Simple additions to your meals for a balanced diet

Anurup A

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Developing healthy eating habits is not as constricting as many people imagine it to be. In fact, consuming a healthy or a balanced diet is about feeling great, having more energy, improving your outlook, and stabilizing your mood; and not about strict dietary limitations, staying unrealistically thin, or depriving yourself of the foods you love.

When it comes to a healthy diet, balance is the key to getting it right. This means eating a wide variety of foods in the right proportions, and consuming the right amount of high fibre foods or protein rich foods and drinks to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight. Consuming a balanced diet gives your body the nutrition it needs to function properly.

Men and women have different daily nutritional requirements; and there will be food experts that tell you that a certain food is good or bad for you, but by using these simple tips, you can cut through the confusion and follow these tips for simple additions for a balanced diet.

  • Fruits and vegetables: They are important sources of nutrients and vitamins and are a great source of high fibre foods and protein rich foods. These nutrients are vital for health and maintenance of your body. One should ideally consume One to two cups of fruits and one to four cups of veggies every day. Incorporating fruits and vegetables as a part of the daily diet, which are rich in nutrients, fibre and other compounds, may also help protect against certain types diseases.

Health Tip: Consume fruits that are in season in your area they are fresher and provide the most nutrients. Also, you may not just consume fruits and vegetables raw, try this yummy recipe and learn a fun way to incorporate fruits/vegetables in your meals.

  • Grains and pulses: Whole grain and cereals contain a host of nutrients and bioactive substances that have health-promoting effects. Cereal grains are the world’s single biggest source of food energy. Grains such as quinoa are in great demand, a moist, grain-like crop similar to couscous in size. Oats are a slimming breakfast food par excellence, but there is more to them than porridge. Oats are high in good fats and they release their energy slowly, keeping you going through long days. In fact, you can use oats to make all sorts of treats like cereal bars, biscuits and cakes, and as topping for oven-baked dishes to add crunch. Lentils are a huge source of vegetable protein, minerals and fibre. It thus becomes crucial to incorporate them in our meals.
  • Nuts: A handful of almonds may have satiating properties that promote feelings of fullness, which may keep hunger at bay between meals. Almonds may lower total and LDL cholesterol when included in a healthy diet and reduce levels of heart damaging inflammation. Almonds are a natural source of many essential nutrients, including protein and healthy fats, making them a nutrient-rich snack that can help keep you going throughout the day. Make almonds an essential component of your diet. Try your hand at this quick, healthy and nutritional salad showing easy incorporation of almonds to your food. You may also learn fun ways of incorporating almonds in your diet from here.
  • Water: The body is about 60% water, give or take. There are many different opinions on how much water we should be drinking every day. The health authorities commonly recommend eight 8-ounce glasses, which equals about 2 liters, or half a gallon. This is called the 8×8 rule and is very easy to remember. However, there are other health gurus who think we are always on the brink of dehydration and that we need to sip on water constantly throughout the day. Many of the processes within your body rely heavily on water, so it is important that you get enough of this essential nutrient in your diet.

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