Balanced eating does not mean restrictive or generic diets. Changing our lifestyle depends a lot on actual needs of our bodies si always has better results when accompanied by daily physical exercises.
There are two categories of nutrients which are essential for our bodies: macronutrients (the basis of our diets, we consume them in large quantities) and micronutrients (which have a major impact on our health, even though they do not generate energy). Macronutrients are carbohydrates, proteins, fats and water, while micronutrients are vitamins and minerals.
Proteins. Did you know that each of our cells contains proteins? Thus, assimilating enough proteins from your diet is a must. Made from amino acids, proteins are often associated with eating meat, fish and eggs. Less known is the important protein intake from foods like soy, beans, nuts and even some types of cereal. Although protein-only diets have become more popular, what you need to remember is that what your body needs also depends on your age and daily workout intensity.
Carbohydrates. Although most of the popular diets emphasize eliminating carbohydrates from the menu, our bodies need this type of nutrients to function properly. Carbohydrates are extremely beneficial for our central nervous system. What is important is to know where to take them from in a healthy manner. Not only pasta and bread are available sources of carbs. Opt for healthier options like cereal, beans and, especially, fiber-rich fruit and vegetables: lentils, peas, broccoli, strawberries, avocado, pears and many others.
Fats. With a worse reputation than carbohydrates, even, fats are associated with gaining weight or contracting various diseases. However, there are healthy fats which help the body absorb vitamins or prevent blood clots from forming. What’s more, fats may have an anti-inflammatory effect and improve brain functions. The most popular healthy fats are omega-3 and omega-6 which can be assimilated from nuts, seeds, fish or vegetable oils.
Vitamins. Having a paramount influence on the wellbeing of our bodies, they help detoxing our organism and keeps it functioning in optimal parameters. With an important antioxidant role, protectors of our immune system, having a significant importance to keeping healthy bones, youthful face skin and good vision – vitamins are the “stars” of all nutrients. Although they can be assimilated by taking natural or pharmaceutical supplements, we recommend taking them from an appropriate consumption of fruit and vegetables.
Minerals. Calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium – these are just a few of the minerals which contribute to a well-functioning nervous system, bone or muscle system. Lack of one or more minerals should be established following a medical examination. Depending on what our body needs more of, apart from readily available natural or pharmacy supplements, we can focus on specific foods, like:
Magnesium can be found in all green vegetables, apples, cocoa, millet, rice, wheat or soy.
Calcium is contained in sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, green leaved vegetables, beans, cauliflower, cabbage, peas or celery.
Water. Adding to all these is the water intake, although this does not only mean drinking water in its pure form. Spinach or melons are excellent sources for hydrating your body! So are most vegetables and fruit. A balanced and varied diet will greatly increase the amount of nutrients we assimilate and will definitely contribute a lot to a better functioning of our bodies. It is important to listen to our bodies and make decisions according to its needs.