Maintaining a balanced diet is essential for leading a healthy and fulfilling life. It is a well-known fact that what we eat plays a significant role in determining our physical and mental well-being. A balanced diet provides the necessary nutrients, vitamins, and minerals required for optimal bodily functions.
Besides of immune system, our defenses will be stronger and will be able to respond in the most effective way possible. Therefore, here we present 8 tips to have a balanced diet
8 tips to have a balanced diet
1. Adjust the caloric intake
It must be adjusted to the needs of each person taking into account their daily physical activity. A caloric excess favors weight gain and increases the risk of obesity. In this regard, the relationship between obesity and the immune system has been studied, verifying that it negatively affects its ability to fight infections. On the other hand, some hypocaloric diets can be accompanied by deficiencies of some nutrients, and cause deficiency states that also lead to a lower immune response.
2. Eat fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are two large groups of essential foods in the daily diet, not only because they are the main source of vitamins, minerals and fiber, but also because they contain antioxidant substances, which constitute a true defense for the body. It is recommended to take five servings a day, three of fruits and two of vegetables (at lunch and dinner). And of the fruits, at least one is citrus, because they are rich in vitamin C, important for its multiple functions and for promoting resistance to infections. They also contain folates, flavonoids, B complex vitamins and selenium, also linked to the immune system.
3. Don’t forget the legumes
Despite the fact that it is recommended to consume them at least twice a week, few families comply with this recommendation. We must make room for them in our regular diet, as they are of great nutritional interest, not only for providing protein, carbohydrates and fiber, but also for their mineral and vitamin content. And although it can vary depending on the type of legume, in general, they are rich in folic acid, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and iron. There is no doubt that they play an important role in a healthy diet.
4. Includes olive oil, nuts, seeds
Olive oil, almonds, hazelnuts, wheat germ, sunflower or pumpkin seeds are some of the foods that, in addition to heart-healthy fats, contain vitamin E. This vitamin, in addition to being an antioxidant and having a preventive effect against the development of degenerative diseases, favors defenses because it improves the function of T cells, essential mediators in the immune response. Likewise, nuts and seeds are a source of folates and zinc, nutrients related to the immune system.
5. Moderate meat consumption
Currently, within the framework of a healthy diet, meat can be eaten three or four times a week, one being red meat, leaving processed meats for occasional consumption. The WHO (World Health Organization) recommends reducing red meat, especially processed meat, because it has been observed that excessive intake increases the risk of certain types of cancer. Therefore, in the monitoring of a healthy diet, it is worth taking this recommendation into account.
6. Control the quantity and quality of fat in the diet
It is recommended not to abuse fats in general, and to prioritize those considered healthier, such as monounsaturated fats from olive oil or avocado, and polyunsaturated fats from fish, especially blue fish and nuts. Limit the contribution of saturated fats present in fatty meat, sausages, and dairy products with a high-fat content (butter, cream,…), and avoid those foods that contain trans fats that can be identified under the name of hydrogenated fat on the food labels.
7. Limit sugar intake
According to the WHO, to obtain additional health benefits, the ideal would be a consumption of less than 5% of the total daily caloric intake. And the truth is that the consumption of sugar in many households is well above what is desired, not only in the form of table sugar but also through sugary foods and drinks such as pastries, dairy desserts, sweetened soft drinks, juices, snacks, and the long etcetera of products that we can find in the supermarket. What is clear is that excessive sugar consumption is associated with an increased risk of developing obesity and vascular and metabolic diseases.
ALSO READ: How to focus on Hormonal Diet
8. Opt for fresh foods, and limit processed ones
To follow a healthy diet, you must prioritize fresh seasonal foods, and reduce processed foods and, above all, ultra-processed foods to sporadic consumption, and the less the better. The latter implies a greater consumption of salt, sugar, and normally unhealthy fats, as well as a wide variety of additives that are added to preserve them, enhance their flavor or modify the appearance or texture of the product, but which, in general, are not recommended. .