With all the fad diets, new age ways to eat better by eliminating certain food groups, and all of the “get skinny” quick schemes it is hard to know what will be best for your body. I am a firm believer in a well balanced diet. I have been a large proponent in eating for health [using food to heal] and eating seasonally. If you do nothing else, read this article about balancing your diet. My Pap Smith always told me “you need all types of food for the various vitamins, minerals and nutrients….so you have to eat a little bit of everything [in moderation] to promote health and wellness.”
I have tried many things over the years and have failed at many diets. Why? Because your body needs and craves certain foods. Unless you have an allergy to a particular food group it is essential and beneficial to eat a balanced diet.
A well-balanced diet provides the right vitamins, minerals and nutrients to keep the body and mind strong and healthy. Eating well can also aid in the prevention of a variety of diseases and health problems, as well as helping to maintain a healthy body weight, providing energy and promoting a general feeling of well-being.
Since a balanced diet requires eating a wide variety of wholesome foods, such a diet often makes maintaining a healthy body weight a bit easier. To meet the body’s nutritional needs, it is necessary to include a good supply of whole grains, vegetables and fruits in the diet, along with a smaller portions of dairy and meat products. Eating a healthy variety of these nutrient-dense foods every day leaves less room for those calorie-dense foods that tend to expand the waistline, such as processed foods and fatty or sugary snacks.
Immune System Health
A balanced diet is very important to the immune system, helping to ensure that the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients necessary to its efficient function are available. Even minimal deficiencies in certain nutrients can impair immune system function, such as vitamin A, B-vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E, Zinc, iron and selenium. According to director of Yale Prevention Research Center, David Katz, M.D., M.P.H., essential nutrients are critical for the production and maintenance of key germ fighting cells in the immune system, and a balanced diet also has a strong effect on vascular function, since the immune system is dependent on blood flow.
According to the American Heart Association, a healthy diet and lifestyle are the best weapons against cardiovascular disease.Unrefined whole grains, fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber and are also low in calories. Including plenty of these in the diet can help control both weight and blood pressure, both of which are risk factors for heart disease. Adding fish to your diet at least twice weekly is recommended by the American Heart Association as well. Oily fish, such as salmon and trout, contain omega-3 fatty acids, which can help lower the risk of developing coronary artery disease.
One of the most noticeable benefits of a balanced diet is energy. Keeping your body fueled with the right proportions of vitamins, minerals and nutrients can give you the energy you need to to make the most of your day. Healthy carbohydrates, such as whole grains, fruits, vegetable and legumes are slow to digest, keeping blood sugar and insulin levels on an even keel for a steady supply of energy throughout the day. Healthy proteins are also vital for energy levels, and can be added to the diet by eating lean meats, poultry and fish, as well as whole grains, tofu, beans and nuts.
Try making this lifestyle change next time you are seeking some benefits. You’re waist, immune system, heart, and energy levels will thank you. 🙂