What is a balanced diet? What should it contain? A balanced diet contains all the major food groups in the right proportions necessary for the proper functioning of the body. A balanced diet ensures that you are putting the right food in your body and in the appropriate amount. Adopting a well-balanced diet not only maintains weight but also boosts overall health.
Some of the Key Benefits of a Well-Balanced Diet:
- Proper growth and development
- Manages weight
- Boosts energy levels
- Reduces the risks of diseases
- Lowers anxiety and depression
- Boost development and immunity
- Reduces the risks of diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular, obesity etc.
Components Of Well-Balanced Diet
An average person’s diet should contain almost 60% of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are one of the main components of a balanced diet as it gives your body energy in the form of glucose which provides the muscle and brain fuel. But you need to understand the difference between good carbs and bad carbs. Good carbs are complex carbs that are not processed, and you get them from whole wheat, millet, legumes, potatoes, fruits and vegetables. Bad carbs are also called refined carbs, and they are processed, such as white pasta, polished rice, and sugar. so, opt for the complex carbs.
2. Unsaturated Fats
Fat is essential for maintaining body energy, temperature, and vitamins absorption. Healthy fat comes from good sources like meat, fish, nuts, and dairy products. Your diet should contain 10 to 20% of healthy fat or unsaturated fat.
Protein is responsible for maintaining the proper functioning of the body organs. An average person’s diet must contain 15 to 25% of the protein. We all know how protein is essential for developing muscle growth, enzymes, hormones, skin and bone structure. Amino acids help in boosting the immune system and fighting infection. Some of the good protein sources are eggs, chicken, fish, beans, meat, nuts, quinoa, seeds, lentils and cottage cheese.
Fibre is a major component for great digestive health. Good dietary fibre breakdown food and ensure good bowel movements. Foods rich in fibre give you long-lasting energy and can help in weight loss and make you feel full for a longer period which prevents cravings. Besides this, fibre can also lower bad cholesterol levels and stabilize sugar levels. Some of the good food sources of fibre are barley, flaxseeds, banana, kidney beans, sweet potato, lentils, carrots etc.
Your body needs 13 different vitamins to develop, grow and for chemical reactions. Each vitamin has its certain function. For example, vitamin C boosts immunity, vitamin B converts food into energy and maintains brain and skin cells, vitamin A improves eye health, vitamin D is essential for maintaining strong teeth and bones, and vitamin E works as a powerful antioxidant. You can get these essential vitamins from fresh vegetables and fruits or from vitamins supplements.
Much like vitamins, minerals also help your body to grow, develop and stay healthy. Minerals perform various functions such as regulating electrolyte levels in the bloodstream, controlling muscle contraction, nerve impulses and forming calcium for strong bones and teeth. Foods that are rich in minerals are leafy greens, beans, fish, meat, lentils etc.
Water is one of the most vital macronutrients or constituents of balanced diet. Our body is made up of 65% of water, you cannot survive without it for very long. Water performs various major functions such as keep you hydrated, transform nutrients and blood to all organs, cells, and tissues. Without water, no nutrient gets anywhere, meaning your body cannot absorb nutrients without water. Water also cushions, protects and lubricates all your joints and tissues. So make sure you drink regular amounts of water throughout the day. Some of the best foods that can keep you hydrated are tomatoes, spinach, cucumber, strawberries, and watermelon. So, these were the components of a balanced diet chart. How do you incorporate these major components into your diet? Feel free to share with us in the comments section below.