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12 Foods to Maintain a Balanced Healthy Diet

The key to enjoying a long, healthy and fulfilling life where you can enjoy your body at its most optimum energy is to create a wholesome and well-balanced diet to provide you all the essential nutrients. If you are consuming at least five servings of fresh fruits and colourful vegetables each day, you not only end up avoiding those horrid cravings for fast food items, but you also feel much more energetic, fresh and positive.

But really, what does a balanced diet truly mean and why does everyone make it so complicated? It’s not complicated at all, all you need to do is adopt all the right nutritious superfoods, eliminate the unhealthy junk and trans fats, and make sure you create a mindful balance by avoiding all kinds of accesses and overeating.

A Balanced Diet and Your Health
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Image Credit: The Healthy Page

If you’re unsure about the specific food items that will benefit you the most when added to your daily diet, an easier way would be finding out what nutrients your body lacks. Research reveals that nearly 75% of the population has a magnesium deficiency for they fail to consume the recommended daily dosage requirement of 300mg. If you are deficient in magnesium, picking out magnesium-rich foods, such as beans and lentils, would be a great start towards building a wholesome diet.

There are countless nutrient-rich food items that will not only give your daily diet a scrumptious taste and flavourful variety so you don’t feel deprived, but also, they will help you achieve your health goals and enhance all your bodily functions, along with preventing the development of several chronic diseases.

We’ve picked out 12 superfoods that are loaded with heaps of beneficial nutrients to help you create a well-balanced diet. Here, take a look:

1. Cruciferous Vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables, such as kale, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage, are regarded as superfoods for they are loaded with countless minerals and vitamins. These vegetables hail from the family of brassicaceae, which derives its Latin name from ‘Crucifare’, which literally denotes the cross, as they feature four central leaves that look very similar to a cross.

These flavour-packed vegetables are packed with nutrients, including fiber, vitamins and the protective phytochemicals that fight off countless chronic diseases. You can add them to your salads, stews, soups, casseroles, pastas, pizzas and baked treats.

2. Lean Beef & Chicken Breast

All healthy and balanced diets require you to eat mindful servings of chicken and lean beef to give your body a rich concentration of energising protein. Our body requires a regular source of protein, and if you are a meat-eater, it is highly advisable to pick out the leanest cut of your meat, such as chicken breasts and certain beef cuts. You butcher can help you pick out the right one.

Research reveals that raising your protein consumption to no more than 30% of your daily calorie consumption can help you cut down the horrid late-night snacking, which will bring about a reducing of nearly half a pound of fat in just one week. Just be careful to avoid overeating meat-based protein. The key is to take mindful servings and eat it no more than twice or thrice a week.

3. Boiled Potatoes

For centuries, potatoes have been regarded for their rich concentration of nutrients and flavourful taste, but with the advent of countless fried and fast food options, the popularity of potatoes has considerably decreased. Research reveals that boiled potatoes are the safest way to devour these treats for they provide a slowly-releasing carbohydrate without the unhealthy addition of saturated fats.

Potatoes are loaded with heaps of potassium, which happens to be one of the nutrients that tends to be deficit in most people, and it also plays an instrumental role in maintaining healthy blood pressure levels. If you adore roasted potatoes, you end up piling heaps of avoidable fats on your plate.

So, it is always best to boil them and let to cool down for a little time in order to boost their concentration of resistant starch, a kind of fiber-like compound that boosts countless health benefits, particularly aiding in promoting satiation for longer hours.

4. Quinoa

Quinoa is incredibly healthy and it is loaded with heaps of protein and multiple other nutrients, making it an essential ingredient for any balanced diet, particularly for vegetarians. Recently, it has emerged as quite the trendy health food and experts are increasingly vocal about its countless benefits.

Not only is this powerful food loaded with protein, making it the perfect protein source for those who don’t eat meat, but it also provides countless minerals and antioxidants.

Most people believe that this nutritious superfood is a kind of grain, but actually, it is an edible seed that is grown in the Andes region. Experts believe that it belongs from the same family as spinach, beetroot and Swiss chard.

5. Salmon & Oily Fish

Oily fish is a vital ingredient for a wholesome and nutrient-rich diet. Oily fish, such as tuna, salmon, herring and mackerel, are loaded with heaps of protein and the heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which are instrumental to boost the health of the bones, hair and skin.

However, if you are a strict vegetarian, be sure to obtain your essential fix of omega-3 fatty acids from high quality and fresh vegetable sources. You can load up heaps of omega-3 fatty acids from hemp seeds, soy, chia seeds, canola oil, walnuts and flaxseeds.

6. Beans & Legumes

If you are a vegetarian, adding beans to your daily diet is the perfect way to load up your body with protein, and besides, black beans and chickpeas can be used to create such delicious meals. Research reveals that legumes, which are basically a group of vegetables such as, lentils, beans, chickpeas, and peas.

Legumes are regarded as the richest and highly versatile sources of countless essential nutrients, especially energising minerals, such as magnesium, potassium, folate and iron. What’s more, they are extremely low in fat and they don’t contain a single trace of cholesterol. If you are deficient in minerals, such as magnesium or potassium, which according to research nearly 75% of the people tend to be, legumes are just what you need to overcome this deficiency.

Moreover, legumes are also a rich source of healthy fats, and both, insoluble and soluble fiber, which are essential for promoting satiation and keeping you filled for longer hours.

Fix yourself a spicy bean burrito, bean tacos, a creamy hummus, bean salad or even a delicious bean casserole.

7. Whole eggs

Eggs are one of the richest sources of protein, and if you want to a remarkably satiating and energising protein-packed breakfast, it simply doesn’t get better than a hearty serving of eggs. Undoubtedly, eggs are nature’s most inexpensive and richest sources of fine quality protein, along with packing countless other nutrients.

Eggs pack up multiple nutrients that boost the strength of the heart, and pregnant women are particularly advised to add eggs to their daily diet for they are loaded with choline, which is vital for healthy brain growth. Moreover, eggs are one of the few rare sources of vitamin D, providing an incredibly rich dose, which is essential to strengthen the bones and prevent the symptoms of osteoporosis.

You can add eggs to countless recipes, casseroles, salads, even pizzas and baked treats. Here’s an amazing idea for a hearty and scrumptious breakfast that will make sure you don’t get hungry until it’s time for lunch: pair up on poached egg with sourdough, laden with the creamy paste of a smashed avocado.

8. Oils, Spreads & Healthy Fats

If you want to create a balanced and nutritious diets, be sure to load up your daily diet with nutritious oils and spreads so your diet contains all the healthy fats that your body requires. The goal is to eliminate those horrid trans fats that raise up your cholesterol levels, and replace them with heart-healthy unsaturated fat substitutes.

Olive is loaded with countless healthy fats, and you can use it to make healthy salad dressings, frying, grilling and even creating dip sauces, like hummus. You can even try cooking your meals in coconut oil because since it burns at a considerably higher heat as compared to most other oils, it produces far less carcinogens.

Be sure to load up your daily diet with nutritious essential oils and other sources of healthy oils, particularly avocados and olive oil.

9. Avocados

Avocados are one of the richest sources of healthy fats, which are extremely vital to promote the overall health and balance of our body. These ripe and creamy delights pack up countless other health benefits, for they are not only loaded with minerals, but they are also extremely rich in vitamin K, which aids in fortifying the strength of the bones.

Moreover, with regular consumption, avocados aid in promoting healthy cholesterol levels, which boosts the health of the heart.

Be sure to add them to your daily diet in mindful quantities, you can add them to your salads, smash them on a toast, devour them poached eggs for a scrumptious breakfast, or make a spicy guacamole for a healthy Mexican treat.

10. Nuts

There are countless types of nuts and each nut boosts its own unique set of nutrients and healing benefits. Research suggests that nuts are loaded with nutrient and rich concentrations of fiber, along with being excellent sources of polyunsaturated fats.

All you need is a handful of mixed nuts, no more than 30 grams, to give your body a satiating and energising snack before or after lunch, just to keep the cravings at bay.

Brazils are loaded with heaps of selenium, and if you are lactose intolerant, be sure to eat almonds regularly as they are packed with calcium. Walnuts provide a rich concentration of antioxidants, which aid in fighting off the symptoms of cancer.

11. Fruit & Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are nature’s most enriched superfoods to provide you a burst of multiple healing and strengthening nutrients. Research reveals that fruits and veggies pack up loads of minerals, vitamins and antioxidants, and they must make up at least one-third of our daily diet.

Experts widely recommend the consumption of at least five portions of vegetables and fruits every day in order to boost your mental and physical health.

A study that attempted to analyse the benefits associated with consuming fruits and vegetables every day. The results revealed that the participants who consumed five servings each day experienced marked reductions in their risk factors for suffering from heart disease, heart strokes and several kinds of cancers.

12. Dairy Products or Dairy Substitutes

Dairy products are one of the most effective ways of including calcium into your daily diet. This powerful nutrient is vital for the healthy growth of our bones, and in order to prevent the development of osteoporosis when you hit your old age, it is essential to consume calcium regularly. Dairy products also provide rich concentrations of magnesium and potassium, two nutrients that are vital to boost the health and strength of the heart.

However, if you are lactose intolerant, it is highly advisable that you steer clear of all dairy products. You can always ask your doctor or nutritionist to recommend you a good quality calcium supplement to add to your daily diet.

There are several calcium-fortified substitutes that you can pick out instead of dairy milk, such as cheese, yogurt and fortified soy milk.

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