Posts Tagged ‘fats’

Balanced Diet


A balanced Diet is the diet which provides your body with all vital nutrients  , suffices all requirement of your body and keeps you healthy  . Researches prove that we can avoid several diseases with healthy eating habits   . Here are some tips for a healthy and  nutrititous balanced diet  . A nutritious & healthy diet is important in the prevention and cure of various diseases and it also helps to maintain healthy Body Mass Index (BMI).

A balanced diet must contain carbohydrate, protein, fat, vitamins, mineral salts and fibre. It must contain these things in the correct proportions.

  1. Carbohydrates : provides a source of energy for day to day work .
  2. Proteins:  helps in growth and repair.
  3. Fats: provides a source of energy and contain fat soluble vitamins.
  4. Vitamins: these are required in very small quantities to keep you healthy.
  5. Mineral Salts: these are required for healthy teeth, bones, muscles etc..
  6. Fibre: this is required to help your intestines function properly .

As no single food group can nourish the body with all the vital ingredients it requires, it is important that we consume a variety of healthy foods to derive the nutrition for our body needs. There are basically five main food groups, they are:

• Cereals and Pulses
• Dairy
• Poultry, Fish and Meat products
• Fruits

A healthy balanced diet comprises of these five groups to ensure required energy , essential vitamins , minerals and dietry fibre. The food group serving size will depend upon various factors like age, activity level, body mass index and gender. It is also important that one eats a variety of healthy foods from within and across the food groups. This will ensure that one gets the maximum recommended nutrition from the food group.

The list below contains healthy food items from these groups which will keep you stay young and healthy and help to decrease risk to several diseases like cardiovascular diseases , diabetes etc. Try to  include  as many as possible from the listed healthy foods below in your daily diet.

Cereals and pulses :

Oatmeal: Oatmeal is rich in  B complex vitamins, calcium, iron as well as protein. It can be used in breakfast   as it contains soluble fiber which helps in  lowering  cholesterol levels, to helping you stay satiated for a long period of time.U can add topping of any seasonal fruits or dry fruits according to your taste.
Brown Rice: Brown rice should be preferred over white rice   as unlike white rice ,  brown rice is a rich source of magnesium, selenium, manganese and fiber.Include in your diet whenever possible
Quinoa: More than any other grains, quinoa is packed with proteins along with riboflavin, iron and magnesium. Rinse this cereal before eating to prevent the bitter taste.
Wheat Germ: Magnesium from wheat germ will help to prevent muscle cramps. Wheat germ is also a good source of vitamin E. Include some amount in your daily diet
Lentils: The heart healthy fiber along with isoflavones from lentils may have a protective effect against breast cancer. These are also a very good source of protein .
Pinto Beans: Folates from pinto beans have a heart protective effect and also reduce any risk of birth defects in new born infants. Specially recommended for pregnant women .
Tofu: A very good source of soy protein and omega 3 fatty acids, it adds up to cardiovascular benefits by decreasing the low density lipoprotein cholesterol levels in the body .This also a very good source of protein .
Fruits and Vegetables:
Apples: Contains cardio-protective fiber and flavonoids and  also prevent constipation.  A glass of fresh apple juice everyday prevents the formation of kidney stones.
Cantaloupe: Cantaloupe, a variety of melon contains two  important antioxidants; vitamin C and vitamin A. The pro-vitamin A in cantaloupe promotes your lung health, protects your vision and vitamin C helps to fight against infection

Avocadoes: Oleic acid from avocadoes helps to lower the total cholesterol levels and even increase the high density lipoprotein levels in the body. It also provides a good source of fiber in diet .

Raspberries: Raspberries are rich in  vitamin C and contains fiber. The ellagic acid present in  berry also helps to reduce growth of cancerous cells.

Blueberries: Blueberries are  low in calories and  full of antioxidants including lutein, an important component for vision.
Cranberry: These bright red berries are rich in vitamin C and dietary fiber. Cranberry juice is valued for its ability to reduce risk of urinary tract infection. The hippuric acid along with other components from the juice reduces E. coli adherence on the walls of the urinary track, as a result of which it is flushed out in the urine.

Brussels Sprouts: Sulforaphane, a potent plant phytochemical present in Brussels sprouts have a protective effect against various types of cancer including bladder cancer. Besides they are also an exceptional source of vitamin K, vitamin C and fiber.

Broccoli: Packed with nutrients like vitamin C, beta carotene, vitamin A and folate, broccoli can be an ideal vegetable. Sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol in broccoli may have a protective effect against breast cancer.

Figs: Figs are also a good source of fiber and potassium that can help you to lose weight and maintain healthy blood pressure levels. Enjoy dried figs throughout the year, but when in season don’t forget to include sweet and ripe fresh figs in your diet.

Ginger: Gingerols from ginger may help reduce the queasiness. Other compounds in ginger may also help to ward off arthritis and migraine pain by blocking inflammation-causing prostaglandins.

Olives: A concentrated source of vitamin E and monounsaturated fatty acids, olives provide cellular protection against free radicals support gastrointestinal health and prevent the development of colon cancer.

Garlic: The active components along with the sulfur compounds in garlic gives a typical pungent flavor but also helps to lower the low density lipoprotein cholesterol and also reduce the risk of colon and stomach cancer.

Raisins: Raisins are low in calories but rich in iron and fiber. The phenols from these little gems have an antioxidant property that helps to prevent oxygen based damage to the body. Add some raisins in your morning breakfast cereal .

Plums: Phenols from plums offer a significant antioxidant protection by neutralizing the destructive free oxygen radicals that cause oxidative stress in the body.

Bok Choy: This Chinese cabbage is rich in brassinin, indoles and isothiocyanates all three may offer a protective effect against breast cancer. Toss this vegetable lightly with a dash of olive oil and minced garlic just before serving.

Sweet Potatoes: Unique root storage proteins in sweet potatoes have been proved to have potent antioxidant effects. Sweet potatoes are a sweet source of vitamin A, vitamin C, manganese, copper and dietary fiber.

Spinach: It is rich in calcium, iron , potassium, magnesium, beta carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin B6 . Spinach can be considered a leafy powerhouse. Include in your diet regularly

Papayas: Papaya is an excellent source of vitamin C and also a good source of vitamin A, E and K. All these antioxidants along with the fiber in papaya helps to maintain good health .
Pineapple: Bromelain from pineapple offers potential anti-inflammatory and digestive benefits. Pineapple is also a good source of manganese, ascorbic acid and thiamine which play a role in antioxidant defenses and energy production.

Limes and Lemons: Vitamin C from limes and lemons along with furocoumarins and limonene help prevent many types of cancers. Add a slice of lemon to your iron rich diet for better iron absorption in the body

Tomatoes: Besides being rich in vitamin A and vitamin C, tomatoes are an excellent source of lycopene. Lycopene, a carotenoid acts as a potent antioxidant in the body and offers a protective effect against several types of cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Cook tomatoes in a dash of olive oil as lycopene is well available in cooked form and in the presence of fat it is well absorbed in the body.

Onions: Onions are rich in flavanoids, most notably quercitin as well as many phytonutrients and vitamin C. The chromium from onions helps the body cells to respond well to the hormone insulin.

Artichokes: Silymarin, an antioxidant from artichokes helps to prevent skin cancer and the fiber helps to control cholesterol.

Asparagus: Asparagus is rich in folate, an essential vitamin for cardiovascular system. Make asparagus a healthy addition in your meal if you are planning to get pregnant as folate is also a great birth defect fighter.

Carrots: As the richest vegetable source of pro-vitamin A carotenoids, carrots offer protection against cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Beta carotene from carrots helps to promote good vision and also promote good lung health.

Kale: The organosulfur compounds in kale help prevent cancer, especially ovarian cancer. Kale is also a rich source of vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin K which help to lower cataract risk, promote lung health and boost immunity.

Dairy Products :
Skim Milk: It is a good source of  calcium and vitamin D and also vitamin A along with riboflavin in skimmed milk helps to maintain healthy vision and also reduces allergies and eczema.

Yogurt: Calcium in active-culture yogurt strengthens the bones and the bacteria help prevent yeast infections. Mix some chopped fruits of your choice to make your yogurt sweet instead of adding sugar.

Poultry, Fish and Meat products

Crab: Zinc and vitamin B12 from crabs will help boost immunity system in body.
Eggs : Good quality proteins from eggs along with choline boosts brain health. Choline in egg yolks also helps reduce inflammation. Egg yolks are also a concentrated source of cholesterol.
Fish: Fatty cold water fish like tuna, mackerel and salmon are a rich source of omega 3 fatty acids. These good fats are a blessing as they offer a protective effect against almost everything; from lowering cholesterol, protecting the heart, fighting inflammation to fighting many cancers and preventing Alzheimer’s disease.
Honey: Raw honey, besides being sweet golden nectar and a natural sweetener also has anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties.
Green Tea : Health promoting flavonoids from green tea are thought to have anticancer and antioxidant effects in the body.



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