In order to ensure that your body functions smoothly at all times, it is important to eat well and exercise often. But of course, particular attention needs to be paid to the former. If you’re exercising right but not eating right, then all of that hard work is bound to go down the drain! And you don’t want that, do you?
So, focus on your diet first. But remember – diets work in different ways for different individuals. But, when you decide to focus on a balanced diet that comprises all the important food groups and helps you stay away from sugar and saturated fat, you will know that you’re on the right track, because you’re going to feel healthy from the inside out.
Why? Well, when you follow a balanced diet, it’s beneficial for your body in more ways than one. Apart from helping you maintain or lose weight, a balanced diet can also keep your immune system working smoothly, help your body fight chronic diseases and improve energy levels. In fact, your chances of contracting illnesses also lower.
But before you decide to follow this kind of a diet, it’s important to know everything about it. For instance, what is a balanced diet truly comprised of? What are its key components? Allow us to break it down for you.
In case you didn’t know this, carbohydrates are an important energy source. It’s one of the macronutrients that our bodies need and works as a primary source of energy. So, in order to meet your energy requirements, it’s important to incorporate a moderate level of carbohydrates in your balanced diet. But, make sure to pick complex carbohydrate sources comprising whole grains like brown rice, millet, wheat, etc.
Proteins are like the silent superheroes – they quietly repair your body cells and help create new ones. It’s no surprise then that our bodies need a sufficient amount of protein to develop and grow. But, how do you ensure that your body gets its fair share of protein? Begin by incorporating proteins found in both legumes and pulses, in your diet. This includes moong dal and urad dal as well as rajma, chickpeas and black-eyed beans. Don’t shy away from eating paneer and curd, both of which are great sources of protein. Meat eaters can get their protein from eggs, fish and lean meat.
Fats are also a good source of energy and an important part of a balanced diet. But, make sure that your saturated fat intake does not exceed more than 10 percent of your total fat intake. For starters, polyunsaturated fats are great and can include sunflower seeds, flax seeds and more. You can also incorporate monounsaturated fats into your diet, ranging from sesame oil to olive oil, while saturated fats like ghee and butter must be consumed in moderation.
- Vitamins & Minerals
Your body needs a significant amount of vitamins and minerals in order to stay healthy. They help maintain your bones and teeth, support metabolism, aid in cell production as well as in the proper functioning of our nerves and muscles. Great sources of such vitamins and minerals? Fruits and vegetables! They provide everything from Vitamin A and Vitamin C to potassium and iron.
Think of this as one of the most important components of a balanced diet. Water is essential to good health. Our bodies cannot store water and so, it is our duty to replenish it dutifully, since water also accounts for a large chunk of our body weight. It’s like a magic potion – it regulates body temperatures, protects our vital organs and even circulates oxygen throughout the body! To stay hydrated and healthy, drinking eight glasses of water a day is recommended.
Studies suggest that eating enough fibre leads to lower risks of diseases like diabetes and bowel cancer and lessens the chances of a stroke. Besides, if you follow a diet that’s rich in fibre, you will tend to feel fuller and will finally be able to stop worrying about those pesky digestion issues. Oats are a good source of fibre, as are pulses like beans and lentils, fresh fruit, dried fruit, vegetables like potatoes (with their skin) and unsalted nuts and seeds.
As you begin to follow a balanced diet, make sure to include food items from each of these into your meal plan and you will soon be breezing along the path to good health!