When we talk about what healthy food to incorporate into our daily lives, we often only think about fruits and vegetables. We find that idea so boring that it never becomes a concrete reality.
We are here to guide you on how to plan your diet in a balanced manner, integrating food from all food groups to give your body a much fuller and healthier intake. Anyone food item cannot be deemed as more important than the other.
The real catch is in the way we consume our food. Eating too much or too little of an item from one food group is unhealthy and detrimental to our physical health in the long run. Our body requires a variety of foods to replenish itself. Food items’ varied composition and nutrient value work together to provide nourishment and fulfillment for our bodies.
What is a Balanced Diet?
A balanced diet is a healthy way of maintaining your food requirements by eating food from all groups. It is a controlled diet that monitors the proportion and quantity of food items to meet the daily requirement of the essential nutrients.
Our body requires the essential nutrients to perform vital body functions such as building parts of body organs, bones, and muscles, producing heat and energy, and also keeping the body in good working order.
Lack of a balanced diet leads to health problems, infections, fatigue, and low performance. Children who are malnourished may face growth and developmental problems.
The food pyramid is the best referral guide to eating a well-planned and nutritious meal. Your diet must comprise of the following daily for a healthy lifestyle.
- 6 to 8 servings of carbohydrates- Rice, bread, cereal, pasta, and whole grains are your body’s main source of energy. They fuel your major body organs like the brain, kidneys, heart, liver, and central nervous system.
- 4 to 6 servings of vegetables + 2 to 4 servings of fruits- Any vegetable/fruit or 100% vegetable/fruit juice qualifies for this group. Fruits and vegetables are a great source of multi-vitamins and fiber.
- 2 to 3 servings of dairy- Milk, yogurt, cheese, cream, butter, etc. are necessary for making muscles, nerves, bones, teeth, skin, and vision healthy. Dairy products help reduce tiredness and fatigue.
- 2 to 3 servings of proteins- Meat, poultry, fish, dry beans, nuts, and eggs are a great source of protein required to fuel your energy and carry oxygen throughout your body in your blood.
- Oil and fat- Fat must never be eliminated from our diet, as it is a source of essential fatty acids, which are not produced naturally in the body. Fat helps the body to assimilate vitamins A, D, and E. It must however be used as cautiously as possible.
Healthy Foods For Everyday
Now that you are more aware of how you should be planning your everyday meals, we have compiled the top healthy foods that you should be eating every day for a more vitalized body and mind.
This list will make it easier for you to make an intelligent eating decision and can also prove beneficial in losing weight. This also provides snacking options for the times when a meal alone won’t suffice and you crave comfort foods.
Not all protein bars are healthy or nutritious. More often, they are filled with added sugar and fat content that make them an unhealthy choice of food.
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It is a common myth that eggs are high in cholesterol and promote weight gain.
Research shows that whole eggs are one of the more protein-rich foods that leave our bodies feeling satiated for a longer period of time.
If eaten in a balanced way, eggs can make you reduce weight while providing an ample amount of energy and nutrients on a calorie-restricted diet.
Salmon is another protein-rich food loaded with healthy omega-3 fatty acids making it a good choice for people aiming to maintain a healthy lifestyle or are on a restricted diet.
The omega-3 fatty acids in salmon help reduce inflammation that causes obesity and other metabolic diseases.
Potatoes again are often associated with weight gain. This is essentially true if you are a fan of French fries.
White potatoes, when boiled, are the most appealing food that leaves you feeling naturally full for a longer period and provide the body with a variety of useful nutrients.
Boiled potatoes also help control blood pressure due to the presence of high amounts of potassium. They also contain a little bit of almost all nutrients, making them a great choice of food.
Beans and Legumes
Lentils, black beans, kidney beans, and some other legumes are healthy sources of nutrition that help the body feel energized.
Probably one of the most under-rated food categories, these foods are loaded with protein and fiber with some amounts of resistant starch, which are essential nutrients that have a high satiating quality.
Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts, and cauliflower are rich in fiber and other nutrients, including glucosinolates which play a major role in the detoxification processes of the body.
An increase in the intake of cruciferous vegetables can lead to a reduced risk of developing several chronic diseases, particularly cancer.
Brussels sprouts and broccoli have the highest number of plant omega-3s, vitamin E, and vitamin B-1.
Leafy greens like spinach, kale, lettuce, etc. are plant leaves that are eaten as vegetables. Leafy greens are often eaten as salads and are high in vitamins, minerals, and fiber but low in terms of calorie content.
There are numerous mental and physical health benefits to eating leafy greens regularly. These may include reduced risk of obesity, cardiac issues, and high blood pressure.
It also helps fight mental decline, reduces stress, and makes your skin glow. These vegetables are rich in antioxidants that maintain healthy hair and skin. They are the richest source of vitamin K and folates.
Avocados are considered one of the more unique fruits among the entire lot. Unlike the other fruits, which are high in carbohydrates; avocados are loaded with healthy fats.
This fat content is mostly monosaturated fats which keep heart diseases at bay and help maintain blood pressure. Avocados are high in water, which makes them less energy-dense.
This fruit is an excellent source of potassium, folate, vitamin E, magnesium, and fiber. All of which are essential for maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system and strengthen the heart.
All these attributes make it a worthy superfood. Avocados weren’t always so popular or common. They gained popularity in the late 1900s when fitness trends and a low-fat diet became an area of interest for the majority.
No matter how conscious you are of your eating habits, it is heavily recommended that each one of us take out time for exercise. It is an essential component of leading a healthy, well-balanced lifestyle.
Good eating habits along with exercise are the only way to wellness, both mentally and physically.