What is Balanced Diet? Examples and 12 Health Benefits

What is balanced diet

What is Balanced Diet

Trying to understand what a balanced diet is. A balanced diet contains right proportions of all essential nutrients and elements that a human body needs. Protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, fiber and alternative nutrients.

All the nutrients a person needs can be met with a balanced diet Humans need a certain amount of nutrients and calories to stay fit and healthy.

A balanced diet provides all the nutrients needed in regular activity without the daily calorie intake recommended.

A proper nutrition plan food and healthy balanced diet helps to improve overall health and reduce the risk of disease.

  • We should eat at least five parts of fruits and vegetables every day
  • You should drink at least six to eight glasses of water to keep your body healthy.
  • At least we should include two parts of fish per week
  • It is important to practice breakfast regularly; It helps reduce snoring
  • Adults are advised to exercise at least 150 minutes a week
Source: Balance diet

Balanced Diet Importance

A balanced diet is very important for many of these health benefits Healthy eating increases energy, improves your body’s function, strengthens the immune system and prevents weight gain.

A balanced diet can help protect you from malnutrition. By eating a balanced and nutritious diet, we can get the following essential ingredients for our body:

  • Growth and development
  • Maintains weight
  • Improved energy level
  • Reduces the risk of disease
  • Reduces depression and anxiety
  • Micronutrients – Vitamins and minerals are important for immunity and growth.
  • Protects you from non-communicable diseases such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease and some types of cancer.

Balanced Diet Components

1. Carbohydrates or Carbs

Carbohydrates or carbs energize your body. Carbs are the nutrients in your food that turn into sugar after you digest.

An important source of energy, carbohydrates contain about 60% of a person’s food. Carbohydrates fulfill most of the energy requirements of the body.

1 gram carbohydrates provide 4 kilocalories of energy and acts as structural components for the body cells formation.

Carbs are usually found in sweet sweets, fruits, milk and yogurt, vegetables, and so on.

Healthy carbs add not only calories but also nutrients to the body. The following healthy carbs foods are part of a balanced diet:

  • Beans
  • Lentils
  • Milk
  • Yogurt
  • Corn
  • Berries/Jamun
  • Oats
  • Apples
  • Brown Rice
  • Whole wheat pasta
  • Popcorn

2. Protein

Your body needs protein to repair cells and help build new cells. It is also essential for the growth and development of body at various stages of life.

You should get 25% of your daily calories from the protein rich food that you eat regularly, such as pulses (like moong dal and urad dal) and legumes such as kidney beans (rajma), chickpeas (channa), and black-eyed beans (lobia).

Milk products such as cheese and yogurt are good sources of protein.

For non-vegetarians, good sources of protein include eggs, fish and lean meats.

The nutrients in food are essential for our body. All grains provide many important nutrients including fiber, vitamins, protein, minerals, and antioxidants and so on.

Protein is a source of energy It is essential for tissue and organ formation, cellular repair, and for the production of hormones and enzymes.

It also helps in growth and development in childhood, adolescence and early pregnancy.

It is important to include protein in our regular diet, and it is an essential micronutrient for our body. You should take at least a quarter of your food plate.

Nutritional protein options include:

  • Lean meat lamb, beef, veal, and pork
  • Fish and seafood such as fish, prawns, crab, clams
  • Poultry such as chickens, turkey, ducks, emu, goose
  • Eggs
    Dairy products such as milk, yogurt, cheese
  • Legumes, peas, beans and lentils
  • Grain

3. Fat

Fat contributes about 15% of your daily calorie intake and is a major energy source and plays important role for storing and supplying vitamins and synthesizing hormones.

The best sources of fat can come from polyunsaturated fats (flax seeds, sunflower seeds), monounsaturated fats (sesame oil, olive oil), and saturated fats such as ghee and butter.

Fat works as the store energy for the body. 1 gram storage fat can provide 9 kilocalories of energy. Fat acts as a structural component of the cells, and signals the molecules for proper cellular communication.

Fat manage body temperature and provides insulation to vital organs. Fat plays an important role in the promotion of vitamins by providing energy and hormone synthesis.

Including more unsaturated fatty acids such as MUFA and PUFA can benefit body.

4. Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamins and minerals are the micronutrients that support metabolism, function of nerve and muscle, and actively perform bone maintenance and cell production. 

Fruits and vegetables are major sources of vitamins and minerals including potassium, iron, folate, vitamin A and vitamin C.

Food and vegetables provide key nutrients that keep the human body healthy. Also we should include vegetables like dark green leafy vegetables in our diet.

Including a variety of vegetables like broccoli, beans, lettuce, spinach etc. in your diet will help you in getting the essential nutrients for the body.

  • Vitamins: Regulates body processes and promotes normal body system function
  • Minerals are essential for cellular functions of body tissues.

5. Water

Life cannot be imagined without water. A key nutrient that helps regulate body temperature,  lubricates your joints, and protects your major organs and tissues.

Water also helps transport oxygen throughout your body. Every day you should make sure to drink at least 8 glasses of clean water.

Water transports all essential nutrients to all parts of body leaving waste products for disposal.

The human body has no way of storing water and needs a daily supply of fresh water. The human body will require water depending on their age and gender.

Men should consume about 125 ounces of water a day and women 91 ounces a day.

Balanced Diet Benefits

A healthy balanced diet has an important place in our healthy life. Our body gets lots of benefits from a balanced diet by protecting it from many diseases and infections.

When you eat enough vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, it improves your immune system. 

A healthy and regular eating of proper balanced diet helps preventing the body from the deadly diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, heart disease, and stroke.

Here are some of the major benefits of a balanced diet:

1. Balanced Diet Helps Weight Management

Many people want to lose or gain weight; eating a healthy balanced diet can help you manage weight and maintain it over time.

A balanced diet is the only way to control and manage your weight properly in the long run.

Maintaining a moderate weight can also help reduce the risk of chronic health problems. Being overweight or obese are risk factors for many conditions, including:

  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes Type 2
  • Poor bone density
  • Cancers

You know the two important ingredients to weight loss: diet and exercise.

You should eating variety of nutrient-rich healthy foods to avoid calorie-dense foods that can typically lead to weight gain. Processed foods and fatty or sugary snacks are not healthy providing little nutritional value.

Eating low glycemic index carbohydrates foods such as vegetables, whole grains, oats, legumes, fruits, and quinoa will allow the body to remain fuller for a longer period of time.

2. Balanced Diet Improves Mental Health

Our diet doesn’t just affect our physical health. It can also affect our mental health. Appropriate amounts of mixed nutrients can help reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. Eating well is essential when you take steps to have good mental health.

You may regularly reach for junk food when you’re feeling down, but you really need a diet full of vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids and complex carbohydrates to boost your spirits.

Omega 3 fatty acids provide several important benefits, such as improved memory and learning ability.

They also help fight debilitating mental disorders, for example, depression, dementia and schizophrenia.

Foods such as salmon, walnuts, avocados and kiwis contain these important fatty acids. Omega 3 fatty acids provide long-term benefits to support synaptic plasticity leading to the development and possibly improvement of our memory and learning. 

3. Improve Your Mental Focus

Eating healthy food just not only improves your mood, but it can also sharpen your mental ability and focus.

According to experts saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol are not helpful and can damage the brain tissues and lead to stroke.

On the other hand, foods containing healthy mono- and poly-unsaturated fats such as olive oil, fish and nuts are associated with lower rates of dementia.

4. Balanced Diet Is Good For Healthy Growth

A balanced diet is very important for children and adolescents. As the body grows, it is important to take in the right amount of nutrients for cell formation and maintenance and the body produces them in the right places.

5. Balanced Diet Is Good For Skin and Hair

A healthy balanced diet can improve your appearance. Eating nutritious foods in the right amounts can lead to healthier skin and hair and the “shine” that makes you look younger.

6. A Balanced Diet Helps to Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Various factors can interfere with your sleep patterns. Therefore, it is also important to eat healthy food for good sleep.

Our body needs few things more than sleep. It allows our muscles to recover and replenish from day to day activities and exercises. Sleep will rejuvenate the brain and its ability to function at a higher level the next day.

Without it we feel sluggish, have low energy levels, affect attention and concentration levels and begin to crave less beneficial foods.

Poor diet often causes stomach and digestive problems due to toxins entering the bloodstream. The increased acidity can also put pressure on the digestive system, resulting in poor sleep at night.

7. Support a Strong Immune System and Fight Disease

You rely on your immunity to protect you from bacteria, viruses, fungi and other foreign invaders.

However, poor nutrition requires your immune system to make the right vitamins and minerals to make antibodies.

If you focus on healthy food and habits of eating well, you can keep yourself healthy and fit, less likely to get sick.

Eating a balanced diet, will produce essential nutrients and help maintain the main germ-resistant cells of the immune system, and greatly improve vascular function.

Certain nutritional deficiencies can reduce the effectiveness of the immune system, such as vitamin A, B-vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc and iron.

A diet full of fruits and vegetables increases the production of infection-resistant white blood cells and components that help prevent bacteria and infection from entering the body’s cells.
Some important aspects of a balanced diet are reducing the risk of heart disease.

Vitamin C raises the level of good cholesterol (HDL) and lowers blood pressure, two very important potential strains on the cardiovascular system that need to be monitored. Vitamin C also helps interfere with the conversion of plaque into fatty arteries.

Essential fatty acids protect the body from infection and damage caused by additional reactions. A balanced diet can limit the amount of excess fat in the body that can develop additional stress on the cardiovascular system and ultimately leads to serious problems.

8. Increase Your Energy Level

The whole purpose of eating is to get energy from your food. Soft drinks, cold drinks, soda, processed snacks and junk foods contain only empty calories. Empty calories may make you feel full but fail to give nutrients and high quality energy.

For this you need complex sugar, healthy fat and protein. Also, if you have unexplained fatigue, try increasing your iron intake with seafood, poultry, dark vegetables and peas.

Playing with vitamin C helps your body better absorb iron, which is found in foods like broccoli, peppers, oranges and tomatoes.

The food we eat has a tremendous impact on our energy throughout the day. Foods rich in nutrients will be digested and hence remain in the system for a long time.

On the other hand, easily digestible food (sugar/normal carbohydrates) will be digested very fast, making the body feel hungry again in a very short time.

This can accelerate the flow of energy into the bloodstream immediately after it is reduced. By eating well, our energy remains at a comparative level from morning till night.

Also, be sure to increase healthy fats, which the body will use more for energy than unhealthy saturated and trans-saturated fats.

9. Save Medical Expenses

It is expensive to be unhealthy! With nearly two thirds of American adults being overweight, most people have heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes. As per experts if more people eat healthy and nutritious food, they can avoid 71% of their medical expenses.

10. Reduce the Risk of Chronic Illness

A large portion of medical bills go towards the treatment of chronic food borne illnesses, such as type 2 diabetes. While genetics play a role in how much you can get a second type of contract, even a high-risk person is less likely to get the disease if he or she eats nutritious food. If diabetes is rife in your family, it is more important than ever to watch your sugar intake so that you do not put yourself at greater risk.

11. Reduce the effects of Aging

Foods high in antioxidants – including berries, kale, spinach, red cabbage, nuts, beans, and dark chocolate – contain anti-aging substances that help your body function better as you grow older. You may be less prone to wrinkles, heart disease, or cancer if you add antioxidants to your diet.

12. Help You Live Longer

While not a legitimate cause of death, obesity is a precursor to premature death in the US. According to a study published in 2013, 18 percent of all deaths are caused by malnutrition and sedation.

If you want to live longer with fewer health problems, focus on eating better.

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