Having a proper nutrition helps prevent a number of health conditions. A balanced diet means having all of the essential factors necessary for growth, so that our body gets what it needs to function properly. Moreover, a balanced diet means not only eating the right food items, but also eating them in the proper amounts. But what does a balanced diet contain?
Proteins are required for healthy muscles, skin and hair. Protein comes mainly for meat, which also contains the nine amino acids essential for human health. However, for people who do not eat meat, combining incomplete sources of proteins, such as rice and beans, provides us with the nine essential amino acids as well. On average, adults need 50 grams of protein daily.
An excellent source of energy, carbohydrates supply our body with glucose. They are generally divided in two categories: simple and complex. The simple ones digest quickly, while the complex ones digest slowly.
Sources of simple carbohydrates include fruits, sugars, white rice and flour. On the other hand, complex carbohydrates are found in green or starchy vegetables, whole grains, beans and lentils. For a healthy lifestyle, the largest portion of our daily intake of carbs should come from complex sources.
Many of us still believe that fats are bad for our body. However, they are required for our general health and well being. Healthy fats are the unsaturated ones. For instance, we should include in our diet nuts, olives and avocados, which are are sources of monounsaturated fats, as well as fish and seafood, which are primary sources of polyunsaturated fats.
Trans-fats and saturated fats, increase our risk of heart disease and should be avoided.
There are many essential vitamins, but we should keep a constant eye on vitamins A, C, B, and D. We can obtain them from vegetables and fruits. It is also recommended to supplement our intake with multivitamins.
Minerals are vital for our health. They aid with the release of energy from food and promote growth in our body. Essential minerals include calcium, iron, zinc, iodine and chromium. Iron, for example helps with energy, while calcium works towards bone and teeth development.
Few of us ever consider the importance of water in our diet. However, the human body is composed of 60 percent water, while our brain is composed of 70 percent water. Water is necessary to maintain proper bodily function. More details about the importance of water can be found here.