What is a Balanced Diet and How is it Beneficial?
In today’s world fitness is synonymous with exercising and in doing so, we often neglect the advantages of eating right. The food we eat plays a significant role in how we look and feel. Regular exercise is vital but in line with research, nutrition has the biggest impact on our fitness. Using food as our medicine has become a well-liked theme for health improvement. When healthy eating habits become a way of life, we are healthier and happier. Eating right can help us reduce body fat, lose some pounds, feel more confident, and reduce our risk of illness and it has indeed become a new trend to focus on healthy food intake as a secondary fitness goal right after gyms.
Frequent studies are indicating healthy food intake as the most vital part of our fitness programs. Almost all physicians are trying to teach that healthy eating habits and lifestyles is the way to boost overall health as it reduces obesity and related disease. So, what is a “balanced diet”? A balanced diet is a diet that gives one’s body the nutrients it needs to function correctly and also prevents weight gain to a large extent. One has to include the following in their diet to call it healthy- Fresh fruits & vegetables, whole grains, nuts, legumes, and lean proteins. Another important term is “Calories”. The number of calories in food refers to the quantity of energy stored therein food. Your body uses calories obtained from food to walk, think, and breathe among other important functions. About 2,000 calories are needed every day to maintain one’s weight, but the number will depend on their age, sex, and physical activity level. The source of your daily calories is as important as quantity. Foods that provide only calories and very little to no nutrition are known as “calories” and usually bad for health. “To maintain healthiness, limit your consumption of empty calories by instead trying to get the required calories from foods that are rich in other nutrients. Called the “fill my plate” this initiative it helps one create the perfect healthy diet and is very simple. It dictates that half the plate has fruits and vegetables and a quarter each grain and proteins. Add a diary or non-diary drink on the side and you are good to go
There are multiple reasons why eating healthy is of paramount importance.
1. Control Body Weight:-Eating a healthy variety of nutrient-dense foods leads to lesser room for calorie-dense foods which usually causes weight gain as they provide little nutritional value. The body has little use for these foods and can tend to store them instead of using them for energy. Eating lean proteins and carbohydrates with a low glycaemic index will allow the body to remain fuller over a longer period of time. These complex carbohydrates break down and release into the bloodstream over an extended period of time preventing triggers within the brain to crave simple sugary snacks.
2. Fight off Disease: -Essential nutrients produce and help maintain key germ-fighting cells in the immune system, and greatly improve vascular function. The immune system relies heavily on blood flow, so the better vascular function will help provide disease-fighting cells to areas of need faster. One of the most important aspects of a balanced diet is the reduction in risk of cardiovascular disease and a balanced diet will limit the amount of excess body fat that can develop, which puts extra stress on the cardiovascular system leading to serious repercussions and problems.
3. Have More Energy: -Nutrient-dense foods will digest slowly while easily digestible food digest much quicker, making you feel hungry. This causes spikes in the release of energy into the bloodstream, immediately followed by lows. Ideally, the goal should be to maintain energy levels throughout the day without these extreme highs and lows. One must increase healthy fats, and iron-rich, at it can also help provide a boost in energy because iron helps deliver oxygen to working muscles and the brain, which is what they run on. Also, have a protein once every 3-4 hours.
4. Sleep Better: -Sleep allows our muscles to recover and replenish from the day’s activities and workouts and rejuvenates the brain. Low sleep triggers cravings for less beneficial food. Raised acidity can also put a strain on the digestive system, making it very difficult to get a good night’s sleep and hence important to eat less at night. Make sure your meals are spaced out effectively by planning out the meals of the next day beforehand.
5. More Brain Power:-We can keep our healthy and functioning at a high level based on our eating habits. Omega 3 fatty acids improve memory and the ability to learn while also help in the fight against debilitating mental disorders. They have long-term benefits to support synaptic plasticity which is how our memory and learning are developed and possibly improved. Hence the consumption of omega3 fatty acids is of paramount importance.