To achieve a balanced diet takes time, consideration and a little effort. Sometimes you might wonder, ‘is it worth it?’, and this article is a reminder that it absolutely is. Having a balanced diet means you’re consuming the right vitamins, minerals and nutrients daily, and that will help you feel your best. Need more convincing? Then these seven health benefits for a balanced diet should do the trick!
1. Your bones could be healthier
Eating a healthy balanced diet will give your body everything it needs to help strengthen your bones*. Do that and you reduce the risk of getting conditions like rickets, osteoporosis and breaking a bone from a fall later in life^.
Most people know that getting calcium in your balanced diet is key, but what they might not know is that there are lots of different foods that contain calcium. Leafy greens like broccoli and cabbage are a good source, and you can add bread, soya beans, nuts and some fish to that list too.
Arguably, the most well-known food group for calcium is dairy: cheese, yoghurt and, of course, milk. Adding milk to your routine is easy as it goes in smoothies, your morning cereal or porridge and a tonne of recipes. If dairy milk isn’t your thing there are lots of milk alternatives out there, including our own Almond Breeze® range.
2. Your body is better at repairing itself
Protein gives your body the ability to repair itself, keeps your metabolism running, your energy up and your blood sugar levels stable, so it’s important to consume a healthy amount every day. On average, daily protein consumption should be 45g for women and 55g for men†.
You can get protein from meat, fish, soy and eggs, plus pulses, legumes and nut butters. There are lots of different recipe options out there such as our Cod and Spring Vegetable Risotto – a great source of protein, light and full of flavour. If you’d rather pass on the fish then try our Fluffy Seeded Breakfast Muffins – there are a serious amount of seeds in them to push up your protein intake.
3. You’re less at risk of being obese
Obesity is often caused by a combination of overeating and lack of exercise. And it’s not just how much you’re eating, but also what you’re eating.
Your body only needs a small amount of sugar and fat. Eat lots of it and your body will only store it±. The trick is to keep your sugar and fat intake low, and to do that you often just need to make small recipe adjustments to some of your favourite foods.
For example, when you’re craving a hot chocolate, cut down the sugar and fat with our Almond Breeze® – inspired Chai Hot Chocolate recipe (Chai-ocolate) – much lighter and just as delicious. Want something even more indulgent (and healthier)? Try our Chocolate Truffle recipe made with Almond Breeze® Original, Roasted with Sea Salt almonds and dark chocolate.
4. You’ll lower your cholesterol
Your body needs cholesterol to make hormones and vitamin D, but too much can cause heart problems±, so keep your cholesterol low and you’re more likely to maintain a healthy heart. How do you do that? By having less saturated fat in your diet (which raises bad cholesterol) and eating more unsaturated fats (good fats). Foods that contain healthy unsaturated fats include avocados, fatty fish like salmon, olive oil, seeds and nuts.
5. You’re less likely to suffer from heart disease, stroke and some cancers
Eating at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day lowers your risk of heart disease, stroke and some cancers**. Now, five portions may sound like a lot but it’s not as hard as it sounds. For example, slicing a banana on your cereal would count as one portion. Snacking on an apple or pear before lunch would count as another. A salad for lunch and veggies with your dinner and you’re pretty much there.
Working towards your five a day doesn’t need to be hard or boring. Even our Almond and Chocolate Toffee Apple recipe can count towards it!
6. You’ll have better energy levels
Takeaway food is hassle-free and tasty but we all know it’s also bad for you. Have you ever eaten a takeaway only to feel fatigued after? This kind of food has little to no nutritional qualities, and the saturated fats, refined flours and refined sugars usually found in fast food can all contribute to feeling tired.
A big sign that you’re enjoying a balanced diet is that you will feel more energised. To do that avoid eating the bad stuff usually found in fast food and embrace healthier food options.
Omega 3 fats are amazing for energy and you can find those in salmon, cod liver oil, chia seeds and walnuts. Whole grain foods also offer a good energy boost as they’re absorbed slowly by the body, giving you a longer lasting boost. Oats are a really good example of whole grain, perfect first thing in the morning in your porridge.
7. You’ll sleep better
Sleeping is just as important as eating, drinking and breathing. It helps us recover both mentally and physically. Having a good or bad night’s sleep can be down to whether you have a balanced diet.
Eating poorly can cause stomach and digestive problems. Any raised acidity in the stomach puts a strain on your digestive system which can lead to unsettled sleep. But eating the right things at the right times of day can set you up nicely for a good night’s sleep.
Protein foods like turkey provide tryptophan, an amino acid that helps you produce serotonin and melatonin, hormones that help you sleep^^. Those same hormones can also be found in almonds making our Flavoured Snack Almonds a good snack an hour or two before bed. If you’d like a good drink to go with your snack, avoid caffeine and try a cup of our soothing Golden Turmeric Mylk – made with nice and light Unsweetened Almond Breeze®.
Information from Goodness+ is not intended to be used for medical purposes or as a substitute for professional medical or health advice.