A balanced diet should provide all the important nutrients to keep the body healthy. Every second of your life, your body completes dozens of complex biological processes needed to keep you alive. All these processes are dependent on the food you eat. Quite literally, the kind of food you eat will affect your overall health. Your diet will translate to your skin, state of your health, and organ functions, etc.
But what makes a balanced diet, well, balanced? In today’s post, we are listing down all the factors that contribute to a well-balanced diet:
Protein provides the body amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of life. These nutrients promote the development, repair, and maintenance of the cells. Without protein, your cells will not survive! That said, protein sources are not created equal. Some are high in saturated fats, which could cause cardiovascular diseases. To keep your diet balanced, opt for healthy sources of lean protein such as fish, poultry (skin off), legumes, low-fat dairy, and lean beef.
Contrary to popular notion, carbohydrates are not bad for the health. Carbs provide a quick boost of energy to the body. There are two kinds of carbohydrates: simple and complex. Simple carbs are found in refined, processed foods such as white rice, white pasta, white bread, candies, and sweet pastries. This is the kind of carbohydrate you should avoid because it causes a spike in blood sugar level. A spike in glucose level leads to sugar crash and intense cravings.
Complex carbohydrates are slow-burning carbs found in legumes, vegetables, whole grains, and fruits. This is the kind of carbohydrate you should eat. Unrefined foods do not cause a spike in the glucose level that leads to intense cravings. These sources of complex carbs are also loaded with essential nutrients and antioxidants.
Fats refer to fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Beneficial fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, omega-3 fatty acid) lower bad cholesterol in the body. Saturated and trans fats are harmful fats that cause heart diseases. Excellent sources of healthy fats are oily fish, avocados, nuts, olive oil.
Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamins and minerals refer to organic and non-organic nutrients, respectively. These nutrients contribute to a healthy body. Vitamin A, B, C, D, and E help keep the organs healthy. These nutrients support immunity, promotes proper development, and boosts healing.
On the other hand, minerals like calcium, sodium, chloride, potassium, zinc, and phosphorus promote healthy bones and teeth, assist in the generation of new cells, and boost healing. These nutrients also regulate the water balance in the body and assist in the oxygenation of the organs.
Proper hydration is critical to the health. After all, 60% of the human body is made up of water. Your body fluids flush out toxins from the body, carry nutrients to the cells, and lubricate the organs. You need to drink at least 8 glasses of water daily to stay healthy.
There are two types of dietary fiber: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber regulates glucose level and bowel regularity. This nutrient aids in digestion and reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. On the other hand, insoluble fiber aids in digestion and promotes weight loss. This nutrient also cuts back cravings and makes you feel fuller for longer.