A healthy and balanced diet consists of foods that help your body grow, give you required energy and can assist in achieving optimum health. A fully balanced diet consists of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and fibre, and of course water is a necessity to help the body carry out vital functions. A diet that is lacking in nutrients can lead to so many health issues ranging from tiredness, fatigue, problems with vital organs and lack of growth and development.
Let’s start with the importance of carbohydrates: This organic compound that is made up of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen is the main energy sources our bodies need. This great energy source is also a part of many proteins and fats that our body needs for other bodily functions. Carbohydrates are also known for triggering the “good bacteria” in our small intestines that helps us digest our foods more efficiently. Sources of carbohydrates would be ground provisions like potatoes, yam and chickpeas.
As people hear the word “fat” they automatically get scared and head for the hills, but fat is actually important in balancing your diet. Yes, fat does make you gain weight but that only happens when taken in large, excessive doses. Fat has really important functions within the human body for instance, fat helps with digestion. Fat stores fat soluble vitamins such A, D, E and K in the liver and fatty tissues. Transport is another function of fats, they are apart of the cell membrane in the body and helps with transportation of other nutrients. Some foods that can provide good fats would be dark chocolate, whole eggs and avocados.
Protein is another food type that is needed to help your body repair cells and make new ones. Protein is important for growth and development in children, teens and pregnant women. Proteins can be found in animal sources such as meats, milk, fish and eggs.
Vitamins are compounds which are absolutely necessary for growth and healthy functionality of organs. There are 13 vitamins which all interact differently with our cells to regulate the bodily functions. These vitamins are important to help with the metabolic processes, to release energy from nutrients and in maintaining healthy bones, teeth, skin, blood and many other vital body tissues. Minerals are also super important in maintaining a healthy body; however minerals are found in inorganic substances which occur naturally in non-living things such as water, rocks and soil.