Six Must-Have Components in a Healthy Diet

Healthy Eating 3You’ve heard it before – you are what you eat.  Good health depends on eating a healthy balanced diet more than anything.  Let’s review the essential ingredients of such a diet.

1.  Water makes up most of our body’s composition.  The water we lose through sweat and urine must be replaced daily in order to cleanse and aid the good functioning of all our organs. Not enough water means dehydration, which is not a pretty thing. Adequate hydration helps us to remain free from chronic disease.  A light yellow-colored urine is a good sign that you are well hydrated.

Some people don’t like drinking plain water.  If that’s your situation, consider herbal and fruit teas which contain no caffeine, and can have some therapeutic effects.

2.  Vegetables and Fruits, good carbohydrates, will provide you with all the nutrients our body needs.  Don’t be shy with them.  Begin with lots of dark, leafy greens such as spinach, kale, chard, and collards in green smoothies, salads, and wraps.  Seven or more servings a day lowers our risk of dying from any cause by 42%, and 31% from death by heart disease, 31% from cancer.Healthy Eating 4

Because vegetables have a larger protective effect than fruits, and a considerably lower sugar content, eat more vegetables than fruit.

3.   Herbs and Spices, which add flavor to food, also add color and health benefits without increasing the caloric load. Herbs and spices are some of the most powerful antioxidants.  They are nutrient dense, rich in minerals and multivitamins, in addition to whatever medicinal properties they have.

4.   Good Quality Protein is important for the building and repair of our body tissues, such as our skin, and it is also a main component of the immune system and hormones.  It also helps to control hunger.  Grains, beans soy products, nuts and seeds, beans and legumes, and dark leafy greens, provide ample protein. Animal products are also a protein source.

Healthy Fats 15.  Good Quality Fat does not make you fat or cause heart disease.  Rather, it is an essential ingredient of a healthy balanced diet.  Fat in the diet, slows down the digestion and absorption of food, so the insulin reaction is less extreme.  Enjoy avocados, nuts and seeds, and extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil.

6.  No Processed Food — food that has been chemically processed and prepared from refined ingredients and artificial additives. All the real nutrition has been processed right out of it.  It is not an essential ingredient of a healthy balanced diet. Processed food can be addictive.  When food is processed, essential components of the food like fiber, water, and other nutrients are removed, which, in turn, affects the way the food is digested and absorbed by the body. It stimulates the feel-good hormone dopamine, which then sets up a craving for more, which is not a good thing.Processed foods are notoriously high in sugar, unhealthy fats, and processed salt, all of which have been linked to chronic illnesses such as heart disease, insulin resistance, diabetes, obesity, cancer, and a host of other ailments.

The key to a healthy balanced diet is eating a range of whole, rich, healthy food in appropriate amounts.

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