In most cases, nutritionists consider various foods as healthy foods for a balanced diet. This may include varieties of fruits and vegetables, foods rich in dietary fiber and starch-rich foods like potatoes, bread, rice, and dairy products like milk, cheese, yogurt, and most probably protein-rich foods like fish, egg, and other meat items.
What is a balanced diet?
In order to function normally, our body needs optimum levels of nutrients and these nutrients can be obtained from the diet we consume daily. Therefore, it is very important to consider a well-balanced diet by consuming fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and protein-rich foods.
As per the definition, a ‘balanced diet’ is a diet comprising of adequate quantities and the proportion of foods in order to maintain your good health and support proper growth.
You should also keep in mind that while consuming, make sure to include water-rich foods in your daily diet. You can learn more about water-rich foods and how it can keep you hydrated.
Balanced diet food list
Under this balanced diet food list, varieties of foods are considered and divided into different groups which include;
Fruit contains vitamins, minerals, and many fruits are antioxidant-rich and a great source of vitamin C. As per the dietician’s recommendation, women should at least consume 1 to 2 cups of fruits in the form of juice every day while men should eat at least 2 cups. Fruits like apples, oranges, kiwi, mango, peach, pears, banana, ground apples, and grapes are great sources of vitamins and minerals for your body.
As a bonus tip, you should also try Giloy (Tinospora cordifolia) and learn more about the health benefits of Giloy. Giloy is also beneficial and it will come under healthy foods for a balanced diet.
2. Vegetables and legumes species
Vegetables are rich in micronutrients and dietary fibers which are essential for our body. Try to include various types of vegetables and legumes in your diet in order to make it proportionate and balanced.
A recommendation from choosemyplate.gov states that women should eat at least 2 ounces of vegetables rich in nutrients, men should eat at least 3 ounces of vegetables and legumes rich in micronutrients and dietary fibres.
3. Meats and poultry products
Poultry products like eggs, lean meats, beef, chicken, and fish are protein-rich foods and it is recommended to eat 5 ounces of protein daily for adult women and 6 ounces daily for adult men. Some of the seeds like flaxseeds, chia seeds, and pumpkin seeds are also protein-rich foods.
4. Whole grains and cereals
Grains and cereals contain carbohydrates and dietary fiber essential for your body. A recommendation from Livestrong states that adult women need about 5 to 6 ounces of carbohydrate and fiber-rich foods and 6 to 8 ounces for adult men. Whole grains and cereals such as rice, bread, oats, rye, bran flakes, and cereal flakes are examples of whole grains and cereals.
5. Dairy products
Dairy products are an excellent source of micronutrients which include calcium, potassium, and vitamins. These micronutrients are important for the normal functioning of our body and supporting the proper growth of our body.
According to the recommendations from choosemyplate.gov, adults should eat at least 3 cups of fat-free dairy products daily. The dairy product includes milk, cheese, yogurt, and butter. If you are interested in knowing more about yogurt, learn more about the 17 amazing health benefits of yogurt.
Types of a balanced diet
We have many options these days; there are different types of diets we can choose from like paleo diets, blood type diets, vegan diets, Mediterranean diets, and raw food diets. To know more about all these diets, please learn from NutritionED.org where they have described briefly these diets.
People’s choice is what we consider in choosing which diet is appropriate for them depending on their health needs, financial situation, and other determining factors. Therefore it is advisable to go for the most appropriate diet which can work for you.
Importance of a balanced diet
People prefer to lead a simple healthy life but most of them fail since many go for a materialistic world where people try to earn more money. A person thinks that money is all about a healthy lifestyle. We understand that to some extent, money can lead to a happier life but not without including a balanced diet. Health is also an important factor in leading a healthy lifestyle.
Consumption of a balanced diet ensures increased energy, improves your health, and helps in boosting immunity making you less susceptible to diseases. In addition, physical activity like running, jogging, brisk walking, and maintaining healthy body weight is also important for the overall health of our body.
The most common health problems we face due to imbalanced diets are heart disease, cancer, strokes, malnutrition, and diabetes. A balanced diet can also improve your mental health by reducing stress, pain, and depression.
Balanced Diet Example
In general, we are listing some important items providing an idea of what should be included in your balanced diet in order to obtain optimum levels of nutrients, minerals, and proteins.
For Breakfast, try to include;
- Whole grains and cereals
- Fortified soymilk or its alternatives
- Non caloric beverages
- Lentil soup
- Rice cakes
- Apple juice
- Lemon juice
- Wheat flour