Healthy eating is a controversial topic despite the huge amount of information available on the subject. The controversy stems from many differing expert opinions. For instance, one expert may consider certain foods healthy while another may deem the same foods unhealthy. Plus, there is always a new “fad” being promoted. While such contradicting views make it difficult to define a healthy diet, science can help separate the facts from the myths.
Here’s a look at components of a healthy diet based on science.
Healthy Diet at a Glance
A healthy diet is essentially one that can sustain or improve your health through the supply of essential nutrients and minerals. For instance, a balanced diet is considered healthy because it contains protective, body-building, and energy-giving foods commonly referred to as proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. The quality and mode of preparation of foods directly affects how healthy a diet is. For example, while white meat is considered healthier than red meat, processed white meat is generally regarded as unhealthy. In fact, several studies have linked processed meat to cancer, diabetes, and heart diseases. Therefore, a healthy diet should not only be about the type of food but also about the quality, storage, and preparation of foods consumed.
Components of a Healthy Diet
At least 45 million Americans go on a diet every year for reasons such as weight loss or weight gain. However, some diets, particularly those that omit certain food groups, are not healthy. Research indicates that a healthy diet should contain a lot of vegetables, little or no processed foods, and healthy fats. You can get healthy fats from fatty fish, nuts, seeds, and avocados, among other foods. Plant-based proteins such as legumes and animal-based proteins such as eggs, dairy, meat, and fish also form part of a healthy diet when consumed in moderation. With these foods being the denominator, you can then add others that align with your physiological needs as well as your taste preferences. Make sure your diet contains minerals such as fiber, calcium, sodium, magnesium, and potassium for optimum health.
Examples of Healthy Foods
A healthy diet is crucial to keeping your heart healthy, improving blood circulation, and strengthening immunity. Examples of foods that improve heart health include, among others, oats, leafy greens, nuts, seeds, and berries. These foods are also good for boosting immunity. Combining these foods with healthy meat and grains will make for a healthy diet.
Best Foods to Relieve Stress
Chronic stress can compromise your health in the long run. Therefore, you should always look after your mental health. One way to avoid the negative effects of stress is by including stress-relieving foods in your diet. Examples of such foods include, among others, chickpeas, whole grains, warm milk, nuts, citrus fruits, probiotics, and foods rich in fiber. These foods contain special nutrients and minerals that help alleviate the effects of stress. For instance, apart from being soothing, warm milk contains tryptophan, an essential amino acid that plays a significant role in the production of serotonin, a hormone that helps reduce stress by elevating your mood.
If you’d like to discover more about vitality and living in your prime, then contact us at Genesis Performance today. We will offer you a holistic fitness and wellness plan to incorporate into your everyday living and reach optimal health. We help clients across the nation virtually and are ready to help you get started today.