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You don’t need much to make your diet more balanced. The food you eat powers your body and your brain. Naturally, you want to use premium fuel, not the cheap stuff. You have to feed the machine, but it’s easier to institute healthy changes to your diet than you may think.
Variety Is the Spice of Life
Image via Flickr by tedeytan
The easiest and tastiest way to make sure you’re consuming a balanced diet each day is to focus on variety. The more colorful your meal, the healthier it is. However, bear in mind that the rule of color refers only to natural foods: Fill your plate with fresh vegetables and fruits. A healthy meal portion should have more vegetables than anything else. Processed foods and artificial flavors don’t offer much nutritional value to your body. Focus on whole sources of nutrition, including grains and lean, healthy fats.
Macronutrients and Micronutrients Are Vital
In the same vein as variety, you also want to consume plenty of macronutrients and micronutrients each day. At first glance, those terms probably seem like two more nutritional buzzwords. They’re not only legitimate, however, but they’re also critical to your overall health.
The body requires macronutrients to fuel it. Macronutrients provide your body with the energy it needs to power you through the day. Healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, and lean proteins are the most important macronutrients, particularly for athletes and anyone who wants to build muscle. Fiber, antioxidant-rich foods, and natural sugars are vital as well.
The body needs micronutrients in much smaller amounts, but they’re still necessary. They boost the body’s production of hormones, enzymes, and critical proteins while regulating your heartbeat and metabolism. Minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and phytochemicals are the most helpful micronutrients. The consumption of fruits and vegetables ensures an impressive amount, but you may want to consider a multivitamin, too.
Calories Convert to Energy
Actually, the right calories have the potential to convert themselves to energy. Calorie counting is essential in a balanced diet simply because you need to make sure you’re consuming calories that are beneficial to you. The calories in a piece of lean chicken or fish are different from the calories in a piece of sausage, even though they all count as protein.
More to the point, consuming 2,000 empty calories from processed food and junk food won’t have the same benefits as 2,000 calories from healthy carbs, fats, and protein.