We are always reading and hearing how important having a balanced diet is for your health. But many people lack the understanding or knowledge or what a balanced diet actually consists of. It’s important that we educate ourselves on the foods we need to eat to ensure good nutrition and health. It’s no secret that a healthy balanced diet can also prevent many deadly diseases, such as being obesity, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart diseases, stroke, osteoporosis, specific cancers and much more. So why aren’t people taking the food their consuming more seriously? we have all the information we need to realise it’s essential to living a happy and healthy life. It’s crucial that we take care of what we put into our bodies, not just for our phsycial health but our mental health too.
What does a balanced diet consist off?
There are 7 things you need to consume weekly for a balanced diet: carbs, protein, fat, fibre, vitamins, minerals and water. Here are just a few examples of some of the foods/drinks you can eat to ensure you’re getting them all…
⦁ Carbs: bread, pasta, potatoes, milk
Meats = beef, chicken, lamb, pork, turkey,
Seafood = fish, crab, lobster, mussels, oysters, scallops, prawns
Dairy products = milk, yoghurt, cheese
⦁ Healthy fats: avocados, dark chocolate, nuts, chia seeds, nuts, whole eggs
⦁ Fibre: whole wheat pasta, bread & cereals, fruits (berries, melons, oranges), vegetables (broccoli, carrots, sweetcorn), nuts, seeds, beans, peas
⦁ Vitamins: (you’ll need A, B, C, D, E, and K)
Calcium = milk, cheese or any dairy product
Potassium = bananas, oranges, apricots, raisins, and dates, cooked broccoli, potatoes, cucumbers, mushrooms, cooked spinach
Iron = raw spinach, beans, tofu, lentils, cashews, fortified breakfast cereals
⦁ Water: say no more
What benefits does a balanced diet give? (physical and mental)
1. Improved moods
Have you ever been hangry before? when you’re so hungry that you actually become angry and irritable. Typically in this situation, you want food fast and your food choice probably won’t be the best for you nutritionally. You’ll probably end up grabbing a big bag of crisps, rushing to McDonald’s (we’ve all done it) or turning to any other unhealthy food option. Eating too much junk food will starve your body of the nutrients that it needs to function and will decrease your energy significantly. Studies show that getting the right nutrients can lead to improved moods. And we all know how much a good mood can impact our day. In fact, it’s even been proven that the right nutrition triggers the same pleasure centre that addictive drugs do. Crazy, right?
2. Improved ability to focus
Getting the right nutrients through a balanced diet is proven to help your brains ability to focus, retain information and help your memory. This happens because the nutrients activate enzymes that stimulate the flow of oxygen and blood to the brain. So surely that means better performance at school, in your job or any other activity that requires brainpower? If that doesn’t want to make you eat good, I don’t know what will.
3. Energy for daily tasks or exercise
We all know that our energy comes from the foods we eat. Therefore, if we’re getting everything we need, we’ll have enough energy to last throughout the day. Carbohydrates, proteins and fats will provide you with your main source of energy. It’s important that you’re getting enough energy to keep yourself re-energized and active (mentally and physically). There’s one thing for sure, if you don’t have enough energy, you won’t be achieving much. Sufficient energy will aid growth, development and even success.
4. Maintained healthy body weight
A balanced diet will help you maintain a healthy body weight because you won’t be eating too much of the same unhealthy foods. Getting the right nutrients will help digestion and metabolism too. But don’t forget the importance of regular exercise accompained with your balanced diet!
5. Can fight off diseases easier whilst and also make you significantly less likely to catch them in the first place
If your body is fulled properly with a balanced diet, you will become stronger. Healthy foods will boost your immune system significantly. So you’ll be ready to fight any nasty infections and viruses. Having a healthy diet will also help prevent you from catching any deadly diseases in the first place. As previously mentioned, a bad diet can make you more suspectable to diseases such as obesity, heart disease, strokes, type 2 diabetes and so many more. You can prevent them through a balanced diet because the healthy nutrients boost “good” cholesterol and decrease unhealthy triglycerides. Which directly impacts the risk of diseases. Look after yourself and your wellbeing! Sometimes it’s easy to forget about what you’re putting in your body. But it’s vital to look after yourself, you’ll thank yourself further down the line.
6. Better sleep
Because who doesn’t love a full night sleep? We all know the endless benefits that a full night sleep can give us. Such as improved attention span, reduced stress levels, the ability to take in information and retain it, making memories and so much more. Many studies have been made linking the correlation between sleep and health. These studies show that people with a bad, unbalanced diet have more trouble sleeping at night than those with a healthy balanced diet. It’s proven that diet choice has a direct impact on your sleep, so be vigilant about what you’re putting into your body.
7. Brain power
The healthier the foods are that you choose to fuel your body with, the better functioning your brain will be. And that’s a fact! Let’s look at an example to put things into perspective. Think of one of the most expensive cars you can buy… a Lamborghini Veneno? This car will only function best on premium fuel. Think about this when it comes to the food you’re putting in your body too. The more nutritious and healthy foods (premium fuel) our body is receiving, the better we will perform. Eating high-quality foods that contain lots of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants nourishes the brain and protect it. So you can use your brainpower more efficiently.