sweets
Sugar, honey, and sweets provide your body with some calories. However, honey has more nutritional benefits as compared to sugar and sweets. Sweets mainly serve as food items that you can eat when you are hypoglycemic.
Condiments are some food elements that contribute to the taste and flavor of food. They include salt, which is the main source of sodium, vinegar, and other spices.
Water is the main constituent of the human body. It serves as a solvent where most minerals are suspended and a medium for metabolic processes. You should consume at least six glasses of water per day. After every meal, you ought to drink a glass of water.
The mentioned above are the types of foods that your meal should have for it to be termed as a balanced diet. Ensure that your meal contains at least five groups of the mentioned foods. You should also consider maintaining hygiene and cleanliness during food preparation and when eating.