From the time we were kids, the importance of a balanced diet has been emphasized to us countless times. Over time, the daily rigmarole of our hectic lives have pushed this significant part of our health to the sidelines. Now we eat whatever food items seem most enticing or easiest, or ‘fast food’ as we call it. The immense harm this kind of unbalanced, random diet is causing to our health is gradually being understood by health experts, who now assert upon the importance of balanced diet that provides all the necessary nutrients to improve and maintain overall health of an individual. But what exactly is a balanced diet?
A balanced diet means you eat a varied meal each time you sit down with your plate. The goal is to choose different variety of foods from all the food groups while avoiding any overindulgence of a particular group because excess of everything is bad. So to have a balance diet you should include foods in your diet that contain all essential vitamins and micro nutrients such as fats, protein and carbohydrates. A minor deficiency of any of these can lead to impaired growth and a substantial deficiency can invite various chronic health diseases to take root, so the importance of a balanced diet can be imagined. Some other reasons why it is so necessary to have a well balanced diet are given below -the importance of a balanced diet.
Why Balanced Diet is Important
- Diseases and infections stay away. Your body’s natural immune system is a marvelous thing because it has the power to resist some of the most harmful attacks from infections and diseases. But it can only function well when it is supplied with the essential nutrients from a balanced diet. Be it a seasonal flu or an injury, your immune system will protect you as long as you remember to eat a balanced diet each day that includes sources of antioxidants and minerals.
- Digestion becomes better. When you eat a balanced diet your digestive system is less likely to become upset or overwhelmed by large amounts of a certain food. Apart from your daily intake of breads, meats and dairy products in moderate quantities, natural plant based foods like green vegetables, fruits and beans should also be included with every meal. Natural elements like herbs don’t just make it easier for the stomach to absorb nutrients more efficiently, they also help to clean the accumulated toxins from the gastrointestinal tract.
- Weight management becomes easier. Eating a balanced diet containing whole grains and plant based healthy foods gives you better control over your appetite and consequently better control over your weight. You don’t feel hungry once you have a balanced meal whereas when you eat junk food that has empty calories without any nutrients, you feel hungry after a while. Many people get caught in this vicious cycle of eating poorly and end up with fat and weight gain. Going back to a natural, well balanced diet is known to help control hunger pangs at odd times and is the ideal method to start losing weight if someone is overweight.
- It prevents nutrient deficiency. A well balanced diet that does not miss out on any important nutrients helps to avoid any problems caused due to deficiency. Especially important for growing children, a well balanced diet promotes healthy body growth when it has all the vital vitamins. For example if you avoid all kinds of oils and Ghee because you are afraid of getting fat, you put yourself at a massive risk of developing arthritis or joint pains at a later stage. Similarly if you avoid all dairy products such as milk and cheese you are at a risk of getting calcium deficiency and facing teeth and other bone related issues. So it is best if you don’t shy away from any particular food item completely to avoid such health issues and realize the importance of balanced diet.
Related: Importance of Physical Fitness
A simple way of making sure you are having a balanced diet is to include different items from all the food groups this way- half of your plate should be fruits and vegetables (preferably green), while the other half should be divided equally between proteins (eggs, meat) and whole grains like brown rice or whole wheat bread. It is also noteworthy that the purity of food material play a vital role in proper development of the mind and body. Pure elements are easily absorbed by the body and help to build and repair muscle tissue as well as brain cells while improving the metabolism. Meanwhile, adulterated food items create toxins in the body that get accumulated over time and are hard to flush out. When you choose the different parts of your balanced diet, ensure that the food products selected are pure and natural. Eating a balanced diet not only makes your body feel and look great, but your mind as well. You have more energy, you feel more active and this has a cumulative positive effect that translates into a healthier lifestyle when you understand the importance of balanced diet.